masters thesis

HST Master's Thesis Guidelines

The HST Master's Degree is only an option for students withdrawing from an HST PhD program who would like a terminal SM.

Requesting a Terminal SM

  • Meet with Dr. Julie Greenberg or Traci Anderson in the HST Academic Office to review guidlines for the terminal SM and confirm eligibility (via coursework degree audit)
  • Consult with Research Supervisor about plan for withdrawal and SM degree
  • Submit a master's thesis proposal to the HST-IMES Committee on Academic Programs (HICAP), via Traci Anderson in the Academic Office

Thesis Proposal

The proposal should reflect the guidance of the thesis supervisor. There is no minimum length for the proposal. It should contain sufficient detail to clearly define and justify the research problem, and the proposed research plan. Preliminary results may be included if available. 

When, in the view of the thesis supervisor, the proposal is acceptable, a copy should be submitted to the HST Academic Office, for review by HICAP.

The proposal package should include the following:
  • Thesis proposal Title Page (signed by both student and supervisor)
  • Thesis proposal Abstract that serves as a concise and accurate description of the proposed work when separated from the thesis proposal.  The abstract should include: 1) a condensed description of the background and significance, explaining why the work is important, 2) the specific aims of the proposal, and 3) a summary of the methods to be used to accomplish the specific aims. Headings within the abstract (Background, Specific Aims, and Methods) are optional. The recommended maximum length is 300 words.
  • Proposal

Sample Proposal Title Page: Download sample

Final Thesis
No public defense or oral exam is required for the master's thesis.  
The student submits the final signed thesis document to Traci Anderson in E25-518. Please refer to the thesis formatting guidelines at http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/thesis-specs/
Cover/Title page. On the "Accepted by" line, please list: Emery N. Brown, MD, PhD/Director, Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology/Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences and Technology
   Sample cover/title page: Download sample
   Sign your cover/title page and have your thesis supervisor(s) sign. The Academic Office will obtain Dr. Brown's signature. You do not need the signatures of your thesis committee members.
Thesis Submission. HST requires that you submit two copies of your thesis, one hard copy and one .pdf version. The hard copy must meet the MIT Libraries paper standards, which can be found by clicking on the "Paper" tab of the Libraries webpage. The electronic copy is for HST and may be emailed to Traci Anderson tanderso@mit.edu.