Thesis vs Dissertation – Should both of them be differentiated or not?

Most among you will agree on the point: Thesis vs dissertation is same. If both, thesis and dissertation is same; then, why people want to know the difference between thesis and dissertation even definition of thesis vs dissertation i.e. “any formal discourse in speech or writing” is identical. In a broader perspective, there are some differences that exist between thesis and dissertation.

Basically, thesis is a general requirement for students to earn their Master’s degree while dissertation is the fundamental requirement for those students who want to earn a doctorate degree. The situation for thesis and dissertation reverses in a few countries where students earn Master’s degree through dissertation and doctorate degree through thesis.

Here is a list of some common difference between thesis and dissertation:

1. Original research is the cornerstone of a dissertation while thesis is usually based on information i.e. already available to you as a secondary data.

2. Thesis does not consume time as it is short whereas dissertation takes sufficient time from students to get completed.

3. Hypothesis is the fundamental requirement of a thesis while you need to concentrate on the new discoveries to infer conclusion in a dissertation.

4. Thesis is basically written by students to obtain scholarships for higher studies; however, dissertation is just written for an academic purpose.

5. Primary arguments are the main focus of students in a thesis while students focus on background research in a dissertation.

6. Addition of novel findings is a necessity for writing dissertation. In contrast to dissertation, research work serves as a base to prove your viewpoint in a thesis.

7. Thesis is more like an academic research paper while dissertation is like an academic book.

8. Dissertation is comprised of theories and arguments based on the original research while thesis is generated through hypothetical analysis of your collected data.


They were a few differences between thesis and dissertation about which an academic student should know about. Some scholars agree with the point that there is no difference between thesis and dissertation and some differentiates the two; therefore, yet the comparison of thesis vs dissertation is up in the air.