Thesis Option

The following procedure applies to student's pursuing the thesis option in either the MSIE or MSES (IE or ITE).

  1. With the consent and advice of the major professor, the student arrives at a tentative thesis topic.
  2. In consultation with the major professor, the student selects tentative committee members.
  3. The student prepares a thesis proposal outlining the proposed work. The proposal is expected to review the state of the art, and should clearly indicate that a substantial literature search has been completed. The proposal will not be considered complete without a list of relevant, reviewed references. The proposal must be presented at least 90 days prior to the thesis defense. Relaxation of this requirement is subject to the approval of a majority of the graduate faculty of the department when extenuating circumstances exist. Requests to suspend the timing requirement for a student must be made prior to the semester in which he/she intends to graduate, and the extenuating circumstances must be adequately documented.
  4. After the major professor reviews and approves the proposal, copies are submitted to the tentative committee members at least one week prior to the presentation date.
  5. A proposal meeting is held. The student presents his/her proposal (15 to 30 minutes) and answers questions. The tentative committee decides if the topic is or is not suitable and makes suggestions on scope, solutions, etc. The tentative committee may request a revised proposal and subsequent proposal meeting, or it may deem the topic unsuitable and require a proposal addressing a different topic. If the decision is favorable, the tentative committee becomes the thesis committee. Replacement of a thesis committee member will be allowed only in unusual circumstances, such as the unavailability of a member due to an extended absence (e.g., sabbatical leave) or with the concurrence of the committee member and the major professor in cases where a faculty member more qualified in the research area is available.
  6. The major professor guides and corrects the thesis research and initial thesis writing. The minor professors are also available for guidance and advice. The major professor may, if necessary, schedule a committee meeting for progress review when research is well underway.
  7. At some time during the semester in which he/she plans to graduate and prior to the oral exam, the student is expected to present a seminar on his/her thesis work at a scheduled departmental seminar.
  8. The student prepares a draft of the thesis and a summary article. The article should not exceed 20 pages double-spaced excluding figures and tables. Instructions for thesis preparation should be obtained from the Graduate School. The complete draft of the thesis, summary article and submit to the major advisor at least one month prior to final examination.
  9. Collect advisor’s suggestions on draft for revision three weeks prior to final examination.
  10. Assuming the Major Advisor approves moving forward, schedule the oral examination with your committee and then submit the Request for Final Exam to the Graduate School at least 3 weeks prior to the final exam.
  11. At least 7 days prior to the final exam, submit print copies of the corrected thesis to each committee member, and notify the appropriate graduate program coordinator and the departmental secretary of the exam date, time, and place for announcement to department faculty and students.
  12. The oral examination begins with a presentation by the student (15-25 minutes) of the thesis work, followed by questions on the thesis.
  13. At the end of the questioning period, the student and any guests are excused. The committee deliberates and discusses the student's performance and decides whether the student passed or failed the exam, and the student is informed. In the case of a pass, the committee may require changes or additions to the thesis, which upon completion will be reviewed and approved by the major professor. It is the firm policy of this department that students who do not perform well during the oral examination will not be passed. The committee will have the option of failing students or requiring a retest. In the case of a retest, the student must again appear for an oral exam questioning not sooner than two weeks following the original oral exam. The procedure may be repeated a second time at the option of the committee.
  14. The major advisor will submit  to the graduate school the Report of Examining Committee (aka signature cards) on the result of the thesis defense within a week of the meeting.
  15. After satisfactory completion, a hardbound copy of the thesis will be supplied to the major professor, and one copy will be supplied to the IE departmental secretary. An electronic version must be submitted to the Graduate School. Bound copies should also be given to the committee members.

The student should be aware that the Graduate School imposes certain deadlines for submitting oral examination results and thesis and should consult the current graduate school calendar for dates. Should the student fail to meet all of the above deadlines, he/she will not graduate in that semester and must enroll in the University in the following semester. If the research is not complete, the student is required to register for IE 8000. If the research is complete (including the submission of thesis to the Graduate School), the student may register for "Degree Only."