Occasionally when discussing these final projects dissertation and thesis may be used interchangeably. However because they are written for different reasons, they have a few characteristics that set them apart. Don’t become overly concerned whether or not your writing a dissertation transcript or a thesis paper because it will typically depend on your graduating goal which type of report you will be writing. The most important thing to keep in mind is that both these papers are extremely important to your academic career, and you will need to be prepared to invest the time into them if you are aspiring to become an expert in your field.
Generally in the US, a thesis is the final project for the masters degree and a dissertation leads to a doctoral degree. Those pursuing a masters degree must perform research on a specific subject that demonstrates their knowledge acquired through their program. Seeking a PhD is different in that your dissertation must contribute something completely new and undiscovered to your field. In other words, you have to contribute original knowledge to the subject. So the main difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the depth of knowledge you must attain in order to write the paper.