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Academics:

Graduation

This guide to preparing for graduation applies to both MS and PhD students. A checklist of requirements is also available for download to help you track your progress.

Graduation Timeline

As the semester of your defense draws near, it's important to plan early so that you leave yourself enough time to complete all your degree requirements.

Requirements for all students

Additional requirements for PhD students

  • PhD students who first enrolled prior to Fall 2014: Have at least one first-authored paper submitted for publication
  • PhD students who first enrolled Fall 2014 and thereafter: Have at least one first-authored paper accepted for publication

With permission of your advisory committee, write your thesis/dissertation

  • The latest guidelines for preparing the thesis/dissertation can be found below.
  • You can download an example/template of the thesis/dissertation here.
  • Find recent GSBS theses and dissertations at the DigitalCommons@TMC.

Graduation Timeline

  • Semester prior to defense

    As the semester of your defense draws near, it's important to plan early so that you leave yourself enough time to complete all your degree requirements.

    Requirements for all students

    Additional requirements for PhD students

    • PhD students who first enrolled prior to Fall 2014: Have at least one first-authored paper submitted for publication
    • PhD students who first enrolled Fall 2014 and thereafter: Have at least one first-authored paper accepted for publication

    With permission of your advisory committee, write your thesis/dissertation

    • The latest guidelines for preparing the thesis/dissertation can be found below.
    • You can download an example/template of the thesis/dissertation here.
    • Find recent GSBS theses and dissertations at the DigitalCommons@TMC.

  • Semester of defense

    In the semester that you plan to defend, set defined due dates for yourself to make sure that you can complete all your requirements by the deadlines.

    Registration

    You must be registered for Thesis for Master of Science as an MS student of Dissertation for Doctor for Philosophy if a PhD student during the semester in which you complete your degree requirements.

    If you just miss a graduation deadline and your defense has been scheduled when the next term begins, you may request permission from Dr. Bill Mattox to register for just one hour of credit to save your advisor money. You should be aware that this may impact your student visa status, your ability to keep or defer student loans, or scholarships and fellowships, if any of these are applicable to you.

    Apply for Graduation through myUTH

    Visit myUTH to apply for graduation. Following successful application, a $100 graduation fee will be posted to your account that you are responsible for paying. Make sure to take care of this early in the semester, as the ability to apply for graduation will disappear from the myUTH portal when registration opens for the following semester.

    Schedule a meeting with Dr. Cherilynn Shadding or Nicolle Patterson

    Please set up a meeting with Dr. Shadding or Nicolle to talk briefly - as one of the newest members of the GSBS Alumni Association! - about your experiences at GSBS. To set up an appointment either before or after your defense, click here for Dr. Shadding, or here for Nicolle Patterson.

    Schedule an exit interview

    It's important to us to hear from you about your GSBS experience. We're always looking for ways to improve, and your opinions and insights are most welcome. The timing is up to you -- either before or after your defense! You don't have to prepare anything ahead of time and meetings usually last 20 to 30 minutes.

    Make sure to have a meeting to let your advisory committee know that you plan to write and defend your thesis/dissertation work. Your committee members can provide advice and guidance on what work you should include in your thesis/dissertation and on what work they'd like you to finish before you graduate.

    Notify Finance if your next position is at a Texas state institution

    If you will be employed by a Texas state institution after your immediately following graduation, it is important that you communicate with your departmental administrator and the GSBS (gsbs_finance@uth.tmc.edu) at least six weeks before you complete your degree requirements

  • At least two weeks before your defense

    All students must submit their Petition for Defense at least two weeks before their defense date. A complete petition includes:

    1. Signed Request for Defense form

    2. Submission of defense information and abstract through our online form for distribution in GSBS Essential

    3. Electronic version of your thesis for an anti-plagiarism check that includes complete thesis/dissertation without the references

    4. PDF of the draft of your thesis for formatting check – include all pages (i.e., approval page, title page, abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, figures, figure legends, references, vita, etc.)

    5. PDF of your updated CV (please include your publications, presentations, awards, etc.)

      Note: Exit forms will be sent to you by Bunny Perez once your defense petition is approved (see list of forms below)

  • Before graduation

    Submit a PDF of final thesis/dissertation

    A PDF copy of your thesis/dissertation, including the scan of the signed approval page, should be sent to gsbs.gradteam@uth.tmc.edu for a final format check.

