The thesis is a reflection of the student’s creativity, a chance to practice skills that were learned during MPH training, and an “advertisement” of the student’s competence that will help move the student into additional training programs or into new career opportunities. The thesis should not be viewed as a hurdle that cannot be jumped, or a barrier to hinder progress. It is an opportunity to do excellent work. Most ‘seasoned’ scientists will say that working with students on their thesis is an exciting experience, since the students are likely to be doing the very best work of their careers; the students can concentrate and focus their energy at this point in their development, perhaps better than at any other point in their careers. If the thesis is viewed as a unique opportunity to demonstrate competence and to showcase the student’s “very best work,” the process will be a much more interesting and rewarding experience.
Happy Lab (New!)
The department is pleased to offer some additional assistance to MPH students working on their thesis projects. We have set up a new system (a.k.a. "Happy Lab") to provide short term data management and statistical software guidance to students who are enrolled in thesis credits. We are also pleased that MPH alumna Priya Srikanth has agreed to take on the role of Happy Lab instructor. Priya will hold regular office hours in the PHPM computer lab throughout the year, beginning in the Summer 2010 quarter.
Students who have registered for thesis credits should send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting assistance and describe the guidance/advice they might need. Once a request is received, Priya will either answer student questions via email, notify students to attend the standing Happy Lab office hours, or set up individual meetings as her time allows. So that Happy Lab may benefit as many students as possible, each individual student can request a maximum of 10 hrs assistance during a quarter.
Happy Lab office hours for the fall term: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, 9:00-11:30am.
Office location: CSB 642
Happy Lab Phone: 503-494-4246
1) This service is available only to students who are actually registered for MPH thesis credits.
2) Your MPH Thesis Mentor and your committee's biostatistician will be cc’d on correspondence between student and Happy Lab instructor.
Whenever you defend, you have only 6 weeks after the defense to complete all requirements of the OHSU Office of Graduate Studies. In the MPH office, we have NO control over these requirements. The clock starts on the day of your defense. So while everybody takes a night (or a few days) to celebrate, you must quickly attend to any additional analyses and writing that your committee requires. Typically this is done with the guidance of your chair. When you have satisfied the chair, circulate the final draft to the rest of your committee and give them a week to review and sign off. It is your responsibility to watch the calendar and submit thesis binding receipt, exit contact form, and any other paperwork listed by Graduate Studies when they notify you of receipt of your oral exam certification paperwork.
Be careful not to defend too close to the end of an academic term! If the 6 weeks after your oral exam happen to extend into the next term (even by one day), Graduate Studies will require you to pay for 1 thesis credit for that following term because the following term becomes the term in which you graduate.
We advise you to schedule your defense when you are reasonably sure your revisions will be minimal and that your committee will be able to get their approval of the final product squared away pretty quickly. And, plan on paying for 1 credit in the term after you defend if any of the six weeks spill into that next term – there may be unanticipated delays.
Please also note that OHSU no longer makes students wait until the end of the academic year to award the degree. You will be awarded your degree at the end of the term in which you submitted your final paperwork. You will be eligible to participate in the spring graduation ceremony of whatever academic year you completed the paperwork. (There is only one ceremony per year.) Please note that the academic year for OHSU begins with summer term.
If you want to participate in the graduation ceremony this year (walk across the stage), you will need to defend by April 30 AND submit final paperwork by May 20.
Thesis Documents and Links
The links below will provide you with useful information as you begin the thesis process.
The thesis guidelines in the MPH Handbook have been written by our department, and they provide a detailed explanation of the purpose of the thesis, how to select a thesis chair and committee, and how to navigate the IRB process. The MPH Handbook also has MPH and MD-MPH checklists which you may find helpful.
Please familiarize yourself with this document from Graduate Studies upon embarking on your thesis work. It includes detailed information about the forms and the formatting of the bound thesis.
Possible sources of thesis data.
This is a sample of the layout for the certificate of approval page that is to be included in the bound thesis. You will need at least 3 copies of this document signed for binding.
The OHSU Library's Thesis Processing Page
All thesis titles since the program began.