One-year MAPP students are required to complete a master's thesis. Overall the thesis component is worth 8 credits. 

All theses must address an appropriate research topic, which includes a defined field of research and a number of researchable questions to investigate.

Theses should demonstrate a good knowledge of the literature in the field of policy studies; contribute to the study of the field through original research and/or by relating the subject studies to the broader academic literature; and demonstrate analytic ability through the careful and critical use of relevant concepts and approaches.


All students enrolled in the one-year MAPP program are required to write a master’s thesis during their studies at CEU. A resident faculty member will supervise the thesis. Supervisors will be allocated taking into account substantive and methodological dimensions of the topic. The supervisor is the student’s primary contact during the research and thesis writing period. Supervisors are expected to read and comment on the thesis proposal, to meet the student half a dozen times during the supervision process, and to provide feedback on drafts of the thesis, if there is sufficient time to do so.

The mandatory thesis writing workshop (6 sessions) builds up on the guidance provided by the academic writing center and the different courses related to research methods and research design students took during the fall and the winter term.


The total length of the thesis must be 12,000 words (+/– 10%) and include: the title page, copyright notice, table of contents, list of figures, list of abbreviations, acknowledgments, references, abstract (maximum 200 words), footnotes, bibliography, and appendices. Tables and figures may be excluded from the word count.

Evaluation and Grading

Two DPP faculty members will read and evaluate the thesis. The thesis grade will be determined based upon their two written evaluations. There will be no oral defense after thesis submission. The MA Thesis Evaluation Form including the final grade and comments on the dissertation will be provided within six weeks of the submission date for those who submit by the deadline. 

Late submission results in 0.1 point grade deduction per business day.

Thesis Research Grants

CEU offers small grants to support master’s thesis research. Interested students must submit an application to Zoltan Wagner containing the grant application form, a summary of the project, the research timetable (days and location), a summary of advanced preparations undertaken, the supervisor's recommendation, and a detailed budget. Applicants must also submit a travel grant report and original invoices for all expenses to the Grants Management Office within 30 days of the completion of their research. If the master's thesis grant is not used according to the budget that was submitted, the University may insist that the grant be refunded. For further details, please click here.