All CRP graduate students are required to complete an exit project paper. M.R.P. students can prepare a professional report, research paper, or master's thesis. CRP faculty strongly encourage M.R.P. students to prepare a professional report or a research paper. M.R.P. students also have the option of completing a master's thesis if he or she secures, by the end of second-semester classes, a conditional agreement by a CRP faculty member to oversee the thesis preparation. M.R.P. and M.A. students must also pass a final oral examination given by his or her graduate committee. The student's written document should essentially be complete before the oral examination is scheduled, and the examination must be held in accordance with graduate school regulations. Students must register for exit project credits using a manual add/drop form. The course number is CRP 8920 for M.R.P. exit projects.
Student should work closely with their graduate committee regarding the scope, content, and organization, of the submitted document and the nature of the final examination. A student's graduate committee must consist of at least two members of the graduate faculty or other faculty members approved by the graduate school. Both committee members must attend the final oral examination and sign the appropriate forms. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the independent writing requirements are satisfied.
All exit project papers must meet the format requirements of the graduate school. M.R.P. students should consult the graduate field administrator regarding these requirements. When approved by the student's graduate committee, a copy of the final document will be filed in the Fine Arts Library.
The three options for completing the independent writing requirement are:
Research papers are generally not more than 40 pages in length, plus notes and bibliography, and constitute the written product resulting from the student's independent research effort. A student earns 4 credits for a research paper. Typically, a research paper builds on research previously initiated by the student in a particular course. A student may not submit a paper previously submitted during a course. A student may, however, expand on or substantially revise a previously submitted paper as the basis for the research paper. Alternatively, a student may write a research paper to satisfy this requirement without basing it on work previously undertaken during a course. The scope of the research undertaken and the scope of the paper are intended to be substantially less than that required for a master's thesis.
The professional report reflects a student's efforts to solve a practical, real-world planning problem. A student may earn 4–10 credits for the professional report, with the actual number of credits determined by the student's graduate committee. Under most circumstances, the professional report will take the form of a report, study, or other document prepared for a real-world client (e.g. a municipality, a community organization, a research firm, a consulting firm, a developer; or a federal, state, international, or nongovernmental agency). Under special circumstances, the professional report may have a hypothetical client or be aimed more generally at the public, representing the student's creative solution to an important planning problem. In all circumstances, the student's graduate committee will determine what additional elements may be appropriate for inclusion in the professional report. These additional elements may include materials describing the work done by the student for the client, a literature search, a description of the methodology employed in preparing material for the client, and the student's assessment of his or her experience in working for the client. The professional report may include but not be limited to work a student does for a client during a summer internship or during a fieldwork course.
Generally 75–125 pages in length, plus notes and bibliography, the master's thesis constitutes the written product resulting from the student's independent research effort. A student may earn between 6 and 10 credits for the master's thesis, with the actual number of credits to be determined by the student's graduate committee. The thesis should make an original contribution to knowledge in the field of planning, and demonstrate the student's familiarity with the literature and current debates in the field. Students planning to pursue a Ph.D. in the future should choose the thesis option, as most Ph.D. programs require it.
The following time frame is recommended in order to complete your degree within two years. Please be aware that this schedule is very tight.
|First year||Fall||Explore ideas, meet with faculty; attend seminars across campus.|
|First year||Spring||Begin discussing exit project ideas with chair; start initial background reading|
|First year||Summer||Begin research of field work|
|Second year||Fall||Clarify focus; work with chair on defining a question that links the literature to your data and method|
|Second year||January||Finish analysis and writing|
|Second year||Early February||First draft submitted|
|Second year||Late February||First draft returned with comments|
|Second year||March||Final draft submitted before spring break|
|Second year||April||Thesis examination must be scheduled one week in advance|
Final examinations to defend exit projects are scheduled at the discretion of the committee, based on the project's level of completion. The defense is a discussion between the student and special committee about the student's project. Note: Some students tape record their defense to capture the conversation for future use when making final edits.
At least one week prior to the defense date, download and complete a Schedule of Examination form M2 from the Students Forms page:
M.R.P. students must email the graduate field coordinator a draft of the exit project in as a Word document (.doc) for formatting review before it is bound. Please submit the exit project to the graduate field coordinator for final formatting at least two days prior to the Graduate School deadline. The coordinator will review the document for formatting issues including margins, illustrations, page numbering, etc. and will email it back to you with minor corrections already made, or a list of corrections still needed. Presently, M.R.P. students cannot submit the exit project electronically; bound paper copies must be submitted to the graduate field coordinator. Please note that the copying and binding process can take up to two to four weeks, so allow plenty of time for each step, but note that the final deadline for submission is the final day of the semester.
Exit project submission:
Note: Olin Library Copy Center, located in the basement of Olin Library in B41, will complete steps one to three.
Students typically have the two bound copies sent directly to the graduate field coordinator. For students no longer in Ithaca, the graduate field coordinator can get the adviser to sign the abstract page of the bound copies. Both copies of the bound exit project will be held in the Fine Arts Library.
Copying and Binding Information
Full service: Olin Library Copy Center, B41 Olin Library, (607) 255-4700. Electronic copies can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, original Approval of Thesis forms printed on archival paper must still be delivered to Olin to be bound into the exit project. Olin Library has a bindery service that picks up every two weeks and, for a small fee, will also deliver them to the CRP Graduate Office when the bound copies are received back.
Gnomon Copy, 722 South Meadow St., Suite 700, (607) 273-3333, http://www.gwecopy.com
Copy Center, B59 Day Hall, Cornell University (607) 255-2326
Kinko’s, 409 College Ave., (607) 273-0050 and 605 W. State St., (607) 272-0202
Olin Library Copy Center is the only bindery in Ithaca.
Publishing online through the library's eCommons is an additional option that does not substitute for the required bound copies. Cornell Library has a digital archiving space called eCommons that is a permanent online repository for academic work of students and faculty. Documents uploaded to eCommons are searchable through the university catalog and Google Scholar.
How it works
Anyone affiliated with Cornell can upload work, including all the metadata (date of publication, keywords, client or sponsor if any, etc.) for that document, and it is housed in a collection in the system. Any format is allowed, but for archival purposes, PDF is highly recommended.
Benefits of using eCommons
Submissions to eCommons
It is very important to provide as much good metadata as possible.
CRP Collection on eCommons
Users can view previously submitted exit projects and other student work in the CRP collection on eCommons.