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M.Ed. in Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies

Ordinarily, students in Educational Psychology and Research enroll in the M.S. program that includes a thesis option. There is, however, a non-thesis Master’s program designed for students committed to classroom teaching and other professional positions. The non-thesis Master’s program is considered a terminal degree. Students who wish to pursue a combined Master’s/Ph.D. program should enroll in the thesis Master’s program. General program descriptions for both M.S. options are illustrated below.

Plans of Study

Students can choose the thesis or non-thesis option for their degree. Students intending to pursue a Ph.D. should select the thesis option. Both programs require at least 15 graduate-level credit hours in education at Purdue University. Graduate students in Educational Psychology or Gifted Education cannot include on their plan of study courses in which they earned a grade lower than a “B”.

+ Plan of study: Thesis Option

+ Plan of Study: Non-Thesis Option

Creating an Advisory Committee

All Master’s Degree students select an advisory committee of at least three (3) faculty members in consultation with their major advisor. More than 50% of the committee members must be from the West Lafayette campus.

Completing the Thesis and Establishing an Examining Committee (Thesis Option)

The culmination of a thesis Master’s involves completion of a research project under the guidance of a faculty committee. Generally, this phase of the program takes 1-2 years. The first step in the thesis process is the development of a written research proposal in consultation with the advisor and committee members. The thesis committee must include at least four members, and more than 50% must be from the West Lafayette campus. The thesis proposal consists of a critical review of the literature providing a theoretical rationale for the study, research questions/hypotheses, and proposed methodology for investigating those questions/hypotheses. The student submits drafts of the thesis proposal to his/her advisor and the advisor determines when the proposal is ready to present to the committee. At that time, the student schedules a proposal meeting with all committee members. The purpose of the proposal meeting is for the student to (a) present his/her thesis proposal, (b) provide a rationale for the study, (c) engage in a discussion with the committee members, and (d) obtain an agreement with the committee about the final study. All committee members participate in the proposal discussion. If a member cannot be present at the meeting, he/she provides feedback to the student’s major advisor. The approved thesis proposal, with a cover sheet signed by all committee members, is filed in the Graduate Studies Office, School of Education. After the proposal is approved, students complete their research and write their thesis in consultation with their advisor and committee members. After the advisor determines the written thesis is ready to present to the committee, the student must appoint an examining committee (usually the same as the advisory committee) and schedule a thesis defense. Prior to submitting the formal request for appointment of the examining committee, students must have received formal approval for their thesis. Also, note that students must be enrolled during the session in which an examination is held. The final examining committee must be composed of at least four members of the graduate faculty and may be identical to the advisory committee. More than 50%of the committee members must be from the West Lafayette campus. To schedule the thesis defense, the major advisor submits a Request for Appointment of Examining Committee Form at least three (3) weeks prior to the desired examination date.


Students are responsible for ensuring that all graduate school deadlines are met in time for their proposed date of graduation.