Thesis vs Dissertation in Academic Research: Know the Difference

Thesis vs Dissertation in Academic Research: Know the Difference

Thesis vs Dissertation: Know the Difference

Students in the academic world are often faced with an important decision: whether to write a thesis or dissertation. While they may seem the same at first glance, these two types of paper have significant differences. In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics of each, as well as their intended audiences.

A thesis is a shorter piece of writing that usually falls somewhere between 10-30 pages in length and addresses a single topic. It does not require a formal research study or experiments, but it does require some original thought and analysis on the part of the writer. A dissertation is much more involved and requires rigorous research to be completed successfully.

What is a PhD Academic Thesis Project?

A PhD thesis project is the culmination of an extensive amount of research and writing. It’s the final step before a student gets their degree in a master’s or doctoral program.

What is a PhD Academic Dissertation Project?

A PhD dissertation project is the culmination of a doctoral degree. The dissertation must be original research that includes an analysis and a conclusion.

The thesis of the dissertation is also known as the main argument or central claim that you are going to make. It should be interesting, difficult to disprove, and at least somewhat controversial so that other academics will want to engage with it. You want your dissertation to set up your professional career by establishing you as a leader in your field.

Thesis vs Dissertation: What’s the Difference?

Thesis – A research paper written by a student under the supervision of a professor. The goal is to summarize the work done by the student and answer a specific research question

Dissertation – A research project that is often larger in scope than a thesis. It can be an analysis of published sources or original data collected by the student.

Which Degree Program Is More Rigorous?

For the most part, a liberal arts degree will be much more rigorous than a business or science-based degree. Although it is true that some schools of business and engineering are challenging, for the most part they have less rigorous coursework than traditional liberal arts degrees.

A Comparison of Thesis and Dissertation Requirements for Masters, PhD, and Certificate Programs

Master’s Programs:

Requirements for a Master’s degree vary from program to program. However, in general, a Master’s degree typically requires coursework and an original research project or thesis.

PhD Programs:

A PhD degree usually requires coursework and a dissertation based on the research project the student conducted during their coursework. At least one of these requirements must be satisfied before the student earns their PhD degree. Certificate Programs:

Certificate programs are typically more specialized than Masters or PhD programs because they are designed for people with specific interests. Certificate programs may require students to complete a certain number of courses in a specified time frame but don’t require students to complete an original research project or dissertation.

Ph.D. Dissertations vs. Ph.D. Theses

A dissertation is an original academic research project that a student conducts and communicates results in the form of a paper. A thesis is a scholarly work submitted by a candidate for an academic degree or diploma.

Unlike dissertations, theses are not usually considered intellectual property of their authors, as they are generally either unpublished or of limited distribution. However, some universities do require that students acknowledge that their theses belong to the institution and are available for limited public scrutiny.

Master’s theses vs Master’s dissertations

The difference between a master’s thesis and a master’s dissertation is the level of research. Theses are less formal than dissertations and focus solely on the main topic of investigation.

A master’s thesis is a project, such as a paper, that students submit in order to earn a degree after finishing their course work. A dissertation is an original contribution to knowledge in the form of an essay based on extensive research.


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