Master's Thesis

Writing a thesis is optional for some master’s programs and not required.  There are abundant opportunities for personalized interaction with faculty through research courses, independent studies, and seminars.  If a student chooses to write a thesis, it requires eight courses and either two research credits (5970), or in some cases with program specific approval, one research credit (5970) and one independent study (5990). Two credits must be completed for a letter grade for successful completion of the master’s thesis.

A thesis or research paper based on joint work with other researchers is allowed, provided that a unique and separate document is presented by each degree candidate. The candidate must include a concise account of his or her contribution to the whole work. Authorship of a master’s thesis or research paper by more than one degree candidate is not allowed.


University Style Guide for Master’s Thesis

Please submit your thesis electronically at this time to Graduate Engineering. Directions will be sent via email after the graduation application closes for that period.


Font, Spacing, and Margin Requirements
Any non-italic font 10-12 points in size should be used. Headings may be larger.  For enhanced screen readability, use Arial (10pt), Courier New (10pt), Georgia (11pt), Times New Roman (12 pt), or Verdana (10pt) font.  For footnotes, figures, citations, charts and graphs, a font of 8 point or larger should be used.  Italic type may be used for quotations, words in a foreign language, occasional emphasis, or book titles.  For the sake of readability, it is recommended that the text of the dissertation be double-spaced (except for footnotes, long quoted passages, and lists of tables and figures, which are single-spaced).  If desired, authors may chose to single-space the abstract and/or thesis manuscript.


Allow one and one-half inches for the left margin and one inch for all other margins. All text, including page numbers, must fit within these margins. Please remember to include the title page in the margin allowance. Organization of the Manuscript Pages must appear in the following order:

Title Page
Dedication (optional)
Acknowledgment (optional)
Abstract (optional)
Table of Contents (mandatory for theses 50 pages or longer)
List of Tables (optional)
List of Figures/Illustrations (optional)
Main Text
Appendices (optional)
Bibliography/Works Cited


Title Page
The Title Page must follow the sample format. The author’s full legal name must appear on the Title Page and the completed thesis must have electronic signatures when deposited electronically to Graduate Engineering. The sample shows how to list a co-supervisor if you have one. If not, please omit from your Title Page and list only the supervisor and director/chair’s names and signatures. Some Master’s Program’s have a Program Director, while others only have their Graduate Group Chair. If you are unsure if you have a director or chair, please talk with your program coordinator/administrator so you have that person’s title listed properly on the Title Page. Although the Title Page counts as page “i” of the preliminary pages, no page number appears on the Title Page.
A Table of Contents must be included if the thesis is 50 pages or longer.


All pages (except the Title Page: page i) must have a page number. For the preliminary pages (dedication, acknowledgements, table of contents, lists of graphs, tables, and illustrations), use small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, …).  For the text and appendices (if any), use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, …). Remember that page numbers must also appear within the margins specified above.


Other Requirements
For citations, footnotes, references, and grammar, you may follow the guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Handbook, or the appropriate manual in your field of study.