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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. 


How should I organize and format my thesis/dissertation?

The Guidelines for Preparation of the Masters Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation provides detailed instructions and examples for completing your thesis or dissertation. You should also talk with your mentor and graduate program director about specific expectations within your program.


What deadlines do I need to meet?

The following guides list the steps to take for your defense and graduation. Upcoming graduation deadlines are at the bottom of this page.


How do I submit my thesis/dissertation and get permission to defend?

Attend a Thesis & Dissertation Bootcamp to learn how to submit your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate College, understand the defense process, and review graduation deadlines. The bootcamp will be most helpful at the start of your final semester, or one semester before. All sessions will be available by Zoom. Click below to register: 


How will I know if my thesis or dissertation is "enough"?

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 available in ProQuest via the Robert M. Bird Library.  Search using the term "sch(the university of oklahoma health sciences center)". 


How do I confirm my degree status for a potential employer?

Refer to the Graduation & Beyond guide for information about completing your degree, verifying degree status, and obtaining your diploma. 


I'm ready to celebrate! When can I walk across the stage and be hooded?

We look forward to celebrating with you! The guide for Graduation & Beyond lists upcoming graduation ceremonies and has information about regalia and announcements. 


  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. For Graduate Assistants, e-mail your Final Support Date form to Megan Westbook. If you do not submit this form, your stipend will end on the day of your defense.
  4. 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.
  5. Optional: Order printed copies from ProQuest or review thesis/Dissertation binding services through the Bird Health Sciences Library


  1. Start scheduling the defense with your committee and reserve a room well in advance.
  2. You and your mentor are responsible for scheduling the defense, reserving rooms, and arranging for audiovisual/IT needs. Some possible room options include an auditorium or lecture hall in your college, the Library Auditorium, or the Library Atrium.
  3. To defend, you must be enrolled for at least 2 hours, be in good standing, and have all coursework completed or underway
  4. Your research must be complete and you must have a full draft of the thesis/dissertation
  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
    • The student, chair, and majority of the committee should be physically present in the same location (GC Bulletin and 4.11.3). 
    • For the PhD defense, a local audience should be present in person. 
    • If an exception is necessary, the Graduate College would need to be notified in advance. 
    • 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 submit your revisions in ProQuest, upload the new PDF in your existing ProQuest submission. 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
  Spring 2024  Summer 2024  Fall 2024
Final date to enroll. If you submit your final thesis/dissertation and signature page through ProQuest by 5 PM, you may graduate without being enrolled for this semester. However, international students should enroll for visa purposes. January 22 June 5 August 23
Final date to apply for candidacy for a master's degree. February 12 June 14 September 9

Final date to submit the application for graduation/diploma in student self-service. After this date, you must contact Christina McClane ( to submit a paper form.

March 1 July 1 October 1

Final date to hold the MS comprehensive exam or thesis/dissertation defense. After this date, you will be a graduate of the next semester and must enroll in the next semester. The request for the exam/defense and the reading copy must be submitted to the Graduate College 10 business days in advance.

May 3 July 29 December 13

Final date to submit the thesis/dissertation and signature page. After this time, you will be a graduate of the following semester.

May 31 August 16 January 10

Degrees are conferred the final date of the term.

May 10 July 29 December 13

 For semester start and end dates, registration deadlines, and add/drop/withdrawal dates, visit