San Francisco State University
There are three options for a Recreation graduate student to fulfill their written culminating experience requirements. Each option is briefly described and compared below. Emphasis is placed on a comparison between a thesis and the Applied Research Project (ARP) alternatives. Every student must have a signed Culminating Experience Form in their file before they can complete any culminating experience option.
1. Comprehensive Exam
A four hour written exam designed to demonstrate a student's ability to integrate knowledge, independent thinking, synthesis, problem solving and critical analysis with all topics covered in classes shown on their ATC and current issues in the students specialization in the profession.
Eligibility: Must have filed an approved ATC and must have 3.0 GPA for all courses listed on ATC and not be on academic probation. All courses on Advancement To Candidacy (ATC) must be a C or better grade. Must take RPT 896 (3 units) during semester they will take the exam. Must have completed RPT 810. Strongly recommended to have completed all course work (e.g. RPT 880) on ATC; and attendance is required at the department comprehensive exam orientation.
Submittal and Approval:
1. Submit signed Advancement
to Candidacy (ATC) form to the Graduate Division 2-3 semesters prior
to planned graduation;
A mandatory comprehensive exam orientation is given in the first 30 days of the semester and a complete list of exam policies and procedures are provided. A student must notify RPT Graduate Program Coordinator in writing of your intent to take comprehensive exams before 60 days into the semester in which you intent to take exam. Once written notification is given a student cannot switch to another semester or experience option. Exam is given once a semester. A student has two chances to pass. If they do not pass exam after second attempt they have failed exam and will be dis-enrolled from program.
A detailed written document that presents the student's original research and findings. A thesis requires skills and knowledge of research methods, survey design, collection or use of primary or secondary data and statistical analysis of these data. Analysis can be either quantitative, qualitative or use mixed methods. A student must review the Comparison of and Guidelines for Completion of a Thesis and Applied Research Project web page for a detailed description of a thesis.
Eligibility: Student must have received a grade of at least B+ for RPT 810 and RPT 880. A basic statistics class is required, as a prerequisite for students wanting to complete a thesis. See a detailed listing of department Thesis Eligibility Requirements. Before a student can conduct research or start a thesis they must make an oral presentation and obtain written approval from their Culminating Experience Committee (CEC). A thesis must follow strict university format and submittal requirements (see www.sfsu.edu/~gradstdy/thesis.htm). A person taking a thesis must register for 3 units of RPT 898.
and Approval: The RPT graduate website has a separate page describing
in detail the Order of Approvals
and Forms for Completion of a Thesis. The initial steps are:
Deadline for submittal of complete draft of 3 chapter proposal or the draft 5 chapter thesis to the CEC is November 15 in fall or April 15 in spring. CEC members must have a minimum of two weeks from receipt of complete proposal or draft thesis for review.
3. Applied Research Project (ARP)
An applied research
project consists of:
While the applied research project might be representative of a variety of opportunities, the end result of this culminating experience option is a written professional paper that ultimately develops a persuasive argument and addresses an important issue or problem in the RPT profession. A representative from an agency or company in the paper topic area must be on the culminating experience committee. It may or may not include collection of original data.
The professional paper associated with the applied research project requires much more detailed and extensive analysis of the issue or problem than that included in a graduate level term paper. It is not merely a literature review, needs assessment, or chronology of work in the field. An applied research project professional paper must follow Department format and submittal requirements. A student must review the Comparison of and Guidelines for Completion of a Thesis and Applied Research Project webpage for a detailed description of an ARP. Students doing an ARP must enroll in RPT 895 during the semester they will be doing most of the work on their project.
Note on Applied Research Project: The reference to “project” allows the student to explore and investigate a specific issue or problem that yields an end result which may be something tangible and useful for the agency. Examples include a substantial component or entire management plan, a new program evaluation instrument, new marketing plan, training manual, etc. As an option for the culminating experience, information relating to the objectives, background, development and results of this “project” must also be written as a professional paper that is submitted to the culminating experience committee for review and approval.
Examples of Applied Research Projects Include: Impact assessments; volunteer management plan; partnership action plan, strategic plan; detailed case studies; sustainability report; market analysis.
Eligibility: Student must have received a grade of at least B+ for RPT 810 and RPT 880. A basic statistics class is not required, but may be recommended by your advisor. See a detailed listing of department Thesis/ARP Eligibility Requirements. In brief, before a student can conduct research or start an ARP they must make an oral presentation and obtain written approval from their Culminating Experience Committee (CEC). A Professional Paper required for an ARP must follow strict Department format and submittal requirements (see below). A person conducting an ARP must register for 3 units of RPT 895. An agency for which your ARP is associated should be located in the Northern California region, but does not have to be.
and Approval: The RPT graduate website has a separate page describing
in detail the Process, Order
of Approvals and Forms for Completion of a Thesis and Applied Research
Project. The initial steps are:
Deadline for submittal of complete draft of 3 chapter proposal or the draft 5 chapter professional paper to the CEC is November 15 in fall or April 15 in spring. CEC members must have a minimum of two weeks from receipt of complete proposal or professional paper for review. The deadline for final approval of the Professional Paper is the same as that for a thesis.
Note: Students entering our Graduate Program in the Fall 2008 or later must adhere to the Continuous Enrollment Policy as stated in the bulletin. After the semester of enrollment in the Culminating Experience and the subsequent semester, all graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment through the College of Extended Learning (CEL) until the degree is earned.