The thesis program has two different concentration areas. Management of NGOs area of concentration can be completed by either writing or not writing a thesis and the program with the Civil Society Studies concentration can only be completed by writing a thesis. The thesis students must indicate their preference during their application and admission process.
Students are eligible to graduate from the thesis program after completing a minimum of 8 courses (24 credits), a one semester long seminar, and the successful completion of a graduate thesis.
The students of the graduate program without thesis must complete a minimum of 10 courses (30 credits) and successfully complete their graduate project.
In order for the students to graduate from a program following their coursework, they must successfully defend a thesis prepared in accordance with the scientific criteria in front of a jury (for thesis program), or defend their graduate project prepared in accordance to scientific criteria (but with a narrower and more practical scope) in front of a jury (for the program without thesis). Acceptance into the graduate program with a thesis requires the student to have an exemplary academic track record.
In order to obtain a Social Projects and NGO Management MA degree, a thesis student is required to take four core curriculum courses with an NGO prefix and four elective courses while a non-thesis student is required to take six elective courses added to four core courses with the NGO prefix. In accordance with the subject area of the thesis or project, a student can also take courses from other graduate programs at İstanbul Bilgi University.