The master’s thesis is the culminating product of the MSc-GH. The thesis must be formatted consistent with the requirements of the Duke Graduate School.

In general, the thesis should:

  • Clearly posit an original research question in the field of global health.
  • Reflect or connect to the field-based research conducted by the student.
  • Demonstrate understanding and application of appropriate research methods.
  • Demonstrate competent writing skills and analysis skills.
  • Be of publishable quality in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal.

The Thesis Defense

All candidates are required to have a final thesis defense with their thesis committee. Students will work with their Research Mentor/Committee Chair and thesis committee throughout the thesis writing process to determine when the paper is ready to be defended, making sure to allow ample time for review and revisions, considering the Graduate School deadlines.

In preparation for the thesis defense, there are several key deadlines for students and mentors to meet. Close communication between student and mentor, as well as with program staff and leadership, is important to ensure that all requirements are met. Many of the requirements in the final semester are monitored by the Graduate School, which is very firm on deadlines.

David WAMBUI, Class of 2017, Thesis defense that connected 3 continents

The Graduate School allows for thesis defenses to occur whenever classes are in session (i.e., during the academic terms but not during Spring break, the exam period, etc). Firm deadlines are established in advance for each academic term and should be considered a last opportunity: that is, meeting deadlines well in advance is encouraged.

Committee members including the chair of the committee may participate remotely. Duke Kunshan must submit names of any remote participants to the Graduate School for approval in advance, so it is important to communicate with program staff as early as is possible if one or more members will participate remotely.

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