Thesis, Dissertation, APP & Capstones

Every graduate student completes a capstone for their program. Most programs include a thesis/dissertation or alternate plan paper (APP) option, but many programs provide other capstone opportunities. To determine which capstone options are available, review the Graduate Academic Catalog or visit the program/department website.

Only theses and dissertations are required to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies unless otherwise specified by the department.

Theses & Dissertations

A thesis or dissertation is an extensive original research paper resulting in a significant contribution to new knowledge. Before being submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, the thesis or dissertation must be approved by the student's examining committee.

All thesis and dissertation submissions, both online and print submissions, are reviewed to ensure the document's formatting meets acceptable standards, requirements have been met, and policies have been followed.

An examining/advisory committee supervises a student throughout their program and completion of the capstone experience. All masters and doctoral students writing a thesis or dissertation must form an examining committee. Students must consult with their advisors before asking faculty to serve on their committee.

Alternate Plan Paper (APP) & Other Capstones

An APP critically reviews and evaluates secondary research sources to develop thorough academic solutions to a clearly defined research problem.

Comprehensive Examinations:

Some graduate programs require students to pass a comprehensive examination which may be oral (sometimes referred to as a Thesis Defense) or written.

Research Involving Humans or Animals

A thesis/dissertation proposal or alternate plan paper may include research involving human or animal subjects. Such research must obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.