Thesis/Research Paper

Many of these issues are also covered in the EURUS Regulations for Thesis/Research Essay Requirements.

Q: What is the difference between a thesis and a research paper?

A: A research paper is the most common option and worth 1.0 credit. A thesis is worth 2.0 credits. Choosing to complete a research paper involves a more course-oriented MA as you will take 4.0 credits of coursework (8 one-term courses) as opposed to 3.0 credits (6 one-term courses) in completing a thesis. A research paper also requires fewer primary and non-English language sources and is shorter in length (60-80 pages) than a thesis (120-150 pages). Furthermore, the defense process for the research paper is simpler, involving only one reader in addition to the supervisor, whereas a thesis requires two. A thesis also requires a greater degree of originality.

Q: When do I have to decide which option I will pursue?

A: At some point during the first year you will want to decide. You will do this in conjunction with your supervisor and with the assistance of the instructors in the core seminar. Typically in the summer between your first and second year you will submit a proposal for your research topic to the department. In this proposal you will indicate whether you are planning to write a thesis or research paper. Then you must register for whichever option you have decided. However, nothing is set in stone. You can still change your mind once you have registered.

Q: How many regional (non-English) language sources do I need?

A: This varies by topic and it is useful to discuss with your supervisor early on in the project.

Q: When do I have to submit my proposal?

A: You will write drafts of your proposal in the core seminar during the second term of your first year. Most often students submit the final draft of their proposal from the core seminar to the department at the end of that semester, or in some cases during the summer.

Q: By when do I have to select my supervisor?

A: As you think about your research topic, you will want to be considering who you would like for a supervisor. You should have an idea about who you would like to supervise you during the second term of your first year, and have approached that person. Typically you should have your supervisor selected by the end of this term.

Q: How do I go about getting a supervisor?

A: You will want to have approached the person who you think you would work with best. The professor must then agree to supervise you. If you are uncertain, then you should approach the Institute director, or the temporary supervisor who is assigned to you when you enter the program. Once this process is complete you will have them sign the Supervisor Agreement form.


Translation Exam

Q: What are the language requirements for the program?

A: You must include foreign language sources in your research paper or thesis in addition to passing the Institute language requirement, usually in the form of a translation exam. The language must be relevant to your region of research.

Q: Do I have to write a translation exam?

A: In order to complete the program, all EURUS students must meet the language requirement. The requirement is either to pass a translation exam (a written exam from the regional language into English) or complete appropriate coursework in Russian, German, Spanish, French or Italian (details can be found in the Graduate Calendar). Native speakers or those who have taken coursework in their language of choice can apply for a waiver of the language requirement.

Q: When do I have to write the exam?

A: You may write the exam at anytime during the program. Typically exams are scheduled at the end of the term in December and April.

Q: What does the exam consist of? What is expected?

A: You will be given two documents which you must translate within a 3 hour period. One of the articles is a general article for everyone and the other is on a topic based on your preferred discipline of study (history, political science, economics, etc.).

Q: What if I don’t pass the exam?

A: You have 3 attempts to pass the exam. Extra help is available for those who are worried about passing the exam, but it is up to the student to take initiative in seeking this help.

Q: What level of language study do I need to pass the exam? How difficult is the exam?

A: The articles are targeted at the 3rd and 4th year level.

Q: What is the Russian Translation Course (EURR 4901/4902)? Do I still have to write the exam?

A: Russian language students have the option to take the Russian Translation class (4000 level). If they pass with a B+ average they do not have to write the translation exam.



Q: What do I have to do to graduate?

A: You must complete 5.0 credits of coursework, complete your research paper or thesis, pass your defence and fulfill the language requirement.

Q: When can I graduate?

A: As soon as you have met the requirements stated above. Most students complete the program within 18-24 months.

Q: Who do I notify when I want to graduate?

A: You will apply to graduate through Carleton Central. You will discuss your potential graduation date with your thesis/research paper supervisor.

Q: What kind of timeline can I expect regarding the submission of my thesis or research paper, my defence and graduation?

A: Timelines will vary depending on the time of year in which you complete your thesis. Generally, your defence will be scheduled 3-4 weeks after you submit your thesis or research paper to the department. Following the defence you may have revisions to make to your paper before submitting a final copy to the department. Once a final copy has been submitted and accepted, and if all of your other degree requirements have been met, you will then graduate in either the Spring or Fall, depending on the date of submission. For submission deadlines contact Krysia Kotarba.


General Information

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions?

A: Krysia Kotarba is the EURUS Office Administrator. She is the hub of information and will either be able to answer your questions and/or put you in contact with someone who can. Her e-mail address is: