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Thesis And Dissertation Process

Registration

Thesis or Dissertation Registration

Students working on their thesis (including DRPs) 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/ PsyD Students: Once a student begins to register for thesis work, continuous registration is required every term INCLUDING SUMMER, until the thesis/ DRP is accepted in the Office of Graduate Programs.

PhD/ DBA/ AvD 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 dissertation. 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 thesis or dissertation is accepted in the Office of the Graduate Programs according to the following schedule.

Hour(s)Fall 2021Spring 2022Summer 2022Fall 2022
0 hr Friday,  September17, 2021  Friday, February 4, 2022 Friday, May 27, 2022 Friday, September 16, 2022
1 hr Friday, October 15, 2021 Friday, March 4, 2022 Friday, June 17, 2022 Friday, October 14, 2022
2 hrs Friday, November 12, 2021 Friday, April 1, 2022 Friday, July 8, 2022 Monday, November 14, 2022
3 hrs Monday, December 13, 2021 Monday, May 2, 2022 Monday, July 25, 2022 Monday, December 12, 2022

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 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.

Procedures

  1. Email copy of your thesis/dissertation draft to Monica DeFelice-Robinson (mdefelice@fit.edu) for format  check prior to your defense.
  2. Review turn-in requirements and deadlines prior to your thesis and dissertation defense. 
  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 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. Following approval by the student's committee, an archival copy of the thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) site . The final copy of thesis/dissertation will be reviewed by the Office of Graduate Programs for approval. For detailed instruction visit the Evans Library's Research Guide: Adding your thesis to the Scholarship Repository.
  5. Binding of your thesis or dissertation is not required by the University. If you are interested in having bound copies of your thesis or dissertation, see Student Guide to Binding Thesis/Dissertation.
  6. Costs of copying, printing and/or binding of theses/design projects/doctoral research projects and dissertations are not covered by tuition or any other institutional fees assessed by the university. 

Theses and dissertations that do not conform to the required format will not be accepted. Turn-in Date is defined as the date on which the signed Signature Page and the archival copy of the thesis or dissertation are accepted by the Office of Graduate Programs. Acceptance by the Office of Graduate Programs of the completed and signed thesis or dissertation is required for graduation.

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 consult the Thesis Manual as soon as they start writing.

1) File program plan

Make sure the correct plan is on file in your department 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. Students who have not submitted a program plan by the completion of 9 credit hours will not be eligible to register for the upcoming semester and will have a registration hold placed on their account until a plan is submitted. 

Doctoral Students:

A formal Program of Study must be signed by you, your advisor, and your academic unit head. Check with your academic unit for the form specific to your academic unit. 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.

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 Office of Graduate Programs staff 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 the signed Signature Page, and one archival copy are 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 the signed Signature Page and the archival copy are accepted by the Office of Graduate Programs. You must register for at least 15 semester credit hours of dissertation (XXX 6999) beginning with the term in which your admission to candidacy is approved.

5) Thesis Pre-check

Email several pages of your printed thesis to Monica DeFelice-Robinson (mdefelice@fit.edu) early in the writing phase to confirm that your preferred format meets all Graduate School formatting requirements. (e.g. Sample Title Page; Signature Page; Table of Contents; pages with tables, figures, photos etc.; References; Appendices).

6) 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. The 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.

7) 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.

8) 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 two or three weeks.

Doctoral Students:

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

9) 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 printed  thesis to verify that it meets all Graduate School formatting requirements. It takes 15 or 20 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.

10) 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 required to submit your thesis or dissertation to the Scholarship Repository at Florida Institute of Technology. The Scholarship Repository is the digital repository for research and scholarship produced at Florida Tech. For information about the Scholarship Repository go to Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Submission page or for specific questions contact Kristin Heifner (kheifner@fit.edu).

Master's/ DBA/ AvD and PsyD Students:

Master's/DBA/AvD and PsyD students are required  to submit the  ETD Access Form for Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology.

PhD Students:

Ph.D. students are required to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorate and submit the ETD Access Form  for Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology.

11) Announce defense

Oral Examination/Defense Announcement form must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Programs at least two weeks prior to your defense date.  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.

12) Defend your Thesis/Dissertation

You are not permitted to defend during Fall or Spring Final Exam Weeks. The thesis defense may be partitioned into two components: an optional "open" component open to anyone and a mandatory "closed" component open only to members of the graduate faculty. Your academic unit can advise you if an open component is permitted or required.

13) 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.

14) Make the corrections

Make any corrections that were stipulated during the defense.

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

16) Submit to ETD Submittal Site

All students must submit an archival copy of the thesis or dissertation to Evans Library for inclusion in the Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology. Prepare a pdf/A file of your Final Thesis/Dissertation with an unsigned Signature Page.  File name must include your last name and graduation year (Example: JONES-THESIS-2019). Then upload and submit the pdf/A of your thesis to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) submittal site . For detailed instruction visit the Evans Library's Research Guide: Adding your thesis to the Scholarship Repository.

Per the University policy on Open Access for Theses and Dissertations,  theses and dissertations are published open access. Once published in the Scholarship Repository of Florida Tech, a thesis or dissertation in its entirety becomes the University’s official record. However, this policy does not preclude submission of entire or partial content of theses or dissertation to other digital repositories or for publication, nor does it impact students’ copyright ownership of their theses or dissertations. For more information, see Open Access for Theses and Dissertations policy.

After uploading, your thesis or dissertation will require final approval by the Office of Graduate Programs.

17) Turn-in to the Office of Graduate Programs

Turn-in Date is defined as the date on which the signed Signature Page and the archival copy of the thesis or dissertation are accepted by the Office of Graduate Programs. Acceptance by the Office of Graduate Programs of the completed and signed thesis or dissertation by the announced Turn-in deadline is required for graduation.

All Students:

Signature Page (original with ALL signatures).

Signed ETD Access Form  for submission to Scholarship Repository of Florida Institute of Technology. Advisor signature is required.

One electronic copy of your final document emailed to Monica DeFelice-Robinson (mdefelice@fit.edu).  OGP staff will compare your uploaded archival version to all formatting comments previously communicated, ensuring that all corrections have been made satisfactorily. Theses and Dissertations that do not conform to the required format will not be accepted.  

PhD Students also need:

Survey of Earned Doctorates Certificate of Completion 

Tutorials and Templates

Tutorials

The following tutorials have been developed to assist you in submitting your thesis or dissertation through the ETD Submittal site.

Thesis Templates

The following templates were created as a starting point for your thesis or dissertation. 

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