Harvard’s tuition is only slightly more than the per credit hour cost of master’s degree tuition at both Kansas University and Kansas State University resident tuition and less expensive than out-of-state tuition for either of those institutions. Some state schools’ instate tuition may be more expensive than Harvard. The value provided by Harvard’s Extension School is very good and is less expensive than any other comparable option I could find. In addition it is less expensive than a number of much less reputable schools. (University of Phoenix online tuition works out to nearly $700 per credit hour and it looks like Capella’s tuition is in the $600 per credit hour range.)
Because the project lasts so long and delves extensively into its topic, the student should select a topic that is interesting and engaging. The creative student may, upon beginning research, discover that the chosen topic presents such a new idea to the field that no directly relevant research currently exists. In that case, the student must create the research from scratch. He or she should begin research by reading everything available that relates even indirectly to the field of study; for example, if the student is studying a Mesopotamian text upon which no one else has written, he or she may read journal articles and books that deal with other ancient texts from that location, language, or time period. This is called secondary research, and it aids the student in developing a voice of credibility. Secondary research provides an education in the terms, issues, history, and research authorities that belong specifically to that field of study, and the student who becomes conversant in all these areas can begin to write a masters thesis that can sway the opinions of experts in the field.