Thesis and Dissertation Work

Thesis or Dissertation Registration

Students working on their thesis or dissertation must register for a minimum of 3 hours of Thesis (XXX5999) or Dissertation (XXX6999) per semester. An exception is made in the semester of graduation (see below).

MS THESIS STUDENTS: Once a student begins to register for thesis work, continuous registration is required every term INCLUDING SUMMER, until the thesis is accepted in the Office of Graduate Programs.

PH.D. DISSERTATION STUDENTS: Once admitted to candidacy, continuous dissertation registration is required every term INCLUDING SUMMER, until the dissertation is accepted in the Office of Graduate Programs.

Students are urged to check with the Office of Graduate Programs IN ADVANCE if they need to request a waiver of the requirement for continuous registration.

Registration in Semester of Graduation

ONLY in the semester of graduation may students register for fewer than the minimum 3 hours of thesis or dissertation. Students must have already registered for the minimum number of hours required by their program in order to register for fewer than 3 hours of thesis or disseration. To register for zero (0) hours, students must have been registered for at least 3 hours the preceding semester and MUST HAVE ALREADY SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED.

The required number of registration hours is determined by the date on which the minimum 5 copies of the thesis/dissertation are accepted in the Office of the Graduate Programs according to the following schedule.

  Spring 2015
Summer 2015 Fall 2015
0 hr February 6, 2015 May 29, 2015 September 11, 2015 
1 hr March 6, 2015 June 19, 2015 October 9, 2015
2 hrs
April 3, 2015
July 10, 2015 November 6, 2015
3 hrs May 4, 2015 July 27, 2015 December 7, 2015

For further information concerning the above requirements, see Graduate Policy 4.10

Procedure for Registering for fewer than three (3) hours:

  1. Submit a Petition to Graduate to the Registrar's Office. This petition requires academic department signatures and a current program plan.
  2. Complete a Registration Form (with advisor signature). Present the Registration Form (in person) to the Office of Graduate Programs (OGP) for verification and approval.
  3. Submit the OGP-approved Registration Form to the Registrar's Office to complete the registration process.

Please note that the above 3 steps require the submission of hard-copy documents with original signatures. This process cannot be completed electronically.

Procedures

1. As soon as you have written a few pages, bring them to the Office of Graduate Programs to check formatting. Making changes at this point is much easier.

2. All thesis and dissertation students are required to pay the Binding Fee of $100 (doctoral students are required to pay an additional $100 publishing fee). If possible, it is best to pay these fees at the time you petition to graduate. Payment verification at the time of graduation will be much easier if these fees are paid and marked on the Petition to Graduate form.

3. Graduate students are responsible for the "quality control" for their theses and dissertations. The Office of Graduate Programs will check the copies you submit. However, this check will be for general adherence to format, and not a detailed proofreading of the completed manuscript nor completeness of copies ( e.g. , missing or duplicated pages).

4.Five (5) copies of the thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Programs following approval by the student's committee. These copies will be distributed as follows:

  • Library Special Collections
  • Library Circulation
  • Major Advisor
  • Academic Unit
  • Student

Of course, students may have additional copies of their thesis reproduced for their own use or for family and friends. The cost to bind these additional copies is $20 each. Theses and dissertations that do not conform to the required formats will not be accepted. Acceptance by the Office of Graduate Programs of the completed and signed thesis or dissertation is required for graduation.

Thesis and Dissertation Checklist

A list of most of the requirements for graduate students writing a thesis or dissertation appears below. It is written in the chronological order in which the steps must be taken. Read the list carefully and take note of the time period during which each event must be accomplished.

Check frequently with your advisor to verify that you have also met all requirements stipulated by your academic unit as you proceed through your program. This list appears at the back of the Thesis Manual and Style Guide for Use at Florida Institute of Technology (3rd Edition).  All thesis/dissertation students are encouraged to purchase this Thesis Manual at the bookstore as soon as they start writing.

1) File program plan

Make sure the correct plan is on file for your program.

Required no later than one month before 9 semester hours are completed.

Master's students: 

Fill out the Master's Degree Program Plan form. It must be signed by you, your advisor, and your academic unit head. Then submit it to the Graduation Office at the Registrar's.

Doctoral Students:

On a typed memo, list the courses you expect to take.  This formal Program of Study must be signed by you, your advisor, and your academic unit head. Submit it to the Graduation Office at the Registrar's with your Petition to Graduate.

