Graduate students in a MA/MS program are required to complete either a master’s thesis or final research paper to achieve the degree.
Those programs are:
- Biology (MS)
- English (MA/MS)
- Environmental Studies (MS)
- Mathematics (MS)
Go to the Applied Master’s Track if you are pursuing the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Special Education, the Master of Business Administration, or Master of Public Accountancy.
Use the forms and instructions below to secure approval for your thesis/research paper and apply for graduation. We’ve also included some helpful resources for styling/formatting your final paper.
Graduate Paper/Project Proposals
The links and forms below will guide you through the process of putting together a research proposal and getting approval for your final paper or project. If you are planning to use human subjects in your thesis, research paper, or capstone project, you need to secure Institutional Review Board approval (formerly Human Subjects Committee) PRIOR to gathering data. The official approval and survey/interview document must be included in and with your proposal approval form (previously Form 3).
- When do you need IRB approval?
- Graduate MA/MS Thesis/Research Paper Approval Form (Replaces Form 3)
- Graduate MA/MS Non-Thesis/Capstone Approval Form (Replaces Form 3)
- SUGGESTED Components of Proposal
- Optional Items for Proposals
- APA PROPOSAL Template (Front Matter Pages ONLY)
- MLA PROPOSAL Template (Front Matter Pages ONLY)
Register for Research/Thesis Credits
Students usually register for research/thesis credits for the term in which they plan to complete the oral defense and degree. In order to register, you must complete an Arranged Course Form and contact your advisor/graduate committee chair for approval.
Final Paper Handbooks
Some of these documents are in .pdf format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view them. Download Adobe Reader for free.
All MA/MS students should use the Handbook for the Preparation of the Thesis or Research Paper in order to correctly format their final papers and should supplement with other specialized handbooks that may come from their departments or are available online.
The current handbook is updated to provide guidelines for APA 6th Edition and MLA.
General Handbook – MA/MS Degrees
Creative Thesis – MA in English Only
Front Matter Templates
These templates are provided for your convenience in properly formatting your research paper or thesis. The use of templates is not mandatory, but it may assist you in ensuring that your final product meets the formatting requirements of the School of Graduate Studies. Please contact our office if you experience any difficulties.
APA 6th Edition Users
- 2 Levels of Heading Template
- 3 Levels of Heading Template
- 4 Levels of Heading Template
- 5 Levels of Heading Template
MLA Users – MA in English Only
Graduation and Oral Defense (Form 4)
Submit the Application for Graduation during the first week of the semester or summer session in which you expect to complete your oral defense directly to the School of Graduate Studies.
- Form 4: Application for Graduation (electronic form)
- Form 4: Application for Graduation (Word doc – submit via email attachment)
- SAMPLE: Curriculum Vita for Thesis & Research Paper
- TEMPLATE Research Paper-Thesis Curriculum Vita
- Guidelines for the Oral Defense
Graduate Research/Thesis Paper Pre-Defense (Form 5)
The purpose of Form 5 is to verify that each member of the candidate’s graduate committee (normally advisor and two committee members) have read and provided feedback to the student of the graduate research paper/thesis prior to scheduling the oral defense. This approval does not indicate the paper is ready for a defense; it simply means the student has received feedback.
Before your oral defense, complete and submit directly to your advisor. Once the School of Graduate Studies has received the approved Form 5 and final draft of your paper, a Graduate Faculty Representative will be assigned and you will be given permission to move forward with scheduling your defense.