Thesis & Dissertation

Student writing

Number 1  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, 2021 conferral, deadline is December 1.
  • For May 30, 2021 conferral, deadline is May 1.
  • For August 31, 2021 conferral, deadline is August 1.

See our Planning Timeline for more detailed information.


Number 2  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:
Resources for Writing:
Resources for Completion:

Number 3  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.


Number 4 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.