Dissertation VS Thesis What is the Difference?

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Dissertation VS Thesis What is the Difference?

There are various confusions among students about different things. However, in higher education, the most common confusion is the difference between a dissertation and a thesis. Most people use the terms interchangeably. However, it is not accurate as the terms refer to different kinds of academic projects. There are some similarities between both though, yet the basic difference is there.

As said earlier, both dissertation and thesis can be used interchangeably by some people. Yet, the best dissertation editors suggest that you know the difference in order to go through the course most apt for your project. Otherwise, you might end up making your thesis a dissertation and vice versa. So, let us discuss the factors that decide whether your paper is a dissertation or a thesis.

The most common definition of both these terms is that they are academic papers that are usually written at the end of an academic degree. You cannot earn your degree without completing your dissertation or thesis in most cases. Some degrees, however, do give options to students for


It is strange but that is how education systems work around the world. You might find yourself writing a dissertation to complete a degree in one part of the world and a thesis for the same degree in another part.

There are two major differences between both the terms as far as the location is concerned.

In the United States of America, in order to earn a master’s degree, students are supposed to write a thesis. However, for a doctoral degree, a dissertation is required from students at the end of the program.

On the other hand, in Europe, it is almost the opposite in most cases. Students write a doctoral thesis at the end of their Ph.D. degrees whereas a dissertation comes at the end of post-graduate degree programs.

Hence, things become cloudy for people in various regions of the world. If you are not a US native or European citizen, you might need to check with your education system. If your education system follows the US patterns, then follow the US terms and vice versa.

From here on, let us evaluate the difference between a thesis and a dissertation as they are understood in Europe.

The Intended Purpose:

One of the biggest differences between both terms is the varying purpose of both kinds of academic papers. A dissertation, written at the end of your master’s degree is smaller in canvas as well as length when compared with a thesis. A thesis, as we have discussed, comes at the end of a doctoral degree. Hence, it requires students to come up with an original topic along with a specific area to do research.

In this venture, the student comes up with a unique idea, and while including the works and research of other people in their thesis, makes his or her own hypothesis and takes the research forward with new findings and conclusions.

A dissertation, on the other hand, remains limited to a small horizon. Here, the student makes a proposition and bases it on the research of other people in the past. The topic statement or proposition is then discussed by the student using academic works and arguments to prove or disapprove it.

While in the Ph.D. thesis, the student must come up with original research, the dissertation does not require such originality in terms of new ideas. In the thesis, you can prove or disprove a point using old facts. However, in the dissertation, you always require original research.

Difference Between Length:

Since the dissertation is for master’s students, it usually is less lengthy in comparison with a doctoral thesis. A dissertation is usually between 12,000 to 50,000 words. While it seems a lengthy paper to most undergrad students, for a Ph.D. degree pursuer, it is quite a small task. This is because your Ph.D. degree requires a thesis of around 100,000 words. This makes 400 pages in double spacing lines at 12 pt font size. Hence, the difference between the lengths of both these academic projects is quite a phenomenal one that can be used to distinguish easily.

Whether you are an undergrad student or are currently studying in a master’s degree program, understanding the difference between a thesis and a dissertation is vital. This is because sooner or later, you have to face these projects on your own. Hence, having a preunderstanding of things is good to do the job conveniently in the future. In case you feel overwhelmed by your dissertation at the end of writing, you always have the choice of hiring the best dissertation editors to refine it for you. However, it is you who has to do the job. So, prepare yourself and ace your summit degree with convenience.

By | 2022-11-28T09:18:19+00:00 July 16th, 2021|Academic|0 Comments

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