President García Speaks on the Importance of Graduate Education
EPOCHS program Graduate Assistants met with President García to discuss graduate education & graduate student life at CSUF.
Thesis and Dissertation Information
Preparing a thesis?
Thesis General Information
- Before you begin, print out the Thesis Manual. It includes everything you need to know.
- Format and print your thesis manuscript as described in the Thesis Manual. If you need writing support, take advantage of the services provided by the Graduate Learning Specialists. One-on-one appointments are available.
- Have your title/signature page complete with all signatures (per Thesis Manual instructions).
- Submit thesis manuscript and one copy of your title/signature page to the Office of Graduate Studies by the deadline date.
- After your submission, the University Thesis/Dissertation Reader will contact you.
- MS Word Formatting Procedures
- Chapter Setup
- Edit, Find, Replace
- Footnotes: starting footnotes at 1 for each chapter
- Landscape Orientation pagination
- Lists: bulleted and numbered
- Page Numbers
- Reference Page Formatting
- Table of Contents
- Tables and Figures
- Track changes
- Two-Inch Top Margins
- University Thesis/Dissertation Reader - contact information
- The University Thesis/Dissertation Reader, Debra Stewart, email@example.com, is available to answer any questions not found on this site (or in your department style guide) on an email basis, or by appointment. During peak times, when there is a high volume of theses and dissertations to review, it may take up to three business days for you to receive a response.
Thesis writing workshops are offered every semester and highly recommended for anyone writing a thesis. The workshop powerpoint presentation is available for viewing on this site.
- Thesis Workshop Powerpoint Presentation link
- Style guides: which should I use?
- Bookstore Thesis Binding Contract
- Final Procedures
Thesis General Information
- University Definition of Thesis
- Culminating Experience Guidelines For Master's Programs or Master's Level Degrees
- A thesis is defined as the written product of a systematic study of a significant problem. It identifies the problem, states the major assumptions, explains the significance of the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyzes the data, and offers a conclusion or recommendation. The finished product demonstrates originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation. Normally, an oral defense of the thesis is required.
An oral defense of either a thesis or a project normally includes a presentation by the master's candidate to a group of faculty capable of assessing the quality of the student's work, and/or a period of questioning directed to the master's candidate by said group of faculty. Oral defenses should include not fewer than three such faculty members, two of whom should be the student's supervisory committee chair and one other committee member, though they may include more than three faculty members, even the entire program faculty. The defense will be held in an appropriate academic environment, normally on campus. Program faculty may approve oral defenses undertaken partly or wholly in mediated environments, including via conference call or online, provided that the defense takes place in "real time." The oral defense, normally a graded pass/fail event, is recorded either by audio or videotape, or through another medium. Such records must be complete enough to afford protection for both the student and the faculty members involved.
- University Regulations for a Thesis
- Academic Standards for Graduate Degree Students
- Of the minimum of 30 semester units of approved course work required for the master's degree, no more than six are allowed for a thesis.
When a thesis is required, the Pollak Library will be provided with an approved original in the approved binding and an acceptable microfilm of the thesis. An abstract accompanies the thesis and will normally be published in the University Microfilms International Journal, Masters Abstracts. Copies are thereby made available for order by interested scholars.
An approved copy of the thesis or project may also be required by the student's academic department. Students should check with their graduate program adviser as to whether a copy is needed by the department as part of the requirements for graduation.
When a project is required, some record of the project, or the project itself, is filed in the academic unit and, in some cases, in the library.
A student's thesis committee is composed of a minimum of three faculty members who supervise and approve the thesis. A qualified person who is not a regular Cal State University faculty member may serve as a visiting examiner and join in the approval of the thesis. This person serves as the fourth member of the committee.
Variations from procedures and regulations should be referred to the Office of Graduate Studies for review. For more information, see UPS 410.106.
- Why a Thesis Manual
- All-university format guidelines are included in a Thesis Manual that has been developed to assist the student in preparation of a thesis. It is the student's responsibility to make certain that the requirements are met. The student is strongly advised to become familiar with the instructions in the manual. Theses from the library or departmental offices should not be used as examples of correct format.
The academic unit, through the student's adviser and/or committee, is responsible for the academic content and English usage in the thesis and for the student's correct use of forms of documentation and bibliography. In addition to the university format guidelines, each academic unit may select a supplementary style manual to be followed in matters of documentation and bibliography. Students should consult their graduate program adviser or thesis committee chair concerning the style manual used.
If the supplementary style manual presents regulations that conflict with the all-university format guidelines published in the university Thesis Manual, the university regulations take precedence. Some graduate programs require style manuals or guides designed for journal articles. Although these are helpful for abbreviations, tables, figures and footnoting, as well as other purposes, students should be aware of the difference between a thesis and an article and make appropriate adaptations when formatting their thesis, approved by the graduate program adviser.
If the academic unit does not recommend a specific style manual, the student should refer to the most recent edition of "A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations" by Kate L. Turabian or "The Chicago Manual of Style," published by the University of Chicago .
The student makes all necessary arrangements for preparing the thesis for final approval. A list of independent word processing professionals is available in the Office of Graduate Studies. The university Career Center also maintains a listing of students and others who have indicated their availability for word processing assignments.
- Annual Giles T. Brown Outstanding Thesis Award