2) Committee Selection

Select your committee from the list of approved advisors on the Graduate Faculty list published on the Graduate Programs website at  http://www.fit.edu/grad-programs/faculty.php 

Restrictions exist regarding who can serve on your committee, the minimum number of committee members you must have and from which academic units committee members may be selected.  Your advisor or the staff at the Office of Graduate programs can confirm that you have a valid committee. 

Masters Students:

Submit the Establishment of Master's Committee form requesting approval of your committee.  It is recommended that you submit this request to the Office of Graduate Programs one month prior to your anticipated defense date.  Your academic unit may have earlier deadline requirements, so please check with your advisor.

Doctoral Students:

At least 90 days prior to taking the comprehensive exam, select your major advisor. Ask if your academic unit has any formal requirements.

At least 60 days prior to taking the comprehensive exam, your advisor must submit the Establishment of Doctoral Committee form requesting approval of your committee by your academic unit head and director of graduate programs. The written approval must be on file in the Office of Graduate Programs. Confirm that it is there and that it does not differ from the committee you expect to use.

3) Doctoral Students

Pass the Comprehensive Exam at least  one calendar year before graduation. (Report submitted by your academic unit to the Office of Graduate Programs). Proposal Conference. (Report submitted by your academic unit to the Office of Graduate Programs). Apply for Admission to Candidacy only after passing the Comprehensive Exam and Proposal Conference. (Application filled out by you and submitted by your academic unit to the Office of Graduate Programs.) This may be a separate form or it may be Section 3 of the Proposal Conference Report form.

4) Thesis/Dissertation Registration

The time at which mandatory thesis or dissertation registration is required is explained below. If you will not be using Florida Tech facilities nor advisor time during a semester, you may request a written, advanced waiver of this requirement. Ask your advisor regarding proper procedures.

Master's Students:

You must have at least a 3.0 GPA at first thesis registration. Once registered for thesis, you must register for at least 3 hours of thesis every term thereafter, including summer, until a minimum of five copies of your thesis is accepted by the Office of Graduate Programs.

Doctoral Students:

You must register for dissertation the first term after admission to candidacy. This includes summer.

You must register for at least 3 hours of dissertation every term thereafter, including summer, until a minimum of five copies of your dissertation are accepted by the Office of Graduate Programs. You must register for at least 15 semester credit hours of dissertation after admission to candidacy.

5) Purchase the Thesis Manual

The Thesis Manual and Style Guide for Use at Florida Institute of Technology (3rd Edition) is available for purchase at the Florida Tech Bookstore.  The Manual is also available on the Graduate Programs website at http://lib.fit.edu/documents/thesis_manual_and_style_guide_3rd_edition.pdf

6) Thesis Pre-check

Bring several pages of your printed thesis, tables, figures, etc. to the Office of Graduate Programs early in the writing phase to confirm that your preferred format meets all Graduate School formatting requirements.

7) Petition to Graduate

File your petition usually no later than the beginning of the semester prior to the earliest semester in which you believe you will graduate. Deadline appears in the current catalog's Academic Calendar. Avoid late petition fees by petitioning for the first possible graduation date. If you do not finish then, re-petition for the next semester.

8) Pay binding (and publishing for dissertation) fees.

As explained below, you may pay these fees at the time you petition to graduate. (Recommended so that the payment is noted on your Petition to Graduate form. Your payment can thereby be verified easily if you lose your receipt.) You may also pay the fees listed below at any time prior to turning in your thesis.  Please keep your receipt as you must display it at the time you turn in your thesis to the Office of Graduate Programs. 

The binding fee does not cover the cost of photocopying your thesis for your committee prior to your defense nor the copies you turn in to the Office of Graduate Programs.

Master's Students:

Must pay the $100 binding fee for a minimum of 5 copies. You may pay for as many extra copies as you want.

Doctoral Students:

Must pay the $100 binding fee for a minimum of 5 copies and the $100 publishing fee. You may pay for as many extra copies as you want.

9) Set defense date and time.

Establish these as early as possible. Committee members' time becomes limited, and rooms appropriate for defenses become booked toward the end of every semester.

10) Distribute copies of your completed thesis

Check with your committee members to ascertain the lead time they require, or your academic unit may specify a minimum lead time.

Master's Students:

Most committee members require at least three or four weeks.

Doctoral Students:

Policy stipulates a minimum of four weeks prior to your defense.

11) Check format of completed thesis.

