M. A. Thesis

The main body of the thesis should include:

International studies is a multi-disciplinary field, so your thesis should ideally include the following:

An introduction that presents the guiding research questions, an explanation of the methods used, and a well-developed argument. If warranted, a specific section on methodology should be included.

literature review that situates the argument within the relevant scholarship on the topic.

An extensive analysis in which you explain and provide evidence for your argument. 

conclusion that sums up the findings of the thesis and their relevance to the field.

Supplemental materials should be included at the end of your thesis if necessary.


You should work very closely with your thesis advisor to discuss your research design, methodological choices, and thesis organization. If you plan to use human subjects in your research, you must seek approval through the university's Institutional Review Board well ahead of planned research.

Submission guidelines

All deadlines, formatting instructions, and submission methods are available on the University Graduate School’s website at https://graduate.indiana.edu/thesis-dissertation/index.html

Please review all deadlines carefully. Note that there are separate deadlines to submit your thesis to your thesis committee, to submit your thesis to ProQuest, and to submit your signed Acceptance Page. These deadlines depend on your planned date of graduation.

Thesis committee

Required. The student must select a thesis advisory committee of three faculty members, including a director and two readers, who must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The Department of International Studies adheres to thesis format and printing requirements set by the University Graduate School. (3 cr.)

As a condition to a degree, the thesis must be submitted to ProQuest.


You should work closely with your thesis supervisor to ensure you are on track to complete your thesis on time.
Your completed thesis must be submitted to your thesis supervisor, to your reader, and online through ProQuest. Your thesis is due to ProQuest by the date shown on the deadlines page. If you do not submit to ProQuest in time, your graduation will be delayed.

It is highly recommended that the members of your thesis committee all have the final copy of your thesis at least a week before your thesis is due to ProQuest. This is in order to provide enough time for your thesis committee to approve your thesis.

Your thesis must be completed and approved by your thesis committee before you submit it to ProQuest.

You must also submit an original signed acceptance page to the University Graduate School. The page must be approved and signed by all three members of your thesis committee. It must also be formatted according to the instructions on the formatting page (under Required and Optional Sections / Acceptance Page) and delivered directly to the UGS’s office in Wells Library, Room E546, by the due date, usually approximately 10-14 days after submission.
Formatting requirements are extremely strict. If, after submission, it is determined that your thesis requires formatting changes, you will be contacted by the graduate office with instructions for resubmission. Any such changes are generally due on the same date as your acceptance page: please review the deadlines page to confirm.


  • Complete your thesis in consultation with your thesis supervisor
  • Submit your final thesis to your thesis committee
  • When the thesis committee confirms that your thesis is accepted, submit your thesis to ProQuest
  • Complete and return your signed Acceptance Page to the UGS at Wells Library, Room E546