Procedures for M.A and M.F.A Theses

These policies are in addition to any policies that might be required by the consortial NEOMFA program.

M.F.A. or M.A. students writing theses typically enroll for 6 thesis hours: 3 hours during each long semester of the final year of degree work. Students register both semesters for Thesis I hours; Thesis II hours are only for those who take more than two semesters to complete a thesis. You must be continually registered for Thesis hours through your graduation semester. Contact the Graduate Secretary for instructions on how to register for Thesis hours.

A completed ‘Notification of Approved Thesis Topic Form’ (available here: must be submitted to the Graduate Secretary no later than the semester before your graduation semester. This form requires the signatures of all committee members. If the topic or title of the thesis changes, a new form must be filed.

The Graduate Secretary must be informed of the date and time of the Thesis defense meeting as soon as these are established by the Thesis Committee.

No later than one week before the defense, the student will provide electronic copies of the following to the Graduate Secretary:

  1. A thesis abstract of no more than 350 words, which the Graduate Secretary will attach to the Thesis Defense announcement;
  2. The thesis signature page. The Graduate Secretary will then print two copies of this page on 100% bond paper, as required by the University. See the most recent Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide ( for correct format. Correctly formatted pages are due by the thesis filing deadline, and the Dean will refuse the pages if they are not formatted correctly; this kind of error has the potential to delay a student’s graduation.

Theses must be filed with the University electronically before graduation. Students completing an M.F.A. or M.A. thesis are strongly encouraged to consult these two sites early and often: the Library Electronic Thesis and Dissertation page ( and the Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide ( Typically, the thesis filing deadline is roughly two weeks after the deadline for oral defense. For exact deadlines, which vary by semester, see

General M.F.A. thesis guidelines are in the NEOMFA handbook.  University thesis defense guidelines are here: (pdf)