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Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation (ETD)

UCF encourages students to be proactive throughout the thesis and dissertation process. Effective planning, awareness, and use of resources, as well as communication with department, program, and college faculty and staff, are essential to having a successful thesis or dissertation experience. The following information should also be used to guide students through the thesis and dissertation process.

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  • Step 1   Define Your Research and Form Your Committee

      • Define your research
      • Consult with your adviser to compose a committee
      • Ensure your program is informed of your committee composition
      • Register for Thesis or Dissertation hours through your program
  • Step 2   Learn About Thesis and Dissertation Resources and Requirements

  • Step 3   Set up Your Thesis or Dissertation Document with Proper Formatting

      • Review the resources on the Formatting the ETD page
      • Set up proper formatting in a Microsoft Word* file using "Heading Styles" and "Captions" (these are required for Word users)
      • Determine when you will need to use your discipline-specific style guide and when to use UCF's Thesis and Dissertation Manual 

      *Students may use other programs besides Microsoft Word, but please be aware that formatting support for other programs cannot be provided by the university. Students are responsible for proper document format regardless of the document processing program used.

  • Step 4   Conduct Your Research and Begin Writing

  • Step 5   Submit Your Document for Initial Format Review

    • In order to qualify for a review, submissions must include the following: 

        • PDF bookmarks
        • Proper page numbering
        • Correct title page format 
        • An abstract
        • Clickable links in the following sections: table of contents, list of figures, and list of tables (if figures and tables are used)
        • A significant amount of content should be present (at least several chapters) as proper formatting cannot be determined from largely incomplete documents
      • The content of the thesis or dissertation does not need to be completely finished to be submitted for initial review (use placeholders for missing content)
      • Format approval is not required upon initial submission; if you do not receive format approval from the initial review you will be notified to resubmit for additional review (see next step)
  • Step 6   Resubmit for Additional Format Reviews as Needed

      • Initial format review comments are typically returned within five days
      • Notification of review completion is sent to your knights email address
      • It is the student's responsibility to check the Thesis and Dissertation Servicessite for format review comments after a review is complete
      • Be sure to RESUBMIT if format approval is not achieved (most students require more than one review to receive approval)
      • As necessary, submit your Microsoft Word file to the Thesis and Dissertation Servicessite Format Help page for technical troubleshooting help
  • Step 7   Prepare for Your Defense

      • Confirm your defense date with your committee
      • Create your defense announcement using the example in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual 
      • Send your announcement to your program at least two weeks prior to the defense date. NOTE: some programs and colleges have very specific announcement policies 
      • Send your final thesis or dissertation to your committee before your defense date and follow up to receive feedback 
      • Submit your thesis or dissertation to Turnitin.com through your adviser. NOTE: the adviser is responsible for scheduling this submission and for reviewing the report results with the advisory committee
      • Your committee must agree that your Turnitin.com results are satisfactory before signing your Approval Form
      • Review the Approval Form page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site and make any corrections or updates to your name, defense date, and title; hit enter after each correction to save
  • Step 8   Submit Your Thesis or Dissertation Release Option eForm

      • Review the dissemination (release) options for your thesis or dissertation in the Graduate Catalog Dissertation Policies or Thesis Policies section
      • Discuss the dissemination option, final title, and defense date for your thesis or dissertation with your adviser

      Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form at myUCF by navigating to:

        • Student Self Service 
        • Find Graduate Students section (scroll down on the Student Center page; do not use "Graduate Students" link in left-hand menu)
        • Find "Choose Graduate Form" drop down menu
        • Choose TD Release Option from menu
      • This form must list the term in which you will be submitting your thesis or dissertation; if the correct term is not listed, please check your Intent to Graduate
      • This form MUST BE SUBMITTED AT LEAST ONE WEEK PRIOR TO YOUR DEFENSE to allow time for processing
      • The release information will appear on your Defense Approval Form in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site one business day AFTER the TD Release Option form is processed  
      • You cannot use your Defense Approval Form if it does not display the release information
  • Step 9   Defend Your Thesis or Dissertation

      • Print your Approval Form from the Thesis and Dissertation Services site and collect your committee's signatures at the defense, if possible
      • Do not use the Approval form if the release option information is missing (see Step 8 above)
      • Do not use the Approval Form if your committee information is incorrect; contact editor@ucf.edu if incorrect committee is listed
      • Contact your program and college staff to make arrangements to gain signatures from your program director and college dean
      • Ensure that your signed Approval Form is submitted to the College of Graduate Studies by the final submission deadline listed in the Academic Calendar
      • The committee may request changes before they will sign the Approval Form, but the signed form must still be submitted by the final submission deadline 
  • Step 10   Submit Your Final Thesis or Dissertation

      • Resubmit for format approval at least one week prior to the final submission deadline (if you did not previously receive approval)
      • Submit your final, bookmarked PDF thesis or dissertation file to the Final Submission page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site by the final submission deadline
      • NOTE: Final submissions cannot be changed or replaced unless requested by the College of Graduate Studies, so please submit the proper file
      • Your file will not be approved until the College of Graduate Studies receives your Thesis or Dissertation Approval Form
      • Once all final submission information is processed, your milestones will be marked as "completed" and this will serve as your notification of completion
      • Milestones are viewable in your myUCF Student Center under Graduate Students then Thesis and Dissertation Status
      • Doctoral students must complete the NORC Survey of Earned Doctoratesan annual census conducted by six federal agencies of all individuals receiving a research doctorate from accredited U.S. institutions

 

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Central Florida.

Please note the commission's expectation that contact occur only if there is evidence to support significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard. For other information about UCF's SACS accreditation, please contact the university's SACSCOC liaison in UCF's Office of Academic Affairs.

| © 2014 University of Central Florida - College of Graduate Studies