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Student Expectations and Timeline

Student Expectations

Students are expected to complete the following milestones to avoid having holds placed on their registrations and to ensure completion of the degree requirements in a timely fashion. The following is representative for a student completing nine credit hours per semester (full-time). Students who take more or less than full-time credits should adjust their schedule accordingly.

Timeline for Degree Completion

Academic Semester 1

  • Complete AMS 571 if started in fall
  • Review the thesis procedures
  • Establish three-member Graduate Thesis Committee
  • Complete and submit Form C (Program of Study) if accepted in good standing

Academic Semester 2

  • Complete AMS 571 if started in spring
  • Complete and submit Form C if accepted with conditions
  • Meet with Graduate Thesis Committee to discuss thesis proposal
  • Complete Form G Committee and Topic Selection (if you did not submit your committee membership and selection on the Form C Program of Study)
  • Review the thesis writing guide
  • Write thesis proposal (this may require several drafts)

Academic Semester 3

  • Submit thesis proposal for review to Graduate Thesis Committee by end of week five
  • Complete and submit proposal approval form MSETM-PA
  • Complete and submit application for graduation
  • Complete the Certified Technology Manager (CTM) Exam

Academic Semester 4

  • Complete all courses
  • Submit thesis to Graduate Thesis Committee at least three weeks before the final defense deadline
  • Complete oral comprehensive exam (thesis defense) before the final defense deadline. Form E will be submitted via TopNet by the Graduate Thesis Committee, if successful
  • Submit final thesis copy to Graduate Thesis Committee for review to the assigned reader before the deadline. The thesis cover page will be signed by Graduate Thesis Committee, if successful
  • Graduate

 For a printer-friendly PDF of this, click here.

Sample Plan for the Completion of the Thesis

Let's say that you want to graduate in the fall semester. How soon should you begin to form your thesis committee and start actively working on you thesis?

There are rules of thumb for most students, but let’s start by working backwards from your planned graduation date: December. Depending on the scope of your research, here is an estimate based on our observation of motivated students. Please recognize it may take longer.

10. Graduate (Dec).

9. Committee signs thesis signature page and submits to Graduate School. (Nov).

8. Submit thesis to Reader.

7. Last day to defend your thesis: Oct (capstone completion posted on TopNet by thesis chair).

6. Write up findings and conclusion: 1-2 months (start by Sept).

5. Data collection, compilation and analysis: 2-3 months (start by June).

4. Completed and approved proposal: May (MSETM PA Approval Form).

3. Literature review: 1-2 months (start March).

2. Development of introduction and methodology: 1-2 months (Start Feb).

1. Form committee (start previous semester). File Form G. However, the committee may want to see a proposal before they agree to serve on your committee.

You can see the concerted effort it will take to finish by December. Start at a least a year in advance of when you want to graduate. If this takes longer, plan on three semesters.


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 Last Modified 4/1/19