Theses and Dissertations

A student completing a program in which a thesis or dissertation is required must undergo a process involving three primary steps on the way to satisfying the thesis or dissertation requirement. These steps must come in proper order, and each subsequent step cannot be undertaken until the student has successfully completed the prior step.

  1. The thesis or dissertation is defended by the student before the appropriate program committee.
  2. The student makes any modification(s) that may be required by the committee and submits the revised thesis or dissertation to the chair (or Co-chairs) or the committee (or designee) for a final reading approval if required.
  3. The student submits the thesis or dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies for format check in the required electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) (URL) style via the ETD web site by the format submission deadline -

Theses and dissertation students must submit the dissertation in electronic format. The Electronic Thesis and Dissertation policies and procedures are discussed in detail on the College of Graduate Studies Website.

Following a successful dissertation defense, the candidate must make any corrections or changes to the dissertation that are required by the defense committee. The student must submit the dissertation as an electronic file (ETD) required by the College of Graduate Studies for format review by the format review deadline -

Once the format check process is complete, satisfactory documents are sent on to the committee for their revisions and approvals. If more discipline specific format corrections are to be made, the student must make the changes and submit the final corrected electronic version to the College of Graduate Studies by the final submission deadline as posted for the semester.  The student should check with his/her dissertation chair and committee members to determine if the dissertation committee chooses to re-review the document before final electronic submission to the College of Graduate Studies.

Thesis, Dissertation (Supervisory) Committees

A supervisory or dissertation committee is composed of members of the graduate faculty who are approved by the College of Graduate Studies to serve on the committee and charged with the guidance of a student admitted to a specific graduate degree program. The committees consist of a Chair (or Co-Chairs) and must have a total of at least three members. The committee Chair must hold Graduate Faculty Member status. The Committee Chair (or Co-Chairs) must be endorsed by the academic department in which the degree is housed. The majority of the committee membership must hold appointments in the academic unit responsible for the program.

Appointment of a Thesis or Dissertation Committee is initiated by the academic unit by submitting the Application for Approval of Thesis Topic and Committee Membership Form for thesis students or the Dissertation Committee Membership Approval Form for doctoral students. The form must include a recommended committee membership based on a reasonable match between student and faculty academic interests. Once the College of Graduate Studies is satisfied with the recommended committee, he or she formally approves the committee and provides appropriate notifications. A change in committee membership can be made after initial appointment but only according to the  policies and procedures developed by the academic unit and only with the approval of the College of Graduate Studies. The committee membership recommendation form must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies within two (2) weeks of the academic unit committee recommendation.