Master's Thesis Committee

Following admission to a masters program, the student in a degree program that requires a thesis confers with the degree program coordinator of the academic program and selects an advisor, or "major professor," from among the graduate faculty who have permission from their department chair to direct a Masters thesis and who are willing to assume the responsibility. Master's thesis committees must be formulated by masters students in masters programs requiring a thesis. In some programs, the chair may be assigned to the student. The committee must consist of a minimum of three members of the Graduate faculty, including the student's major professor, who will serve as Chair of the committee. In some instances, a Co-chair may be part of the committee makeup.

Only faculty holding Member (Full) Graduate Faculty status may serve as the Master's Thesis Committee Chair. If there are more than three members on the committee, there must be greater than 50% GSU faculty representation. The committee may include not more than one voting non-Georgia Southern University faculty. This individual must hold Affiliate Graduate Faculty status at Georgia Southern University, be appointed to the graduate faculty, and be approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Adjunct faculty can not serve on a Master's Thesis committee.

The student must submit the completed Application for Thesis Title and Committee Member Approval Form  to the College of Graduate Studies for committee approval and have the non-Georgia Southern committee member complete the online process. The College of Graduate Studies gives final approval for non-Georgia Southern committee members. Changes in the Committee membership must be submitted on the Committee Member Change form and be approved by the College of Graduate Studies.

All members of a student's dissertation committee participate as peers and have the responsibility for planning the program of study, advising the student, and ensuring that the student's master's program is of high quality.

Should some departments have Thesis Committee membership requirements that are more stringent than stated above, the department policy will be adhered to.


Candidates who undertake a thesis should schedule their work to allow sufficient time for review by the major professor and the committee and for making any necessary revisions before proceeding to the final examination. With unanimous approval of the committee, a student majoring in Modern Languages may write a thesis in a language other than English, provided that the language is clearly appropriate to the subject matter. If the thesis requires the use of human subjects, animals, or biohazardous materials, the student is required to comply with University policies and procedures. The compliance policies and procedures can be found at

The candidate must provide a copy of the thesis (electronic or hard copy format) to each member of the committee and all members of the committee must certify that they have received acceptable copies of the thesis before a final defense can be scheduled. A copy of the thesis must also be available at the defense. Following a successful final defense, the candidate must submit an electronic copy of the thesis to the College of Graduate Studies Electronic Thesis and Dissertation site for format check by the semester stated deadline. Late submissions will not be accepted. When the format check has been completed, the electronic document is returned to the student. Once the student has made all format corrections and changes, the student should ask his/her major professor and committee if they wish to review the electronic document before the final corrected copy is submitted to the College of Graduate Studies. The student must make all corrections and the electronic document must be in final and acceptable form, incorporating any revisions required by the committee. Information regarding the ETD can be found on the COGS web site. The final corrected copy must be submitted and received by the final submission deadline stated in the university academic calendar.

Thesis Continuous Enrollment Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Continuous Enrollment policy states that "All thesis students who have registered at least once for courses titled thesis or dissertation must be continuously enrolled every semester thereafter, including the semester of graduation. Summer registration is not required unless summer is the graduation semester." Check with your major advisor to see if your college has a different, or additional, continuous enrollment requirement(s) that apply.

  • A grade of "IP" will be recorded for all thesis or dissertation credit hour work in progress and will automatically be recorded each semester the student is enrolled.
  • The grade of "S" or "U" must be recorded for all theses or dissertation credit hours when completed.
  • The advisor and/or major professor will report a final thesis or dissertation grade of "S" or "U". Any reported grade other than "S" or "U" will be changed to an "S" or "U" grade according to the following: REPORTED GRADE OF "A", "B", "C" = "S", "D", "F" = "U"
  • Upon completion of the thesis, or dissertation requirements, final grades for preceding semesters will be changed to the appropriate grade.

Should a student not register each semester as required by the continuous enrollment policy, the student will be required to register and pay tuition and fees for the missed semesters. Tuition and fee payment is due for the missed registration semesters at the beginning of the semester the student resumes his/her study providing the student is eligible to return and resume registration.

A student who has been approved for a medical or a non-medical leave of absence is not required to be registered while under the approved leave period.