    With permission, upload your thesis/dissertation to the TMC Digital Commons

    You will receive instructions to upload your thesis/dissertation to the Digital Commons after it passes the final format check. During this process, you may opt to embargo your document for one year. If you would like to extend the embargo for an additional year, you may email your request to Bunny Perez.

    Complete and submit all forms

    Submit the original thesis approval page signed by your committee, the results of your defense forms (see below), and exit forms to Bunny Perez in Academic Affairs

    MS results forms: Results of the Master of Science Defense and Evaluation of the MS Defense Performance

    PhD results forms: Results of the Defense of the PhD Dissertation and Evaluation of the PhD Defense Performance

    Optional: Order bound copies of your thesis/dissertation

    Contact Joy Lademora if you would like to purchase bound copies of your thesis/dissertation. The current rate for binding is $20.35 per book, but you can check with Joy to see if the rates have changed.

    Please submit a printed version for each copy you want bound, along with a check or money order made payable to UTHealth GSBS for the appropriate amount. 

    It usually takes several months to receive the books but the results are great -- nice binding with 'gold' lettering on the spine. You can see examples of the binding in the GSBS Schissler Library. This is optional and there is no deadline -- you may still request copies after you graduate.

Instructions for Preparation of the Thesis or Dissertation

Basic Requirements of the Thesis or Dissertation

The three most important requirements for preparation of the thesis are:

  1. The thesis must be an original document written by the student.
  2. The thesis must be clearly written, grammatically correct and free of typographical errors.
  3. Students may not simply bind their publications together in lieu of writing a thesis, but material from
    their previous publications or the work of others may be included if it meets the requirements below.

Students are encouraged to contact Dr. Natalie Sirisaengtaksin in Academic Affairs well in advance of submitting
the thesis/dissertation if they have questions.

Instructions for Preparation of the Thesis or Dissertation

  • Basic Requirements

    Basic Requirements of the Thesis or Dissertation

    The three most important requirements for preparation of the thesis are:

    1. The thesis must be an original document written by the student.
    2. The thesis must be clearly written, grammatically correct and free of typographical errors.
    3. Students may not simply bind their publications together in lieu of writing a thesis, but material from
      their previous publications or the work of others may be included if it meets the requirements below.

    Students are encouraged to contact Dr. Natalie Sirisaengtaksin in Academic Affairs well in advance of submitting
    the thesis/dissertation if they have questions.

  • Inclusion of material previously published by the student

    Inclusion of material previously published by the student

    The spirit of the thesis is that it is the student’s own work, which can be tricky in this age of team science.
    Work taken from publications authored or co-authored by the student may be included in the thesis, but the
    following rules apply:

    • Keep in mind that the student’s Advisor will be asked to attest on the Results of Defense form that the
      student contributed substantially to any text or figures included in the thesis.
    • If the thesis includes text or a figure which is part of the student’s publication but the work was done by
      someone other than the student, permission must be obtained from the individual and explicitly noted
      (e.g., “Used with permission...”) in the text or figure legend, as appropriate, and the role played by the
      other individual must also be clearly acknowledged in the text/figure legend.
    • The Introduction (first chapter) and Discussion (last chapter) of the thesis must be the student's own work
      and not taken verbatim from any publication. With permission from GSBS, an exception to this policy is
      made for text written exclusively by the student as part of a review article on which the student is the
      primary author. In that case, the work may be used in the Introduction. The Introduction and Discussion
      should provide a global view of the student’s work, including a discussion of “Future Directions” in the final
      chapter.
    • Materials and Methods and Results sections may include text and figures taken verbatim from the
      student’s previously published work. The complete reference and permission of the copyright holder to
      use the material must be cited.

    Students may use their publication(s) to form the basis of a chapter(s) -- the following rules apply:

    • Note at the start of the chapter “This chapter is based upon (insert full citation)” and cite the
      permission of the copyright holder (usually the publisher of the journal) using the language provided by
      the journal.
    • The text must be modified to the same style as the rest of the thesis – there should be good continuity
      (i.e., flow) between all chapters of the thesis and between each section of a chapter.
    • It is permissible to include text from the publication’s Introduction and Discussion in the chapter (note
      that this is different from the Introduction and Discussion of the thesis, which must be the student’s
      own work and not taken verbatim from any publication, as mentioned above).
    • The student is responsible for obtaining any necessary permission that is required to use previously
      published work. Journals’ websites will likely provide specific guidance for obtaining such permission.
      Please note that this process may take several weeks.
  • Inclusion of the published work of others

