Thesis and Dissertation - Frequently Asked Questions

What steps are involved in completing a Thesis or Dissertation?

The Thesis and Dissertation process involves many steps and requires working with your advisor, your committee, the Graduate School, and the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services (OTDS). The Thesis Checklist and the Dissertation Checklist both offer a brief overview of the steps involved in completing a thesis or dissertation, but for a more detailed overview, visit the Thesis Timeline and the Dissertation Timeline.

What are the deadlines for submitting my proposal, thesis, or dissertation to the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services?

Visit the deadlines webpage.

What should I include in my proposal?

Your proposal will contain the first three chapters of your thesis or dissertation. The Thesis Template, Dissertation Template, Thesis Guide, and Dissertation Guide all provide instruction and guidance as to what should be included in each chapter. Your proposal must be formatted according to these templates in conjunction with the style guide you are using (APA, MLA, ACS, etc.). Your proposal will not be accepted unless it is formatted according to these templates.

How do I submit my proposal, thesis, or dissertation?

Your proposal, thesis, or dissertation (and accompanying forms) must be submitted via email to OTDS@tamuc.edu in the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services. Visit the following webpages for further information on what forms to include when you submit your proposal, thesis, or dissertation to the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services for review. Please include in your email what type of computer you used (Mac or PC) and what version of Word you used to prepare your document. This will help us process your document more efficiently.

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

The Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services will review your paper for style, formatting, content, method of procedure, data analysis, etc. We will notify you via email that your paper is either 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 and Scholarship. Additional training is required for individuals whose research involves animal care and use, biosafety, export control, or human subjects.

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 webpage 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 the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services.

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

Please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs:

ORSP@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 webpage for more information.

When should I submit my application for research compliance approval?

Once you have defended your proposal and gained approval by your committee, you should submit your application for approval. Your committee may request changes to your proposal, sometimes significant changes, thus you should obtain committee approval of your proposal before applying for research compliance approval.

Who do I contact regarding questions about research compliance approval?

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

When can I begin collecting data for my study?

There are three levels of approval that must be obtained before collecting data for your study:

  1. Approval by your committee
  2. Research Compliance Training Modules & Research Compliance (IRB, IACUC, IBC) Approval (if applicable)
  3. Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services approval

When do I schedule my Dissertation Proposal Defense?

You must schedule your proposal defense with the Office of Graduate Studies (Vicky Turner) by the 20th of the month prior to the month you defend your proposal before your committee.

For example, if you want to obtain proposal approval in the Fall, you must submit your proposal to the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services (OTDS) no later than the 4th Friday in November. Thus, you have to defend your proposal sometime before then. Say you defend your proposal at the beginning of November; this means that you have to turn in your schedule form to the Graduate School by October 20th. Of course you may defend earlier in the semester if you wish, but please be aware of the various deadlines involved with submitting your schedule form, defending your proposal, and then submitting your proposal to OTDS.

How do I schedule my Dissertation Proposal Defense?

Schedule your Proposal Defense with the Office of Graduate Studies by completing and submitting the Schedule Form for the Proposal Defense to Vicky Turner (Vicky.Turner@tamuc.edu).

When do I schedule my Dissertation Defense?

You must schedule your dissertation defense with the Office of Graduate Studies (Vicky Turner) by the 20th of the month prior to the month you defend your dissertation in front of your committee.

For example, if you want to graduate in the Fall, you must defend your dissertation by the 4th Friday in October. Thus, you have to defend your dissertation sometime before then. Say you defend your dissertation at the beginning of October; this means that you have to turn in your schedule form to the Graduate School by September 20th. Of course you may defend earlier in the semester if you wish, but please be aware of the various deadlines involved with submitting your schedule form, defending your dissertation, and then submitting your final dissertation to the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services.

How do I schedule my Dissertation Defense?

Schedule your Dissertation Defense with the Office of Graduate Studies by completing and submitting the Schedule Form for the Dissertation Defense to Vicky Turner (Vicky.Turner@tamuc.edu).

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.