Scholarly inquiry

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Additional Information

Advising for scholarly inquiry

Format guidelines: required sections for  theses

Protection of human subjects

Samples of scholarly inquiry projects

Course work option for scholarly inquiry

Forms and Documents

Scholarly inquiry plan and student contract

Scholarly paper checklist

Supervisory committee form

Title page for project, thesis
or course work option

Use of human and animal subjects

The UW Tacoma Nursing program requires that each student complete a scholarly inquiry project (non-thesis option) or thesis. To assist students in developing their scholarly inquiry project or thesis, a one-credit seminar (TNURS 598) is offered each Spring and Autumn Quarter. The seminar covers how to choose the supervisory committee (see advising for scholarly inquiry) and thesis or project proposal development. Specific information about scholarly inquiry projects and thesis is below. Those students planning a scholarly inquiry project that will include six credits of 500-level courses should not take the TNURS 598 Seminar, but should follow the additional directions found in the course work option for scholarly inquiry.

Scholarly inquiry projects

  1. The scholarly inquiry project reflects an integration of knowledge gained from course work and demonstrates an extension of knowledge within the focused area of scholarly inquiry.
  2. The scholarly inquiry project is mutually agreed upon by the student and Supervisory Committee.
  3. Scholarly inquiry projects are maintained in the UW Tacoma Nursing Program office and not filed with The Graduate School or catalogued in the UW Library.
  4. Scholarly inquiry projects may be individual or collaborative, group efforts.
  5. Scholarly inquiry projects involve use of at least one aspect of the research process. Examples include:
    • literature review on a topic
    • development of a research proposal
    • development of a research or evaluation tool
    • secondary data analysis
    • evidence-based practice project
    • quality improvement project
    • case study of community, agency, or organizational unit
    • curriculum development
    • community or population assessment
    • program development
    • program evaluation
    • development of a proposal for submission to an external funding agency/institution
  6. A minimum of six credits of TNURS 598 is required. Students may take additional credits of TNURS 598. The one-credit TNURS 598 Scholarly Inquiry seminar counts as one of the required six credits. If a student is taking additional course work as part of his or her scholarly inquiry project, see course work option for scholarly inquiry.
  7. In all cases of scholarly inquiry project options, students must complete a proper title page with committee signatures and written summary of work, to be developed in consultation with the student's chair and committee. This summary of scholarly inquiry work will be bound and submitted.


Successful completion of the thesis must:

  1. Demonstrate use of scientific inquiry, including a formal, written proposal identifying researchable questions and methods; data gathered to answer the question, data analysis, discussion and conclusions.
  2. Be relevant for the discipline of nursing and within the context of advanced and specialized nursing practice,
  3. Be primarily an independent or collaborative project, and
  4. Have results and processes communicated via a formal written report filed with The Graduate School. The thesis is catalogued in the UW Library System and the written document must conform to The Graduate School's requirements for Final Submission of Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD).
  5. Include completion of a minimum of nine credits of TNURS 700.
  6. Include submission of an Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD).  Students submitting an ETD should read through information posted on The Graduate School website: Final Submission of Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation.

Process for scholarly inquiry project or thesis

  1. A Supervisory Committee Form must be signed by your chairperson and committee member(s). The original form must be submitted to the Graduate Advisor.
  2. All students forming supervisory committees must complete and submit the Use of Human and Animal Subjects for Theses and Dissertations Form, confirming they have been informed of the need to comply with the University of Washington's rules regarding the Human Subjects Division and/or Institutional Animal Care and the Use Committees' requirements for researchers. This form should be completed before creating a committee.
  3. The proposal or plan for the scholarly inquiry project or thesis must be approved by the supervisory committee prior to the student beginning activities (or course work) to fulfill the plan. The supervisory committee and student must sign the “Scholarly Inquiry Plan and Contract” form signifying agreement on the scholarly inquiry (project or thesis) plan and product. The scholarly project proposal includes the activities that will be engaged in and the outcomes that are expected. If a student chooses to complete a master’s thesis, the student will work with his or her supervisory committee in developing the research proposal.
  4. If the project involves the collection of data from or about human subjects, a human subjects application is required. (See Information on human subjects.)
  5. During the working phase of the project or thesis, students and faculty maintain close contact with meetings, phone calls, or e-mails. The frequency and nature of contact varies depending on the student’s need and the faculty involved. Faculty expect students to contact them regularly about their progress.
  6. Once a student has a committee and is enrolled in TNURS 598 (project) or TNURS 700 (thesis), student must remain continuously enrolled  (AUT, WIN, SPR) in TNURS 598 or TNURS 700 until graduation, unless the student has obtained on-leave status from the UW Graduate School.

Steps for the final approval of the scholarly inquiry project or thesis

  • Each student should discuss with his or her committee chair the final product for the scholarly inquiry project or thesis and the final exam. Begin this process early, as it is common to have multiple drafts of papers that must be reviewed.
  • Once the scholarly inquiry project or thesis is nearing completion, the student will present drafts of the manuscript to the supervisory committee chair. Students should allow at least two weeks for the chair to read the paper and provide feedback. The decision to give materials to other member(s) of the committee is a shared decision by the student and the chair.
  • The supervisory committee approves the scholarly inquiry project or thesis prior to the final examination of the student (see "Final Examination for Master's Degree" below). All committee members must have a final copy of the scholarly inquiry project or thesis two weeks before the final exam.
  • If the student is engaged in research with data from or about human subjects, the student should retain all signed consent forms for the time specified by UW Human Subjects.
  • The scholarly inquiry project or thesis MUST be approved by the supervisory committee and each title page signed (original signature) by the chair of the committee.
  • The student should turn in one spiral bound copy (with a clear plastic cover) of the scholarly inquiry project or thesis to the Graduate Program Advisor. Students should also give each member of the supervisory committee a bound copy. (NOTE: For thesis requirements, additional copies are required as noted below.)
  • All graduating students must complete the end of program survey.


  1. Students should follow The Graduate School requirements for Final Submission of Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation for preparing the final copies of the thesis. Each student should proofread all pages carefully after final typing. Errors must be corrected or retyped so corrections are not discernible.
  2. Students must check each page for lines at edge of pages and pages that are not aligned when reproduced. Students should also check also for any smudging or overall grayness of sheets and request that these be redone without additional cost, as they are not acceptable. Each thesis student should have The Graduate School check the format to make sure it is correct before making copies.
  3. Students should insure the name on the title sheet conforms to that on the Application for Degree and the permanent student records in The Graduate School. Each thesis student should be sure to indicate "Nursing Program - University of Washington Tacoma" in the space identified as "Program Authorized to Offer Degree."
  4. Each thesis must be approved and each title page signed (original signature) by the chair of the supervisory committee. (The title page secured to the outside of the envelope containing the thesis does not require a signature.)
  5. Thesis students should submit two signed copies of the thesis to The Graduate School in Seattle, before the deadline date, placing each copy in a manila envelope with an unsigned title sheet on the outside of each. Students should not punch holes in these copies.

Final examination for the master's degree

Scheduling of the final exam must occur in the quarter in which the degree requirements are met. According to University of Washington Graduate School Policy, the final examination may be written or oral and must be passed.

The Chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee arranges the time and place of the final examination, the results of which must be reported to the Graduate School by the last day of the quarter in which degree requirements are met. The Chairperson and committee members must sign the master’s application (warrant).