Thesis & Dissertation
Understanding Deadlines and Requirements
The final requirement in earning a graduate degree is the completion and defense of the master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Understanding the steps and associated deadlines in the thesis/dissertation submission and degree conferral process is necessary to establish a successful plan and realistic timeframe.
2020-2021 Thesis/Dissertation Submission Deadlines:
- December 31, 2020 conferral, deadline is December 1.
- For May 30, 2021 conferral, deadline is May 1.
- For August 16, 2021 conferral, deadline is August 1.
See our Planning Timeline for more detailed information.
Writing Your Thesis/Dissertation
The Graduate School offers several writing resources to help you get started, meet your goals, and complete your thesis/dissertation on time.
Before You Begin:
- Guide to Writing Your Thesis/Dissertation
- Fields Permitting the Use of Papers Option
- Required Sections, Guidelines, and Suggestions
- Formatting Requirements
- Fair Use, Copyright, Patent, and Publishing Options
Resources for Writing:
Resources for Completion:
Scheduling and Taking Your Final Exam
Once you have submitted your draft thesis/dissertation to your committee you are ready to defend. This involves scheduling and taking your final exam (“B” Exam), an oral exam/dissertation defense for Ph.D. candidates, or (“M” Exam), an oral exam/thesis defense for Master’s candidates.
Submitting Your Thesis/Dissertation
Policy requires the thesis/dissertation be submitted within 60 days of the final exam. The Graduate School uses a service called ProQuest to administer the electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD) submission and committee approval process. Once you have made any necessary revisions and the thesis/dissertation is final, you are ready to begin the approval and submission process. Before initiating the process, students are required to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.