At the time you distribute your thesis to your committee members, have the Office of Graduate Programs examine your completed thesis to verify that it meets all Graduate School formatting requirements. It takes 10 or 15 minutes while you wait, and no appointment is required. While your committee prepares for your defense, you have time to make any format corrections identified by the Office of Graduate Programs. After your defense, you will thereby have only content corrections to make. 

12) Obtain important documents 

When you visit the Office of Graduate Programs for your format check, the staff will alert you to important documents for later submission with your thesis or dissertation.  For example, for maximum visibility for your research, you are invited to submit your thesis or dissertation to the Scholarship Repository at Florida Institute of Technology.  The Scholarship Repository is the digital respository for research and scholarship produced at Florida Tech.   For information about the Scholarship Repository go to http://libguides.lib.fit.edu/thesis or for specific questions contact Dr. Holly Miller at hmiller@fit.edu    

Master's Students: 

This is a good time to obtain from the Office of Graduate Programs the Thesis Acknowledgment for Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology.    

Doctoral Students: 

This is a good time to obtain from the Office of Graduate Programs the following information:  Proquest Publishing AgreementSurvey of Earned Doctorate, and Thesis Acknowledgment for Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology.      

13) Announce defense.

Bring the Oral Examination/Defense Announcement form to the Office of Graduate Programs at least two weeks prior to your defense date. You may bring it even earlier. Approval only by your academic unit head is required on the announcement form.  You will receive an email version of the announcement for you to review for accuracy. Confirm the date, time, and room reservation of your defense with your committee members. 

14) Defend your Thesis/Dissertation.

You are not permitted to defend during Fall or Spring Final Exam Weeks.  The defense is open only to members of the Graduate Faculty, not other students.

15) Examination Report

At the defense, confirm that all committee members sign the Examination Report they will have brought with them. If the thesis title changes during the defense, a member must cross out the old wording and write in what has been changed. The thesis title you turn in must match the title on the Examination Report.

16) Make the corrections.

Make any corrections that were stipulated during the defense.

17) Thesis signature page

Obtain signatures from your committee members. Only have one signature block for the academic unit head (not one as committee member and another as head). Obtain signature of academic unit head last.

Master's Students:

The academic unit head must sign all Master's theses, whether a member of the committee or not.

Doctoral Students

The academic unit head must sign all dissertations, whether a member of the committee or not.

18) Copy thesis.

Make copies (minimum 5) and pay the copying fee (the binding fee does not include copying expense). You may use Florida Tech's copy center or have the copying done commercially. Request copies on 24 lb. paper if possible.

Check every page of every copy for smears, speckles, skipped pages, duplicated pages, etc. The pages you submit are what gets bound.

19) Place each thesis copy in a separate envelope.

Make sure that you do not seal the envelopes

Doctoral Students:

Include one additional envelope containing a Title Page and Abstract.

20) Label each envelope

Write your name, last four digits of your student ID number, academic unit, and a current phone number (as shown below) on the outside of each envelope. Print your surname in all capital letters.

The name you indicate this way (as shown below) will be printed on the spine of your bound thesis copies:

HOWARD , Henry
xxxxx6789
Electrical Engineering
321-555-1234

SURMAYNAYA , Giveuspt
xxxxx4321
Psychology
404-555-9876

21)  Submit to the Office of Graduate Programs

Master's Students:

At least 5 copies of Thesis in individual unsealed envelope (per announced OGP deadline).

Completed Thesis Acknowledgment for Submission to Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology (optional, but recommended)

Doctoral Students:

At least 5 copies of Dissertation in individual unsealed envelopes (per announced OGP deadline)

1 extra title page and abstract (350 word maximum) in a separate individual unsealed envelope

Completed ProQuest Publishing Agreement Form

Survey of Earned Doctorate Certificate of Completion

Completed Thesis Acknowledgment for Submission to Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology (optional, but recommended)

22)  Submit to Evans Library  

Submit Thesis/Dissertation pdf to Evans Library for inclusion in Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology (optional, but recommended).   Prepare pdf file of your Final Thesis/Dissertation with unsigned Signature Page.  File name must include your name and graduation year.  Example:  Jones_Mary_2014_Dissertation.pdf.  Then upload a pdf of your thesis to the Evans Library thesis upload website at  http://etd.lib.fit.edu .   For detailed instruction visit the Evans Library's Research Guide:  Adding your thesis to the Scholarship Repository at http://libguides.lib.fit.edu/thesis .     

Tutorials

The following list of tutorial documents has been developed to assist you in formatting your thesis or dissertation documents. Please click on the desired topic to see some helpful hints, walkthroughs, and screenshots on how to format your work.