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Thesis and Dissertation

Presentation of Ongoing Research Heading link

Students are encouraged to present research papers on their ongoing thesis work at scientific conferences such as the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America or the American Geophysical Union. Writing an abstract, preparing illustrations, practicing the delivery of a paper with the advice of faculty and fellow graduate students, and the actual presentation are invaluable experiences for your future professional life. Publishing abstracts and presenting papers at conferences also enhances your scholastic record. Financial support for attending a meeting may be available from the advisor’s research grants. Students may also apply for Student Presenter Awards from the Graduate College.

Putting Together and Finalizing Your Thesis or Dissertation Heading link

The Department usually requires that each thesis or dissertation be prepared in the form of a paper (or papers) suitable for submission to a scientific journal. The format of the thesis should follow that of the journal with respect to section headings, citation style, etc. Voluminous tables, extended descriptions of experimental procedure, and similar components are to be included in appendices. In most cases, illustrations must be original. The Graduate College has strict rules about obtaining permissions to use published figures. Other format requirements are outlined at

As mentioned in the Program Descriptions, the Graduate College requires students to screen their theses and dissertations using iThenticate, prior to their defense.

We recommend that students submit their thesis or dissertation work for publication as soon as possible, even before the actual defense if ready. Often papers resulting from a thesis or dissertation are co-authored by the student and the advisor. Co-authorship should be discussed by the student and the advisor. Under normal circumstances, the student is the senior author of papers and abstracts based solely on the thesis or dissertation.

All final theses and dissertations must be submitted to the Graduate College electronically. Deadlines are listed at Academic Dates and Events. The advisor and the Department will each certify to the College that the thesis or dissertation meets the departmental requirements for format and style. It is the responsibility of the student, not the advisor or DGS, to assure that all thesis/dissertation, graduation requirements, and deadlines are met.