Preparation and completion of a thesis are optional for master's degree programs. A number of preliminary steps are required before registration for the thesis will be accepted by the Registrar. The student completes the Proposal for Thesis form (available online or at the Graduate Records Office), in which the proposed subject, hypothesis, and methodology are described. The student secures the approval signature of a faculty member who will serve as advisor. The student must also secure approval of the proposed thesis and thesis advisor from the department chair and/or program coordinator and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. Only after the Registrar has received the approved form will the student be permitted to register for the thesis. A thesis will carry no fewer than six academic credits taken over no fewer than two academic terms. A preliminary draft must be presented to the advisor at least 75 days prior to commencement. Upon approval by the advisor and the program coordinator, unbound copies are presented to the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. A date and time will then be scheduled by the thesis advisor for the thesis defense before the student’s thesis committee and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies or his/her designee. Successful defense of the thesis must be completed at least three weeks prior to the date of commencement. Students must complete and defend the thesis within the time limit for completion of the degree.
After successful defense and the approval of the thesis by the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, thesis credit is awarded, and final, unbound copies for Graduate Studies to be forwarded for binding at the university library, where the thesis becomes a part of the permanent collection. Additional copies may be required by the department or the program coordinator.
For guidance in the preparation of theses, graduate students should consult the university’s Dissertation and Thesis Manual (3rd edition, 2015). Questions not resolved by the instructions should be settled in consultation with the advisor and by reference to a standard style manual.