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Thesis Guide

Information for master's students preparing for, writing, or submitting their theses.

Thesis Deadlines

Thesis Deadlines


For Spring Graduation
Assemble thesis committee Sep 15
Draft submission to committee Dec 15
Revisions due to committee Mar 1
Signed approval by committee Apr 1
2 print, 1 electronic copy to library May 1


For August Graduation
Assemble thesis committee Dec 15
Draft submission to committee Mar 15
Revisions due to committee June 1
Signed approval by committee July 1
2 print, 1 electronic copy to library Aug 1


For December Graduation
Assemble thesis committee Apr 15
Draft submission to committee July 15
Revisions due to committee Oct 1
Signed approval by committee Nov 1
2 print, 1 electronic copy to library Dec 1

Student Responsibility

You will be guided and advised by your major professor, your graduate thesis committee, and the staff at the PSU Graduate School while you work on your thesis document. However, the ultimate responsibility for the document rests with you.

You are responsible for the following:

  1. Obtaining the necessary information to prepare the document;
  2. Meeting the deadlines associated with its preparation;
  3. Ensuring that your document conforms to all requirements in this Thesis Guide;
  4. Referring to specific departmental or program guidelines.

Your document must clearly state your objectives and conclusions, and present your results in a lucid and succinct manner. It must have a professional appearance and be user-friendly. If the thesis involves human subjects, animal care, radiation, recombinant DNA, legend drugs and/or hazardous materials/wastes, it must have received clearance from the respective authorities (i.e., PSU’s Institutional Review Board, PSU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, or PSU’s Chemical Hygiene Officer) PRIOR TO initiating the research project, or the thesis will not be accepted. This must happen prior to submitting your thesis to Lamson Library.

Copyright Permission

You should assume that any material from other sources that you use in your thesis, including text, pictures, musical compositions, graphs, charts, cartoons, and so forth, is copyrighted. You must obtain written permission from the copyright owner to use it. To obtain written permission, send the copyright owner a concise letter specifying your intended use and allow ample time for a response. If you get no response or if you are denied permission, you must remove the copyrighted material from your document. A student should send out copyright permission requests at least four months before his or her defense date.

You must submit a copy (keep the original in a safe place) of all letters granting the use of copyrighted material to the Lamson Library at Plymouth State University.

In the US, if you have created an original document, it is automatically copyrighted for the period of your lifetime plus fifty years. Formal notice or registration is not necessary; nevertheless, you should include a copyright page in your document to alert readers that you are the copyright owner and that you acknowledge your legal rights. You may wish to register your copyright, though this step is optional. Registration establishes public record of your document, its copyright and your name and address. Students who choose to register the copyright personally should contact: Registration of Copyright, Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540.


Ethical research practice requires you to avoid:

  • Plagiarism: failure to acknowledge the work of others by using proper citations and obtaining written permission to use copyrighted material
  • Fabrication: the creation of fictitious research results
  • Falsification: alteration of research results by misrepresentation or selective reporting of findings