Defense and Thesis/Dissertation Submission

MSE MS thesis students and PhD students preparing to present their thesis/dissertation or submit their thesis/dissertation should follow the steps outlined below.

Effective with January 2015 graduation, all theses and dissertations will be submitted to the library electronically. 

The Divisions still require two copies of your document, including signature pages, on regular paper (one is a gift to your advisor).


  • MS students:.
    • 3 Weeks Prior to Defense — email to the Graduate Programs Manager your Title, Abstract, Committee Members’ names, date and time of defense
    • 2 Weeks Prior to Defense — submit the “Final Thesis Presentation Form”.
  • PhD students should follow the Final Oral Requirements outlined in the PhD Handbook. Some timelines to keep in mind:

** NOTE for both:  When you defend, if your committee requires revisions to your thesis or dissertation, you may want to have all but one committee member (usually your advisor) sign your signature pages.  This is a helpful practice in instances where committee members might be traveling when you have completed the revisions and are ready to submit to the Division and the library.  This is often an issue in December/January or the summer when faculty are most likely to be traveling.

Library Submission:

When you prepare your thesis or dissertation, follow the Library Guide and consult with Brendan McDermott (contact information below). He will be checking your document for formatting, not content. Once you receive his approval for the formatting and receive final approval from your Committee for the content, you need to:

  • Prepare whatever the Library requires for submission (confirm with Mr. McDermott).
  • Provide the Division with your thesis/dissertation signature page.  This must be a hard copy with your committee members’ ORIGINAL (not electronic) signatures on the signature page.
  • The Division will bind two copies, one for our records and the other as a courtesy to your research advisor.

Once you have submitted your thesis or dissertation, the Graduate Programs Manager will prepare a Memo of Completion (MS students) or a Final Progress Report (PhD students) and submit it the Graduate Programs Office.