Thesis Information

Thesis Defense Deadlines for 2015-16:

Fall 2015

Dec. 5th, 2015

Spring 2016

April 24th, 2016

Responsibilities of Advisors - Thesis

Responsibilities of Students - Thesis

Thesis Preparation InstructionsSide view of Max Chambers Library

Some graduate programs require a master’s thesis. Students completing a thesis should follow the instructions of their thesis committees concerning the development and preparation of their projects. Additionally, thesis students must comply with the JCGS and the Chambers Library requirements. See the Thesis Packet for further explanations and details.

Thesis Committee

Students should consult their graduate program advisor early in their master’s programs for requirements or thesis committees and for thesis preparation. Once a student’s thesis committee has been formed, the student must submit a signed copy of the Graduate Thesis Committee Form to the JCGS. Students can obtain the forms from their program department or from JCGS Forms page.

Thesis Hours

The maximum number of thesis hours which may be applied toward any graduate program is six (6) except that the maximum for the MFA in Design is twelve (12).

Once enrolled in thesis hours, a student must remain continuously enrolled in thesis hours during each fall and spring semesters until full completion of all thesis requirements have been met.

Thesis hours completed during the development and preparation of a thesis but prior to its final completion will be assigned an “X” grade and will contribute to the “Hours Attempted” and “Hours Earned” sections of the student’s transcript. The “X” grade will not, however, contribute the graduate GPA.

Once the thesis is completed, the thesis committee chair will assign a Passing or Failing grade ("P" or "F"). While a grade of "P" will not contribute to the graduate GPA, an "F" grade will contribute to the overall graduate GPA and will prevent the student from graduating.

Timing of Thesis

Any student who has completed all course work must complete his/her thesis within the following two full academic years (two fall and two spring semesters) beginning with enrollment in the first thesis course. The terminal MFA degree is the one standard exception to this thesis timing rule. Any other exception request to extend beyond two academic semesters must be made in writing to the graduate dean.

Public Thesis Defense

A graduate student who submits a thesis must publicly defend his/her thesis with a representative from the Graduate Council and a thesis defense committee present. Please fill out and submit the Thesis Defense Scheduling Form to Ms. Lana Canale. The Graduate College must have at least two (2) full weeks to schedule an appropriate Graduate Council Representative for your Thesis Defense.

Thesis Summary Document

The student is required to prepare a Thesis Summary Document for faculty use in his/her thesis defense. The intent is to cause the thesis student to verbalize his/her rationale for key research decisions and thus to assist him/her in defending those rationales before his/her committee. The document must include:

  1. Statement of the Problem or issue (one paragraph)
  2. Brief Summary of the Literature (one or two paragraphs)
  3. Thesis Statement (one or two sentences)
  4. Statement of the Research Methodology (one sentence)
    1. Examples of Qualitative Analysis, most applicable to studies of small groups, whole populations, or non-repetitive and non-repeatable phenomena include but are not limited to: Case study, participant observation, narrative, biography, focus group, textual and contextual, qualitative theory, philosophical and artistic.
    2. Examples of Quantitative Analysis, most applicable to studies of population samples and repetitive or repeatable phenomena include but are not limited to: Scientific, survey, quantitative theory, statistical, and predictive.
  5. Brief Summary of Findings (one paragraph)
  6. Confirmation, Modification, or Denial of Thesis (one sentence)
  7. Statement of the Significance of the Findings (one or two paragraphs)
  8. Suggestions for Future Research (one or two sentences; optional)

Thesis Format Requirements

A candidate completing his/her thesis for his/her master’s degree must submit the original title page, signature page and abstract page to the JCGS no later than the last day of classes in the same term they plan to graduate. These documents must be on file to graduate. For additional information, contact the Graduate Program Specialist at (405) 974-2527.

Thesis Submission Requirements

Following successful public defense of the thesis, students must submit the thesis in both paper and electronic formats. For additional information, visit Chambers Library website at or call Special Collections at 405.974.2882.

Nicole Willard, Archivist Chambers Library,, 405.974.2885