Formatting, Depositing, and Defending the Thesis

Thesis Formatting

Because the thesis will be deposited and copyrighted through UMI Dissertation Publishing, please refer to detailed formatting instructions in “Depositing Your Master’s Thesis” which is part of the Master’s Thesis Deposit packet, available from the Registrar’s Office Forms Page.

Depositing the Thesis

Instructions for preparing the MS thesis deposit can be found in MS Thesis Deposit Instructions on the Registrar’s Office Forms website. When the student is ready to deposit the Master’s Thesis, she/he/they should deposit the thesis electronically according to the instructions in the Deposit Instructions document within three calendar years of the date of initial matriculation in the Graduate School. After depositing the thesis, the student can request an interim confirmation testifying to the completion of the degree requirements.

The Oral Presentation/Defense

When the student is ready to defend his/her/their thesis, the MS Thesis Defense Registration form must be filled out and returned to the Graduate School Office. The student should bring the MS Thesis Approval form to the oral presentation/defense.

Since the Master’s Thesis Review Committee members will have read the written document before this presentation, the student should use this opportunity to give a summary of the particulars of the research and the proposal. This should be in the form of a well-rounded seminar-style talk, but does not need to be a full 50-minute seminar. Summary lengths are typically no less than 15 minutes. Power point slides are encouraged.

Prior to the presentation, the student should decide with the Chair of the Committee whether or not the questions will be asked throughout the presentation or if they will be held until the end. This decision is fully at the discretion of the student and Committee Chair.

In preparing for the defense, the student should plan to:

  • Defend the rationale for the approach(es) used

  • Explain how this will answer the questions being asked.

  • Describe potential problems associated with the methodology and should also consider alternative approaches that could be used.

  • Describe in detail every figure presented.

  • Detail the strengths and weaknesses of the data.

  • Defend your interpretation(s) of each figure and be able to discuss alternative interpretations.

  • Coherently describe the integration of all studies described into an overall set of conclusions. This description should include placing the work into the conceptual framework of the field.

  • Rigorously defend the conclusions drawn

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