One of my former students is moving on next fall to Comprehensive Research University, having been admitted to their Ph.D program in philosophy. He was asking me for advice on a dual track they have at CRU for fulfilling the requirements for getting your M.A. degree.
The first option is extra coursework. Instead of taking 6 courses (18 credits), you have to take 10 (30 credits). Basically, this means almost four semesters of coursework compared to two.
The second option is 6 courses, but in addition an 80 page master's thesis.
I already told the student my own opinion here, but given that I'm not looking to argue or defend them, but rather garner extra perspectives, I'll leave off posting them here (for now). Instead, as I said, I'm curious what other people think about this. If there are opinions that differ from my own, I'll pass them along to my student so that he has a full range of opinions.
Some other information that may or may not be helpful:
1. The student is planning on staying at CRU, so he isn't planning on leaving after his M.A. to go to a different school for his Ph.D. But if he did want to leave -- would it make a difference?
2. The student is leaning towards a desire to teach at a four-year college as opposed to a research university.
Thanks in advance -- if there are other questions that would help you to answer the question, feel free to ask!