    Inclusion of the published work of others

    • Textual material taken from publications not authored by the student may be included if it is indented 1/2
      inch from the left margin, single-spaced, and properly referenced at the end of the text and in the
      bibliography.
    • Any reproduced text should generally be limited and have a clear purpose other than substituting for text
      that would normally be expected to be written by the author of an original thesis.
    • Figures from the work of others also may be included if clearly indicated and referenced in the figure
      legend.
    • The student is responsible for obtaining any necessary permission to use figures or text from the copyright
      owner and submitting it along with the thesis.
  • Arrangement

    Arrangement of the Thesis or Dissertation

    1. Approval Page

    2. Title Page

    3. Copyright*

    4. Dedication*

    5. Acknowledgments*

    6. Abstract (the Abstract will be immediately available online when your thesis is uploaded to the TMC Digital Commons even if your thesis is embargoed, so be mindful of including confidential information)

    7. Table of Contents (include titles of sections and page numbers where contents may be found – include all pages in the thesis, including the front pages, i.e., Approval Page, Title Page, etc.)

    8. List of Illustrations (separate page from the Table of Contents; include Figure #, titles of figures, and page numbers where figures may be found)

    9. List of Tables (separate page from the Table of Contents; include Table #, titles of tables, and page numbers where tables may be found)

    10. Abbreviations*

    11. Text

    12. Appendix*

    13. Bibliography (start on a new page – references should be double-spaced like the rest of your thesis and all authors’ names must be included -- do not use “et. al” or “...”)

    14. Vita (start on a new page and follow this format exactly – note that you are not required to include your date of birth – since your thesis will be available online at the Digital Commons, you may want to keep your DOB confidential )

    *Optional -- not all theses/dissertations contain these items

  • Formatting

    Formatting requirements

    MARGINS

    The left margin must be at least 1.25 inches, and the top, bottom and right margins at least 0.8 inch. Margins should be consistent throughout. The left margin is most critical since that is the side of the document wherebinding takes place. If a figure does not fit unless the right margin is less than 0.8 inches, that is OK.

    TEXT

    The text must be double-spaced. The first line of each paragraph should be indented 6 to 8 spaces.

    TITLE

    It is best to keep the thesis title concise -- 125 character limit for thesis titles is a requirement (not a recommendation), not including spaces – less is more! Ensure that the title is grammatically correct and scientifically appropriate.

    FONT

    The font size should be 11 or 12. Print should be dark black characters that are clear, e.g., Times Roman, Courier or Arial. Once a font style is chosen, be consistent -- all text in the thesis should be of the same style and size.

    PAGE NUMBERING

    Be sure to count every sheet even if it has only one word on it. No page number should appear on the Approval Page or the Title Page, although both should be included in the count.

    After the Title Page, all pages should be numbered as follows:

    • Preliminary pages should be numbered in lowercase Roman numerals; Arabic numerals should be used beginning with the first page of text.
    • The page that follows the Title Page is page “iii” (e.g., Copyright, Dedication, etc.).
    • The text beginning with the Introduction should begin on page “1”.
    • Page numbers should be placed at least one-half inch from the top or bottom and right edges of the page or in the bottom, center of the page. Once the location of page numbers is chosen, be consistent -- the page number should be in the same location for all pages in the thesis.
    • Figure pages need not be numbered but should be included in the count.

    TABLES AND ILLUSTRATIONS

    Tables and figures are to fit within the limits of the page margins described above. Figures and photographs should be publication-quality.

    Each figure and table should appear at the point at which it is discussed for the first time.

    Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively and each should have a unique number. There should be only one Figure 1 in your thesis!

    Do not put all figures together at the end (or the beginning) of the thesis as is done, for example, in the preparation of manuscripts for journal publication.

    If a figure or table is small, it may be placed on a page along with text. However, figures should not be reduced just to fit within a text page, and all details of the figure must be legible. The figure legend font should be the same as the text font.

    Figure legends may be placed in one of three ways:

    • on the page preceding the illustration
    • on the same page below the illustration, or
    • on the page after the figure.

    REFERENCES

    References for all chapters must be placed in a single group at the end of the thesis in the Bibliography. Reference style can be in any style approved for use in scientific journals but must include the names of all authors, the title of the paper, journal name, volume, inclusive page numbers, and year of the journal.

    Provide all authors’ names -- do not use “et al.”!

    References must be double-spaced just like the rest of the thesis.