Academic Programs Catalog

Graduate Education

Master's Programs

Research and Thesis Plan A

A minimum of 4 credits in master's thesis research (course number 899) is required; some programs require more. The thesis, an abstract of the thesis, and an abstract title page must be prepared in accordance with the specifications in The Formatting Guide-Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations, a handbook that is available, along with a packet of required forms relating to the thesis online at

After the thesis advisor—and, if required by unit bylaws, members of the guidance or examination committee—indicate(s) that the thesis is acceptable for examination within the time frame determined by the department the semester in which graduation is anticipated, the student must submit copies of the thesis and abstract for distribution to the thesis advisor and other examiners. The thesis must be in completed form, with finished diagrams, etc. It must not, however, be bound. The oral examination in defense of the thesis must be scheduled within the time frame determined by the department the semester in which graduation is anticipated. After the examiners have reviewed and approved the thesis and voted to pass the student on the final oral examination in its defense, the student must incorporate into the thesis any recommended change(s) and corrections before presenting it to the thesis advisor for final review and signature of the approval form. Not later than the deadline date indicated by the Graduate School the semester in which graduation is expected, the student must submit to the Graduate School a final electronic copy of the thesis online and the approval form signed by the thesis advisor following the instructions at Some departments, schools, or colleges require additional copies of the thesis, and it is the student's responsibility to provide such copies to them. In some colleges the master's thesis is first approved in the dean's office before the student submits it to the Graduate School. 

An electronic copy of the thesis will reside in the MSU library and the abstract will be published online at under Master’s Abstracts. The student may order bound paper copies for the department, the thesis director, or others through ProQuest-UMI, or may make other arrangements for obtaining additional bound copies.

A fee is charged by ProQuest-UMI if the thesis is to be copyrighted.