Study & Thesis Timeline

Recommended Study & Thesis Timeline

First Semester
  • Begin discussions with teachers and advisors regarding a thesis topic.
Second Semester
  • With an advisor (does not have to be your academic advisor), determine topic and begin researching/writing.
  • With your thesis advisor, arrange for two additional members for your thesis committee. The Graduate Office will assign a fourth member, the Graduate Representative. The Grad Rep does not vote on your thesis defense.
Third Semester
  • Complete forms as required by the Graduate Office.
  • Complete a draft of your thesis and, with consent of your thesis advisor, distribute it to your thesis committee members.
  •  In consultation with your thesis advisor, arrange thesis defense for fourth semester.

Please note: The thesis needs to be complete and ready for defense at the end of the semester prior to your graduation. The graduate office needs about two months to format your thesis and prepare further formatting instruction for you. You need time before the defense to complete preparation of the document. This cannot be done at the last minute. If your thesis is not complete at the end of the semester prior to your graduation, your thesis defense may be delayed a semester. Remember that most faculty are not available to serve on thesis committees during the last few weeks of a semester or during the summer.

Fourth Semester
  • By the first week of your final semester, submit your approved thesis to the Graduate Office for formatting. Except under the most urgent of circumstances, preparation for the thesis defense, including completion and formatting of the thesis, must be completed by March 1.
  • Complete forms as required.
  • Schedule thesis defense.
  • Take comprehensive exams.

Sometimes conventional formatting does not work for a creative thesis. These guidelines may be used when necessary and appropriate.

How Long it Takes

  • The English MA requires 30 credits. At nine credits per semester, the course of study takes three or four semesters plus six credits of summer or independent study. If undergraduate courses are required to make up preparation deficiencies (in literature surveys, for example) or to complete the language requirement, additional time might be required.
  • The English MS requires 32 credits.

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