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Thesis & Dissertation

Congratulations on reaching this stage in your graduate education! 

As you plan for your defense, regular communication with your committee can help keep your progress on track. We recommend that you begin coordinating potential defense dates and addressing major revisions several weeks before you plan to defend. 

Your degree requirements are complete when you submit the final revisions and signatures. After you submit your final revisions, you will no longer be a graduate student. The following guides will help you prepare for graduation:

Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation

Your primary mentor, committee, and graduate program are responsible for determining when your thesis/dissertation is sufficient to complete your degree. You can get an idea of what's expected by talking with your mentors and looking at examples from recent graduates:

  • Many graduate programs keep a library of recent theses and dissertations
  • All OUHSC theses and dissertations are in the Robert M. Bird Library Catalog under the search term "thesis AND Oklahoma". Thesis is the appropriate search term even if you are looking for dissertations
As part of the scholarly process, your final thesis/dissertation will be published through ProQuest. Please review the following guidelines for preparing and completing your thesis/dissertation. 


  1. Start early and take advantage of the Student Writing Center
  2. Draft your thesis/dissertation according to the Guidelines for Preparation of Masters Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation
  3. Include a blank Signature Page 
  4. Use TurnItIn to help avoid plagiarism (login required)
  5. With your mentor’s permission, send a complete draft to your committee for review, preferably at least 6 weeks before you plan to defend
  6. Make major revisions recommended by the committee and secure their initial approval for the Reading Copy


  1. Create an account with OUHSC ProQuest ETDAdministrator and review the instructions for submitting your thesis/dissertation
  2. Submit your Reading Copy, Defense Request, and PhD defense announcement (if applicable) through ProQuest at least 10 business days before your defense
  3. You should hear from the Graduate College within 3 business days of submitting the defense request. You are welcome to contact us to confirm that we received your submission.
  4. Optional: Review thesis/Dissertation binding services through the Bird Health Sciences Library


  1. Start scheduling the defense with your committee well in advance.
  2. To defend, you must be enrolled for at least 2 hours, be in good standing, and have all coursework completed or underway
  3. Your research must be complete and you must have a full draft of the thesis/dissertation
  4. You and your mentor are responsible for scheduling the defense, reserving rooms, and arranging for audiovisual/IT needs
  5. Defenses and General Exams should be held in person. If a Zoom option is offered, review Using Zoom During a Defense:  Recommendations from OUHSC Academic Technology
    1. The student, chair, and majority of the committee should be physically present in the same location (GC Bulletin and 4.11.3). 
    2. For the PhD defense, a local audience should be present in person. 
    3. If an exception is necessary, the Graduate College would need to be notified in advance. 
    4. Special permission is not needed when offering Zoom as an option for family, etc. who cannot attend in person.


  1. At the defense, your committee will likely request minor revisions
  2. Address any revisions requested by the Graduate College
  3. You have up to 60 calendar days to make revisions, secure the committee’s final approval, and send the Final Copy to the Graduate College through ProQuest. To graduate in the current semester, these are due before the next semester starts.
  4. After you submit the Final Copy, the Graduate College will confirm with your mentor that we have the correct, approved version. At this point your degree is complete
  5. Your approved thesis/dissertation will be published through ProQuest