MASTER’S DEGREE STUDIES → Master’s Thesis
Choosing a supervisor:
Contact between the student and the supervisor will be made at the initiative of one of the parties. A member of the teaching program’s faculty, of the level of lecturer and above, will serve as a supervisor for the final thesis. Adding a supervisor who is not a faculty member is subject to the recommendation of the head of the teaching program and with prior approval from the Teaching Committee. A supervisor will be selected before or during the first year of Master’s studies and no later than the end of the academic year. In some teaching programs the supervisor should be contacted before the start of the academic year as a condition of acceptance to Master’s studies. A student who does not contact a supervisor by the end of his first year will not be able to continue his Master’s studies. Confirmation that a supervisor has been contacted (as detailed below) will be submitted to the Master’s secretariat no later than 1.9. The supervisor’s name and subject of the final thesis will be provided to the faculty secretariat for Master’s students, on the appropriate form, to be signed by the supervisor and head of the teaching program. Changing the supervisor and/or subject of the thesis must be approved by the head of teaching program and notified to the secretariat for Master’s students.
The teaching program is responsible to the Teaching Committee for the proper professional guidance of the student, and for the existence of all the elements necessary for the work (budget, equipment and other accessories) as well as safety measures. The signature of the head of the teaching program will be proof that he examined the program, and he is confirming that it can be carried out in a reasonable time, which will not exceed one year of research, and that all elements needed for its implementation, including an appropriate budget, are available to the student.
The thesis is research in a defined subject, performed by the student under the guidance of one or more teachers in the faculty and summarized by the student as a scientific paper, in a more detailed manner than an ordinary essay. The work should reflect the student’s ability to master the scientific tools acquired in his field of research, his capacity to express original thinking and initiative in scientific research and his ability to summarize his research in a clear and convincing manner.
At the initiative of the teaching program and with the approval of the Teaching Committee the thesis can be carried out outside the teaching program or faculty, and in special cases even outside the Hebrew University, provided that one of the faculty teachers will guide the student and will have oversight of the performance of the work. A proposal for doing the thesis outside the university will be accompanied by a detailed explanation of how it will be completed.
Even if the original program was not fully implemented or if the results of the research necessitated a deviation from the original program, the supervisor may decide, at an appropriate stage, that the aims of the work have been achieved and it can be finalized.
Completion of the Master’s thesis is conditional on writing a detailed scientific paper describing the aims of the research, the results and conclusions. The research in the form of a paper, i.e., the thesis, should be printed in a neat and organized manner. See the regulations below. The head of teaching program should provide the work for assessment to the supervisor and at least one more teacher, appointed by the head of the teaching program. This teacher can be from outside the university. According to provisions determined by each teaching program a public lecture can be held at which the student will be questioned about his work and this lecture can form the basis for awarding the grade for the work. If necessary a meeting can be held between the assessors of the work and the student. The evaluators’ assessment will be provided within a month of the date for submission of the work by the student. The work may be discussed in detail also in the framework of a final exam.
Confidentiality of the Master’s thesis: In any case where a question of confidentiality of a master’s thesis or parts of it arises, an application should be made in advance by the head of teaching program and the supervisor to the Vice-Dean for Teaching Affairs. Generally, the Master’s thesis or parts of it will not be granted confidentiality and in all cases a full and complete work must be submitted to the teaching secretariat and deposited to its control. If the Vice-Dean for Teaching Affairs approves the request for confidentiality, the work will be kept by the teaching secretariat for a predetermined period of time, not to exceed one calendar year from the date of submission of the work, before it is deposited in the library for public availability. This practice will apply also in a case of confidentiality until the date of approval of a patent.
The thesis has a uniform format. The thesis must be submitted in a number of copies as determined by the teaching program (according to the number of examiners and assessors) and an additional copy will be provided by the secretariat of the teaching program to the secretariat for Master’s students together with the final grades. This copy will be forwarded to the appropriate libraries. The head of teaching program will appoint examiners for the thesis (at least one examiner in addition to the supervisor). The examiners must return their assessment of the work within a month of receiving it for consideration. A final grade of 95 and above for the thesis will be awarded only if it is given by all the examiners; in other cases, the grade will be no higher than 94. The teaching program will provide the thesis to the assessors of the final exam a month before the date of the exam.
Regulations for writing a Master’s thesis – the Faculty for Natural Science
The Master’s thesis is a detailed scientific paper describing the aims of the research, the results and conclusions. The work must be printed.
The scope of the paper should not exceed 60 pages printed in 12 point font size, with 1.5 line spacing, including charts and tables, but not including bibliography and appendices.
Published scientific articles should be included only as appendices and not in the body of the work.
Language of the paper: Hebrew or English. If it is in English an expanded abstract in Hebrew is required. An English abstract must be appended to a work written in Hebrew.
The thesis should be set out as follows:
1. Opening page including:
a. Heading – “The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science – the Institute of (Chemistry, Life Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Computer Science)
b. Title of the thesis in Hebrew and English
c. Author’s name (+ student number)
d. Supervisor’s name
e. “Thesis for Master’s degree in Natural Science”
f. Date of submission in English and Hebrew
2. Personal page (dedication etc.)
4. Table of contents
5. Body of the work
The body of the work (section 5 above) will include:
1. Scientific introduction
2. Thesis aims
3. Methods (theoretical or experimental part)
5. Discussion and summary.