Non-Thesis Option

Final Product Options, Major Advisor and Outside Reader

Non-thesis products (called “Creative Components”) can take one of three forms:

  1. Curriculum Development Project,

  2. Action Research Project or,

  3. Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) OR Portfolio Project based upon National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.

See Appendix G and Appendix H for a full description of each option. Samples of all options are available in the Science Education Resource Center, (SERC) in MSH 160 or on-line through the Rod Library Institutional Repository.  Your advisor may also have samples available for you to review. The specific choice of option should be made in consultation with your major advisor.

The major advisor acts as the supervisor of the non-thesis product.  Once a non-thesis option is decided on, you and your advisor should select an Outside Reader who will serve as an additional reader of the drafts of your product. This person must be a UNI graduate faculty member and it is recommended that she/he be a Science Education faculty member.

Your major advisor and your Outside Reader must approve the final product. Please note that the expected turn-around time for feedback on drafts from your advisor and readers should be no less that two (2) weeks.  Be sure to plan and communicate a proposed timeline with your advisor to ensure timely completion of a quality project and paper.

Non-Thesis Proposal

It is advisable to have decided which final product option to pursue by the time approximately on half of the program course work - including the research methods course - are completed.

Before beginning the non-thesis project, a formal written proposal of project must be presented to both the Major Advisor and Outside Reader. The proposal usually consists of what will become the first three chapters of the final paper.  If the study involved human participants (often the case for Action Research and some Curriculum Development projects), a form must be submitted to and approved by the Institutional Review Board at UNI before data collection begins. 


he Non-thesis option requires three (3) hours of SCI ED 6299 research credit. These three (3) hours may be taken in any combination at any time during the program, but should not be started until some direction for the project has been determined by the student and the major advisor.  Project completion requirements to earn SCI ED 6299 credit are listed in Appendix B.

Non-Thesis Preparation and Presentation

Science Education uses the APA 6th edition style manual for all written projects.

A public presentation is required for the non-thesis project and can be conducted in person or electronically and must be completed no later than 2 weeks before the end of the graduation semester.  Once the final paper has been approved and presented, the student will receive further instructions regarding submission of electronic copies and posting to the Institutional Repository.  The final non-thesis paper must be submitted no later than one week prior to the date of graduation for the semester or summer session.

If a hardbound copy of your non-thesis is desired by yourself or your advisor, copies printed on 24 pound white bond paper, 8-1/2 X 11 inch, acid free, 25% of 100% cotton paper can be mailed or delivered to the Science Education Secretary, McCollum Science Hall 153.  These copies will be professionally bound by Science Education free of charge to the student.

Specific information regarding the preparation and presentation of the non-thesis project is in Appendix G.