Graduate Program Director Handbook

Chapter 4: Theses and Dissertations

4.1 Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of the thesis or dissertation is to show evidence of the graduate student's development as a consumer of research and knowledge. The process of writing a thesis or dissertation starts very early - at the point of writing a proposal. Several graduate programs have formatting guidelines and thesis timelines of their own.  It is important that students are mindful of these program-specific policies. Where those guidelines are more exacting than the ones listed here, and where a program’s deadlines are earlier than the ones listed here, those program-specific guidelines/timelines take precedence.


For non-graduate faculty to serve as a thesis or dissertation committee member, a Request for External Thesis/Dissertation Committee Member form must be completed per 2004 Graduate Council decision.  The form must be completed by the department and forwarded to The Graduate School for approval. 


Step One: Proposal  

Step Two: Writing  

Step Three: Defense  

Step Four: First Submission  

Step Five: Second Submission  

Step Six: Final Submission