Thesis and Dissertation - Frequently Asked Questions

What steps are involved in completing a thesis or dissertation?

On its web pages, Thesis and Dissertation Services (TDS) provides detailed information and the necessary forms involved in completing the thesis or dissertation process. You may access this information through shortlinks:  www.tamuc.edu/thesis for information on the thesis proces or www.tamuc.edu/dissertation for information on the dissertation process. The thesis checklist or dissertation checklist are quick guides to the steps involved in each process. Some of the steps may vary by degree and discipline, but a general overview is offered to students on the thesis or dissertation websites. 

What are the deadlines for submitting my proposal, thesis, or dissertation to the Graduate School?

It is important to keep aware of the various deadlines the Graduate School has in place in order to stay on track with your thesis or dissertation.  Visit the deadlines web page for the deadlines by semester.

What should I include in my proposal?

Your proposal will contain the introductory chapters of your thesis or dissertation. The Graduate School's thesis templatedissertation templateThesis Formatting Guide, and Dissertation Formatting Guide all provide instruction and guidance as to what should be included in each chapter. Your proposal must be formatted according to the applicable template in conjunction with the style guide you are using (APA, MLA, ACS, etc.). Your proposal will not be approved unless it is formatted according to the Graduate School formatting requriements.

How do I submit my thesis or dissertation?

Your proposal, thesis, or dissertation and all related forms must be submitted via email to TDS@tamuc.edu. Visit the web pages for thesis or dissertation for further information on what forms to include when you submit your proposal, thesis, or dissertation to the Graduate School/TDS for review. 

What happens after I submit my proposal, thesis, or dissertation for review?

TDS will review your paper for adherence to the Graduate School's formatting requirements, as set forth in the applicable templates and formatting guides.  It is your responsibility, along with the guidance of your advisor and committee, to adhere to the requirements of your chosen style guide.  TDS will notify you via your leomail whether your paper is approved or needs revisions and resubmission.

Why do I need to complete research training modules?

All faculty, staff, and students of Texas A&M University-Commerce are expected to uphold the highest standards of research conduct and strictly adhere to all federal, state, and local regulations involving research. To ensure integrity and compliance in research, all faculty, staff, and students involved in research activities must successfully complete training in Responsible Conduct in Research. Additional training is required for individuals whose research involves animal care and use (IACUC), biosafety, export control (IBC), or human subjects (IRB).

How do I complete the required research compliance training modules?

The modules are taken online through the Collaborative Institutional Training Institute (CITI) website. You may visit the Research Compliance web page for further information.

When should I begin the training modules?

You should begin the training modules early in your program. You must have completed your research compliance training modules by the time you submit your proposal to TDS.

Who do I contact regarding questions about research compliance training modules?

Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs: ResearchCompliance@tamuc.edu or 903-886-5766.

Do I have to apply for research compliance approval?

If your research involves animal care and use, biosafety, export control, or human subjects, you are required to apply for research compliance approval. Please visit the Research Compliance web page for more information.

When should I submit my application for research compliance approval?

You will first defend your proposal before your committee. Sometimes the committee will request changes to your proposal; sometimes these changes are significant.  For this reason, committee approval of your proposal must be obtained before submitting for research compliance approval.  Once you have defended your proposal and gained approval by your committee, your advisor will submit your application for committee approval.

Who do I contact regarding questions about research compliance approval?

Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs: ResearchCompliance@tamuc.edu or 903-886-5766.

When can I begin collecting data for my study?

Students conducting studies not involving human subjects, animal subjects, or biological agents may begin collecting data after completing RCR training through CITI and after their advisor has granted them permission to do so. 

Students conducting studies involving human subjects, animal subjects, or biological agents are required to seek and receive approval from the applicable institutional safety committee (IRB, IACUC, or IBC). Approval from the committee is required prior to beginning data collection. 

When do I schedule my dissertation proposal defense?

You must schedule your proposal defense with the Graduate School (Vicky Turner) by the 20th of the month prior to the month you defend your proposal before your committee. Please remain aware of the various deadlines involved with submitting your schedule form, defending your proposal, and then submitting your proposal to TDS.

How do I schedule my dissertation proposal defense?

Schedule your dissertation proposal defense with the Graduate School by completing and submitting the Schedule Form for the Dissertation Proposal Defense to Vicky Turner (Vicky.Turner@tamuc.edu).

When do I schedule my final dissertation defense?

You must schedule your dissertation defense with the Graduate School (Vicky Turner) by the 20th of the month prior to the month you defend your dissertation in front of your committee. Please remain aware of the various deadlines involved with submitting your schedule form, defending your dissertation, and then submitting your final dissertation to TDS.

How do I schedule my final dissertation defense?

Schedule your dissertation defense with the Graduate School by completing and submitting the Schedule Form for the Dissertation Defense to Vicky Turner (Vicky.Turner@tamuc.edu).

When and how do I schedule my final thesis defense?

You will work with your committee to set a date for your final thesis defense.  Once set, you will complete the Notification Form for Final Thesis Defense and submit the form with all required signatures to TDS@tamuc.eduYou must provide TDS with this notification at least seven (7) days prior to the date of your defense.

As a master’s student completing a thesis, am I still required to complete a comprehensive exam?

Yes, all master’s students are required to complete a comprehensive exam covering all the work within their master’s degree. The comprehensive exam is independent of the thesis defense and final thesis.