Thesis – Master's or Specialist

Thesis – Master's or Specialist

The thesis should represent the culmination of an independent research project conducted by the student, and demonstrate understanding of the related literature and research methodology. The thesis is expected to be written in grammatically correct English and conform to accepted standards used in research writing in the discipline of study, as well as conforming to the formatting requirements established in the Graduate School Thesis Manual. In special cases, languages other than English may be used; the substitution is not permitted as a matter of the student's convenience, but may be allowed when the student has sufficient skill at composition and has a thesis topic that is, in the judgment of the advisor, especially suited to treatment in the second language. The Graduate Dean's approval of the use of a language other than English must be obtained in advance.

The department chair may approve any member of the department's graduate faculty to act as chair of the thesis committee and to supervise the writing of the thesis. The candidate's thesis advisor and at least two graduate faculty members will constitute the thesis committee. One graduate faculty member from another department or institution may be appointed with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. No more than one member of the thesis committee may be from another department or institution.

Before being permitted to register for thesis credit, the student must:

  1. be admitted to candidacy
  2. have presented a prospectus or research abstract to the thesis committee, and
  3. applied for any necessary IRB or IACUC approval to work with human or animal subjects,

For all students pursuing the thesis option in a program, all thesis hours will be considered program of study hours, some of which may be over and above the minimum stated hours for the degree.

Thesis grading:

Students who are judged by the thesis committee chair to be making satisfactory progress in the term of enrollment will be assigned a grade of SP by the chair for that term. Students who are not progressing satisfactorily will be assigned a grade of UP.

If a grade of UP is assigned, the thesis committee must determine if the student should be allowed to enroll in further thesis hours, and report its decision to the Graduate School. Before being allowed to continue graduate study, students who are not approved to enroll in further thesis hours must request and be approved for a change of program out of the thesis option. Thesis hours will not count in the resulting revised program of study, and the thesis grades will remain SP/UP on the transcript.

Completion of thesis:

The thesis defense should be completed at least 10 calendar days before the last regular class day, and the final draft of the thesis must be submitted to the graduate school no later than 7 calendar days prior to the last regular class day. The Graduate School will review the thesis for style and format, and return the manuscript to the student within 15 business days of submission.

Students may be required to make modifications and resubmit for additional review prior to signature by the Dean of the Graduate School. Once the Dean has signed the thesis, the thesis requirement is met, and the grade in all thesis hours will be changed to S. This entire approval process must be completed by the day before the next academic term begins or the student will not be eligible to graduate until the next term. For detailed information on the thesis process, the student should refer to the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook, available from the Graduate School (