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Thesis Process

Requirements

A thesis must be the student's own work and must demonstrate a capacity for research and independent thought.

Step 1:  Forming a thesis committee

When a thesis is required for a master's degree, the student must submit a Request for Thesis Committee form (M2) or a Request for Dual Master’s Thesis Committees form (DM2) for approval by the program's director of graduate studies and the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the student's second semester. More »

Step 2: Enrolling

Students expecting to present a thesis, manuscript, project, portfolio, dissertation or take comps must be enrolled in the term when that activity occurs. More »

Step 3: Preparing the thesis

If a thesis is required, it must be the student's own work and must demonstrate a capacity for research and independent thought.

A student writing a thesis should refer to the dissertation and thesis guidelines and a copy of academic program requirements from the director of graduate studies.

Consult the academic deadlines for master's students to see the thesis deadline for the current year.

Thesis acceptance

The thesis is approved by the major adviser, a second reader from the academic program and an outside reader who is a member of the graduate faculty from a different MU graduate program. Students must supply committee members with copies for review and evaluation.

After successfully defending the thesis, the student makes any needed adjustments in format and corrections or clarifications based on input from the committee.

The thesis is submitted as PDF file on an optical disk, either a CD or DVD, to the Office of Graduate Studies by the established deadline.

Step 4: Reporting requirements

After the successful defense of the thesis, the members of the student's committee must sign the Report of the Master's Examining Committee form (M3), which is then forwarded through the academic program's director of graduate studies to the Graduate School.

Step 5: Submitting

The thesis is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies on a high-quality optical disk, either a CD or DVD. The thesis must be a portable document format (PDF) file, with the appropriate margins and formatting. The disk must be readable on a standard PC running the most current version of Microsoft Windows supported by the Graduate School. Additional electronic materials may also be included, providing they are of the appropriate file type and version. If all files will not fit on one disk, multiple disks may be used. However, no single file may be split between disks.

Paper documents that accompany the electronic submission

Several paper documents must be included with the thesis disk, including a signed Approval of the Committee form, paper copies of the short academic abstract and title page, and the copyright agreement forms. See the guidelines for more information.