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You are here: Home Anthropology GRADUATE Current students Guidelines for Preparation of the Master's Thesis
Guidelines for Preparation of the Master's Thesis

Thesis Proposal

The thesis proposal should be brief. It should contain (not necessarily in this order): (1) a statement of hypotheses or research questions; (2) an outline of methods or procedures that will address the hypotheses or research questions; (3) an argument for the significance of the proposed research; (4) a preliminary list of sources; and (5) a short outline of the proposed thesis. The proposal and outline may be modified during the research and writing period with the approval of the candidate's faculty sponsor.


Thesis Sponsor and Second Reader

The candidate must select a thesis advisor who is a full-time member of the Hunter Anthropology faculty. The faculty advisor must approve the thesis proposal by signing the cover page. The candidate should then give a copy of the approved proposal to the Graduate Advisor. The second reader of the thesis should be selected in consultation with the faculty sponsor. She or he may be a Hunter faculty member or somebody else with relevant expertise who agrees to serve as a reader.

It is important that students submit their drafts to their thesis advisors and the second readers early in the semester in which they plan to graduate. This will allow time to receive feedback, which students must incorporate before completing the final drafts. Only final drafts that are approved by the thesis advisors and the second reader can be deposited.


Thesis Format

The approved thesis must be deposited online before the due date set forth by the department. It is very important that students upload their theses before the departmental deadline, which is set earlier than the deadline set by the Dean's Office (typically the first week of December for the Fall semester, and the last week of April for the Spring semester). Once the thesis is uploaded, it has to go through multiple approval processes before getting the final approval by the Dean.

The thesis should be prepared according to the guidelines of the School of Arts and Sciences. The thesis format can be found here:

Thesis text should be typed using a legible font such as Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman. All margins of both text and illustrations must be one inch. The text is to be double-spaced, except for quotations of more than four lines, which will be set apart (single-spaced and indented). Footnotes and bibliography will be single-spaced, with double spacing between notes and entries. Pages, including pages of illustrative material, bibliography, and appendices are to be typed or scanned and numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.

Quotations of more than four lines should be indented. Unless the thesis advisor and the candidate decide otherwise, citations should follow the style of the American Anthropologist. Pages, including all tables and illustrations, must be numbered. The title page should use the format specified in the guidelines of the School of Arts and Sciences (see the above link). The latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style is a good source for answering other stylistic questions relating to the thesis.

No ink insertions are allowed. Striking over or crossing out an error is not permitted.

Illustrations, graphics, charts, and photographs must be scanned or produced with an appropriate computer program. Graphic materials must include a descriptive caption which includes the author and original source.  Generally, all graphic materials should be scaled to fit the electronic page size of 8 1/2 by 11 inches. If and when appropriate, other sizes can be accepted.  The graduate program and the library liaison for CUNY Academic Works, Mason Brown, should be consulted for technical guidance on uploading illustrations and permissions for copyrighted materials.

The content of the thesis should include the following, when applicable, in order as listed:

                            Title Page
                            Dedication (optional)
                            Acknowledgments (optional)
                            Table of Contents
                            List of Figures
                            List of Tables
                            Title of Chapters

In addition, for all electronic submissions, degree candidates should be prepared to upload into the online repository an informative abstract of no more than 50 words, a list of ten keywords, and a CUNY Academic Works submission agreement.

Submission of First Draft

The candidate should normally allow at least six weeks for the thesis advisor and second reader to comment on the first draft. The first draft submission date is determined by the thesis advisor in consultation with the candidate and the second reader.


Submission of Final Draft

The candidate must submit the final draft to the thesis advisor at least three weeks before the departmental deadline for deposit of the approved thesis in the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences. Only after the thesis advisor and the second reader sign off the final draft, the candidate can deposit the approved thesis by uploading it online.


Online Deposit of Approved Thesis

The candidate is required to deposit the thesis online. Detailed instructions can be found here:


Binding Fee

The candidate is required to pay a thesis binding fee at the Bursar's Office. The receipt must accompany the copies of the thesis deposited at the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.



Publications based in whole or in part on the thesis should acknowledge that the research was undertaken for a MA thesis in the Department of Anthropology, Hunter College, City University of New York.

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