The Graduate and Professional School at SHSU oversees and implements the thesis/dissertation policies, guidelines and submission process. GPS has numerous resources to assist graduate students during the thesis/dissertation writing process as well as professional development workshops. GPS is committed to assisting graduate students during their thesis/dissertation research journey. Students can view these resources under the Events and Resources tab on The Graduate and Professional School webpage.
For questions regarding initiation sheets, embargo requests, and public defense announcements, email email@example.com.
For questions regarding 1st and Final Draft Review submissions, formatting thesis/dissertation documents, and updates on Vireo submissions and route sheets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Students should submit graduate school requirements in the semester in which they intend to graduate. The Graduate and Professional School does not require the submission of proposals or prospectuses.
***The Graduate and Professional School requirements are university-wide and separate from internal department/college requirements. Students must ensure they are completing requirements for both their program/department and the graduate school. Failure to fulfill all requirements can delay graduation.
Thesis & Dissertation
The Graduate and Professional School at SHSU oversees and implements the thesis/dissertation policies, guidelines, and submission process. GPS has numerous resources to assist graduate students during the thesis/dissertation writing process as well as professional development workshops. GPS is committed to assisting graduate students during their thesis/dissertation research journey. Students can view these resources under the Events and Resources tab on The Graduate and Professional School webpage.
For questions regarding initiation sheets, embargo requests, and public defense announcements, email email@example.com.
For questions regarding 1st and 2nd/Final Draft Review submissions, formatting thesis/dissertation documents, and updates on Vireo submissions and route sheets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Order of Events – From Writing To Submitting Your Thesis/Dissertation
Below is a detailed timetable of tasks that need to be completed in order to graduate.
- Initiation Sheet: The initiation sheet should be submitted once the graduate student completes coursework, registered for thesis/dissertation writing courses (ABD/ABT) and formed their thesis/dissertation committee. Email form to email@example.com. Note: If a member is not employed by SHSU, a Non-SHSU Employee Committee Request Form must be submitted to the Graduate School for the individual to serve on a thesis/dissertation committee. Make sure all applicable signatures are on the request form and attach the non-SHSU member’s Vita to the email along with the request form. **Students can only have one non-SHSU faculty on their committee. Refer to academic policy #950601 for more information regarding this requirement.
- First Draft Review: Thesis/Dissertation 1st drafts should be submitted to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org by the set deadline. Graduate students must submit all required sections (i.e., title page, approval page, table of contents, vita, etc.) plus THREE CHAPTERS of their thesis/dissertation. Include your name, SAM ID, and chosen style guide (i.e., MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) when submitting your draft. After the document is reviewed, you will be emailed a draft review checklist that will provide all corrections that need to be made. Note: It is the graduate student’s responsibility to ensure their thesis/dissertation meets all SHSU regulations and guidelines. The ETD Manual and Draft Review Checklist has instruction on formatting thesis/dissertation Word documents following SHSU Guidelines. If you need to delay your graduation, you must resubmit your 1st draft for the semester you intend on graduating.
- Public Defense Announcement: A public defense announcement should be completed two weeks prior to the defense. Email form to email@example.com. If applicable, please attach your college/department (internal) defense announcement for verification purposes. An example of the public defense announcement has been provided to assist with proper formatting. Public Defense Announcement Example.
- Public Defense: A public defense of your thesis/dissertation should be completed by the deadline stated in the academic calendar. Students can also find this deadline below. Coordinate with your Chair, committee members and department on scheduling your defense.
- Route Sheet: Graduate students should submit a route sheet immediately after successfully defending their thesis/dissertation. Read the instructions carefully and fill out the form correctly. This information will be sent to the Registrar’s Office for degree program and graduation purposes.
- Embargo Request: Graduate students who are seeking a one-year, two-year or permanent embargo must submit an Embargo Request Form by the deadline. Students must be approved for an embargo by the Dean of The Graduate School. Email form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note to Faculty and Graduate Students: Faculty can submit an embargo request form on behalf of a student by filling out the applicable fields on the form. Please be aware that failure to submit an embargo request by the deadline is ultimately the graduate student’s responsibility. An Embargo allows a thesis/dissertation to be withheld from being published digitally via SHSU’s institutional repository either temporarily or permanently providing students an opportunity to have their research published in an academic journal, as a novel or to acquire a patent. Students must submit all requirements listed in this section regardless of an embargo approval.
