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Thesis, Report, and Dissertation

For students completing an MS Plan A (Thesis), MS Plan B (Report), or a PhD (Dissertation), a proposal and formal final defense are required. 


Approved thesis, report, and dissertation proposals formalize an agreement between the student and committee members regarding the topic and content of the student’s final thesis, report, or dissertation. The Proposal Outline lists content and formatting requirements for the proposal. After a thesis or report proposal is approved by the student's committee, a Master's Thesis/Project Approval form is submitted to the Graduate School. PhD students are required to have a formal proposal defense. After the committee approves the dissertation proposal the Application for Candidacy form is submitted to the Graduate School.

Thesis, Report, and Dissertation Formatting

The thesis, report, or dissertation must conform to the Graduate School's requirements as listed in the Publication Guide, and the AIAA or ASME style guides for ‘Departmental Requirements’ listed on page 6 of the Publication Guide. Whether students use a word processing application, or the LaTeX template to create their thesis or dissertation, a PDF file is required for the formatting and style review the MAE Graduate Academic Advisor does before the final defense. When the final draft is sent to the Supervisory Committee members for their review, prior to signing the Appointment for Examination form, a pdf of the document should be emailed to the MAE Graduate Academic Advisor.

Final Defense

Approximately 4 - 6 weeks before the defense, the student should email the report, thesis, or dissertation to the committee members for approval or corrections, and propose dates and times for the final defense.  After the committee has agreed to a specific date and time for the defense, and a place has been reserved, the Appointment for Examination form is completed and submitted to the Graduate School at least 10 working days prior to the defense. After the final defense, only minor changes, usually editorial, should be required by the committee. If major changes are required, a defense of the revised document should be held. Refer to the ‘Degree Completion’ section on the Graduate Student General Information page of the online General Catalog for information about the final defense and other degree completion requirements.

Writing Resources

These websites, and names of books, might be of interest to those who will be writing a thesis, report, or dissertation. The websites were found by searching for ‘writing for engineers ’ and ‘writing for engineering students’ in Google.

Utah State
USU Writing Center
Engineering Writing Center

Colorado State
Writing Guides: Writing in Engineering
Engineers on Writing

Penn State
Writing and Speaking Guidelines
Writing Guidelines

Purdue Online Writing Lab
Writing in Engineering

Essentials for the Scientific and Technical Writer, Hardy Hoover,
Dover Publications.
The Craft of Scientific Writing, Michael Alley, Springer; 3rd edition.

Thesis/Dissertation Templates and Examples