Master’s Thesis Option

MTO Facts

  • Open to all graduate students, providing them with the opportunity to differentiate their graduate degree with a coveted distinction in research
  • Learn how to approach academic research in an analytical and informed way
  • Collect and analyze research material
  • Determine ways to tackle roadblocks independently and achieve results
  • Leverage your career opportunities
  • Sets you apart from your peers and prepares you for a career of success in any field you desire
  • Prove to employers you have developed skills to benefit their company

MTO Timeline

September - Select a topic and present to your peers. Investigate available data. Perform literature review. Present refined research question to your peers again.

October - Develop and document your research methodology and steps. Obtain and clean the data. Secure a faculty advisor.

November - Finish cleaning the data and implement a simplified version of the research methodology. Develop skeleton outline of your final thesis.

December - Complete final versions of all tables and visualizations of your research. Initial draft of thesis complete.

January - Schedule thesis defense.*

March - Prepare for thesis defense. Discuss and rehearse with your peers and prepare presentation.

April - Complete your thesis defense. **

*Organizing your masters' thesis defense will take time — plan on four to six weeks of lead-time. There are many advisors and staff involved with the defense process, and it will require planning and coordinating on your part to arrange for them to be together on a particular time and date.

**The thesis does not have to be finished in one year. Many students have completed it over three or more semesters.  


MTO Alumni

  • Poorvi Bahety
    "Evaluating the Possibility to Use Reviews Generated on Social Media to Predict Sales in the Automobile Industry."
    Business Analyst at HSBC Financial Services in London, England.
  • Pruthvi Bhatt
    "Effect of Foreign Ownership on Firm Performance, Shareholder Value Before and After the Increase in Foreign Ownership."
    Investment Risk Manager at APG Asset Management in New York City.
  • Deepak Bidwai
    "A Common Standard for Film Production Incentives Impart."
    Member Producer at Arlington Community Media in the Boston Area.
  • Stacie Costa
    "Developing a Conceptual Framework for Health Care Operations: Challenges and Remedies."
    Trading and Performance Analysis Assistant at MDT Advisors in Boston.
  • John Dorey
    "Investor Learning and the Abnormal Returns to a Fundamental Signal Strategy."
    Consultant at John Hancock Financial Services.
  • Xingyuan Fei
    "Reexamining Investor's Overpricing of Intangible Information."
    PhD Candidate in the Accounting Department at Boston University
  • Joan Kiiru
    "Exploring Determinants and Effects of Foreign Direct Investment: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa."
    Fund Operations at Orbis Investments in Cape Town Area South Africa.
  • Ajay Lamba
    "Correcting Decision Outcome in a Revenue Sharing Contact."
    Product Management and Coordination Future Concepts in Bengaluru, India.
  • Stefano Maffina
    "Medicare Nursing Home Compare: Issues and Improvements."
    ESG Analyst at State Street Global Advisors in the Boston Area.
  • Mohammadhi Moqri
    "Predicting Hospital Patients' Admission to Reduce Emergency Department Boarding."
    PhD Candidate in Information Systems at Warrington College of Business at University of Florida-joining the faculty of Information Systems at Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University.
  • Vignesh Natarajan
    "Digital Learning: Expectation of Contemporary Workforce."
    Product Manager at Monster Worldwide in the Boston Area.
  • Natalia Plotnikova
    "Forecasting Gold Prices to Analyze the Mergers and Acquisitions Deal in the Gold Mining Industry."
    Equity Research Analyst at Long-only Asset Management Company in the Boston Area.
  • Chinthana Ramaswamy
    "Analyzing Revenue Sharing and Buyback Contracts: An Experimental Study."
    Area Manager at Amazon in Leicester, United Kingdom.
  • Vitaliy Ryabinin
    "What Factors Affect Magnitude of Stock Repurchase Programs?"
    PhD Candidate at The Imperial College of London.
  • Minal Sharma
    "Correcting Decision Outcome in a Revenue Sharing Contact."
    Sr. BSA, CIO Management at Akami in Cambridge, MA.
  • Bjoern Stengel
    "Corporate Responses to Rana Plaza-A Comparative Case Study."
    Senior Analyst at Bluefield Research a company in the Boston Area. 
  • Christina Tamer
    "The Effects of Foreign Direct Investment and Official Development Assistance on the Human Development Index in Africa."
    Program Officer at VentureWell a nonprofit company in the Boston Area.

MTO Notes


  • Part 1: A one-semester (three-credits), faculty-led MBA AF 690 Research Colloquium, offered each fall.
  • Part 2: A one semester (three-credits), MBA AF 699 Master’s Thesis Option, offered every spring. This course is supplemented by an additional one or two semester of research with a thesis advisor, depending on the degree of preparation of student


  • The grade for the MTO Thesis course, upon a successful thesis defense, is determined by the thesis advisor in consultation with the Masters Thesis committee. The grade will remain as an “In-Progress” (shown on transcripts with a “Y” designation) until the student defends their thesis.

Thesis Defense

  • Planning
    • Organizing your masters’ thesis defense will take time – plan on needing four to six weeks of lead-time. There are many advisers and staff involved with the defense process, and it will require planning and coordinating on your part to arrange for them to be together on particular time and date.

Committee Make-up

  • A typical thesis committee consists of your primary thesis adviser (subject area specialist), a reader and the MTO program director.  Once you are ready to defend your thesis get these three people to agree on a date, time, and place for the defense.

Public Notice of Defense

  • The student must prepare for public notice of defense. An integral part of the governance for any thesis defense requires that you invite feedback on your research in an open public forum. As soon as the thesis defense is scheduled, the student is responsible for providing the graduate office (Tara Norton and/or Stephanie Zuehlke) with all information necessary for them to post a public notice of the defense at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense. This information includes: the title of the dissertation; names and affiliations of all members of the defense committee; the time, date, and place of the defense; and an electronic abstract (one paragraph) of the project.

Theses & Dissertations

  • Any successful Master’s Thesis Option should consist of applied or theoretical research of the highest caliber, resulting in a significant, coherent body of work, and demonstrate thorough knowledge of both research principles and the subject area.