- Final Draft Review: The final draft review should be submitted to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist at email@example.com after revising all format issues included in the 1st review checklist as well as all approved edits by committee members. The document should be completed in its entirety and submitted to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org after revising all format issues included in the draft review checklist as well as all approved edits by committee members. Final drafts should be submitted after successfully defending your thesis/dissertation. Make all necessary changes to your document before submitting for final review. THIS IS THE FINAL SUBMISSION OF YOUR DOCUMENT. THOROUGHLY PROOFREAD YOUR FINAL DRAFT FOR GRAMMER AND FORMATTING ISSUES. Once your final draft has been approved, it cannot be changed.
- Vireo and Embargo Submission: The Thesis/Dissertation Specialist will email a final pdf version of your approved thesis/dissertation document to submit through Vireo (No additional edits can be made to your approved document). Follow the instructions, fill in all sections correctly and upload the approved pdf file. If a graduate student was granted a one-year or two-year embargo, fill in all sections that apply. Graduate students who have been approved for a permanent embargo do not submit their final document through Vireo; students should follow the Permanent Embargo Instructions to submit their document to the Newton Gresham Library. Note: It is important that embargo requests and Vireo submissions be completed in a timely manner. Failure to do so will delay final route sheet approvals which need to be confirmed by the Registrar for commencement purposes.
Listed below are the deadlines for the current academic year. Students can also find deadlines in the Academic Calendar.
March 8, 2023 [WEDNESDAY] – Last day to submit 1st draft theses/dissertations to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist for format and style review.
April 5, 2023 [WEDNESDAY] – Last day to complete a public defense of theses/dissertations. Last day to begin electronic route sheet. Last day to request an embargo for a thesis/dissertation to the Dean of The Graduate School.
April 19, 2023 [WEDNESDAY] – Last day to submit defended and approved theses/dissertations to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist Final draft review.
May 2, 2023 [TUESDAY] – Last day to complete publication of theses/dissertations through Vireo (or in print for permanent embargo). Last day to submit electronic route sheet to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist.
May 4, 2023 [THURSDAY] – Last day to submit the electronic route sheet to the Dean of The Graduate School.
June 16, 2023 [FRIDAY] – Last day to submit 1st draft theses/dissertations to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist for format and style review.
July 7, 2023 [FRIDAY] – Last day to complete a public defense of theses/dissertations. Last day to begin electronic route sheet. Last day to request an embargo for a thesis/dissertation to the Dean of The Graduate School.
July 21, 2023 [FRIDAY] – Last day to submit defended and approved theses/dissertations to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist for Final draft review.
July 31, 2023 [MONDAY] – Last day to complete publication of theses/dissertations through Vireo (or in print for permanent embargo). Last day to submit electronic route sheet to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist.
August 3, 2023 [THURSDAY] – Last day to submit the electronic route sheet to the Dean of The Graduate School.
October 3, 2023 [TUESDAY] – Last day to submit 1st draft theses/dissertations to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist for format and style review.
October 31, 2023 [TUESDAY] – Last day to complete a public defense of theses/dissertations. Last day to begin electronic route sheet. Last day to request an embargo for a thesis/dissertation to the Dean of The Graduate School.
November 14, 2023 [TUESDAY] – Last day to submit defended and approved theses/dissertations to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist for Final draft review.
November 28, 2023 [TUESDAY] – Last day to complete publication of theses/dissertations through Vireo (or in print for permanent embargo). Last day to submit electronic route sheet to the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist.
November 30, 2023 [THURSDAY] – Last day to submit the electronic route sheet to the Dean of The Graduate School.
