As a contribution to knowledge in written, drawn, or other form, a thesis marks a closure in the student’s education. Based on the success of this closure, the student becomes a graduate. This is a deeply grounded tenet in a research university like MIT.
However, this closure also provides overtures in many directions: One contribution to knowledge opens doors for others to walk through and open new doors. Oftentimes, graduates also take their thesis outcome with them, launching careers around their new expertise and its possible deployment.
But perhaps the most lasting overture of the thesis is the personal approach that every student inevitably develops—a unique way of looking at the world, formulating their own arguments, positing unprecedented questions, sometimes even inventing the media to best express their argument, imagining innovative solutions, and along the way, becoming inimitably themselves.
Dean, MIT School of Architecture and Planning