- Student Forms
Thesis/Dissertation Public Defenses Via Zoom
***ATTENTION: If you're planning to defend your thesis/dissertation via Zoom, please follow the tips below to safeguard against Zoom-bombing:
- Do not use your Personal Meeting ID. Set-up an ID that will generate automatically when creating the meeting.
- Require a meeting password. Do not overshare your password. Only give it to those who will be attending the meeting.
- When creating the meeting, check the 'Enable Waiting Room' and 'Mute Participants on Entry' in the Advanced Options section.
- To prevent harassment of other participants, inappropriate images and GIFs in the chat, disable file transfer and private chat. Go to settings in the Zoom web app. Select Personal, then Settings and click In Meeting. Go to File Transfer and Private Chat to disable (Note: The gray button indicates when the Private Chat is disabled).
- Once the meeting has started, select the arrow next to the green Share Screen button, then Advanced Sharing Options and select 'One participant can share at a time' and 'Only Host' in the designated sections. Assign your Chair and one other committee member as co-hosts. If you experience a Zoom bomb during your defense, go to Participants List, scroll down to More and click Lock Meeting. Have one of your co-hosts go to Participants List, scroll to the bottom and click Mute All Controls to cut the hacker’s microphone/audio.
Formatting & Submission
SHSU has established formatting guidelines that graduate students must adhere to when submitting their thesis/dissertation. Detailed instructions on formatting can be found in the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Manual. Students can also use the Thesis-Dissertation Draft Review Checklist to review formatting requirements.
- ETD And Vireo Submission Manual
Workshops and Video Tutorials
The Graduate and Professional School is here to support students throughout the duration of the graduate school journey. Submitting the thesis/dissertation is the last step to completing this journey. GPS offers workshops to assist students with formatting their thesis/dissertation to meet SHSU standards. These workshops are especially helpful for students who are using the templates provided on The Graduate and Professional School's webpage. It is recommended that graduate students use one of the templates; however, non-template users are welcome to attend the workshops. Students must register to attend a workshop.
**NOTE: Once registered, students will be emailed a Zoom link and passcode.
Fall 2023 Formatting Workshop Schedule:
Online (Zoom): September 20, 2023 @ 6:00-7:30pm (CT)
Online (Zoom): September 22, 2023 @ 6:00-7:30pm (CT)
Online (Zoom): September 29, 2023 @ 6:00-7:30pm (CT)
Thesis/Dissertation 101 Workshop
Curious about The Graduate and Professional School’s thesis/dissertation submission process? GPS hosts an online (Zoom) workshop to discusses all Graduate School requirements for students who are completing a thesis/dissertation. Information on copyright and Library resources will also be discussed during this workshop. Graduate students who are registered in thesis/dissertation writing courses are encouraged to attend. Student must register to attend the workshop.
**NOTE: This workshop will not cover information about formatting thesis/dissertation documents.
Fall 2023 Thesis/Dissertation 101 Workshop:
Online (Zoom): September 8, 2023 @ 2:00-4:00pm (CT)
Registration Deadline: September 7, 2023
Video Tutorials - Formatting
The Graduate and Professional School has assembled a playlist of video tutorials to assist students with common issues that might arise when formatting their thesis/dissertation. This playlist was created using LinkedIn Learning, an online course provider that is free for SHSU students, faculty, and staff. Additional video tutorials are included for troubleshooting common issues when using the templates provided by GPS.
SHSU has created pre-formatted templates to simplify the formatting process for graduate students. These Microsoft Word templates can be used by PC and Mac users. It is recommended that graduate students use the template as it adheres to SHSU format guidelines. If students choose not to use the template, the ETD Manual has instructions for creating a thesis/dissertation document. For graduate students using a different style manual, headings can be changed from the home menu in Microsoft Word. Always use the most recent edition of your designated style manual guide.
- Traditional Thesis/Dissertation Template: This template provides a basic format for creating a thesis or dissertation. Download the file and save it to your computer. This document has been updated to APA 7th ed.
- Journal Model Template: This is a modified template that includes designation pages for journal articles. The template is meant for students who have published or are in the process of publishing portions of their thesis or dissertation to academic journals. The template is formatted to APA 7.
See below the requirements to use the Journal-Model template:
- Doctoral Dissertation Requirement: Students must have A MINIMUM OF THREE journal articles that are either already published or intended to be published in an academic journal(s).
- Master’s Thesis Requirement: Students must have A MINIMUM OF TWO journal articles that are either already published or intended to be published in an academic journal(s).
NOTE: The Journal-Model is a type of formatting. It is not greater in value or quality than the traditional thesis/dissertation format. Students must select this format with intent. The intent being that the student has (1) already published parts of their thesis/dissertation in an academic journal, (2) have submitted manuscripts for review, or (3) are submitting to academic journals in the near future. If the requirements for the Journal-Model are not met, students must restructure their document to SHSUs traditional thesis/dissertation formatting.
- Creative Thesis Template: Version 1 or Version 2. The Creative Thesis Templates are non-tradition templates for creative works. Version 1 is without chapters and Version 2 has chapters.
NOTE: The Creative Thesis templates are reserved for students completing works of art such as poetry, novels, etc. Please refer to the traditional template if your research does not fall within this category.
- LaTeX Template: LaTeX is a type-setting system used for technical, mathematical, and scientific document preparation. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at SHSU has created a LaTeX template file that incorporates SHSU thesis/dissertation requirements while having the ability to use mathematical and or/scientific equations that may not be available in Microsoft Word. This template is ideal for math and statistics graduate students who are completing a thesis/dissertation. Student should discuss with their chair to get approval to use this template. The LaTeX template file includes documents for Windows and Mac users. Note: Before using this template, students should review the README text file. LaTeX Template File
If you have questions or concerns about the LaTeX template file, contact Dr. Edward Swim.
- Common Mistakes: This document provides examples of common mistakes seen in thesis/dissertation documents.
**Graduate students should follow the style guide/manual specified by their department; however, SHSU formatting guidelines supersede any style manual.
The following style manuals have been accepted by the Sam Houston State University Graduate Council. Students must use one of the style guides listed below. The exception to this requirement is students whose document qualifies as a journal-model thesis/dissertation. The most recent edition of these manuals should always be followed. CONSULT YOUR THESIS/DISSERTATION DIRECTOR TO DETERMINE WHICH MANUAL IS REQUIRED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT.
- ASC Guide to Scholarly Communication (Online)–https://pubs.acs.org/doi/book/10.1021/acsguide
- The AP Stylebook, 55th Edition (Online and Book) – https://www.apstylebook.com/
- Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition or A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th Edition (Online and Book) –https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html
- AMS Style Guide (Online) – https://www.ams.org/publications/authors/AMS-StyleGuide-online.pdf
- MLA Handbook, 9th Edition (Online and Book)– https://style.mla.org/
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition or Concise guide to APA Style, 7th Edition (Online and Book) – https://apastyle.apa.org/
- Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 8th Edition (Online and Book) – https://www.scientificstyleandformat.org/Welcome.html#pt3
- Style Manual for Political Science, 2018 Edition (APSA) (Online and Book)– https://connect.apsanet.org/stylemanual/
- Style Manual: An Official Guide to the Form and Style of Federal Government Printing, 2016 (GPO) (Online and Book) – https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-STYLEMANUAL-2016/pdf/GPO-STYLEMANUAL-2016.pdf
- Suggestions to Authors of the Reports of the USGS, 7th Edition (Online) – https://pubs.usgs.gov/unnumbered/7000088/
- The Bluebook, A Uniform System of Citation, 21st Edition (Online and Book) – https://www.legalbluebook.com/
- AIP Style Manual, 4th Edition (Online) – https://publishing.aip.org/resources/researchers/ or https://publishing.aip.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/AIP_Style_4thed.pdf
- ASHS Publications Style Manual (Online Only) – https://journals.ashs.org/page/publish or https://journals.ashs.org/fileasset/style_manual_1218.pdf
- Journal of Animal Science (Online Only) – https://academic.oup.com/jas/pages/General_Instructions
- AMA Manual of Style, 11th Edition (Online and Book) –https://www.amamanualofstyle.com
- ASA Style Guide, 7th Edition (Online and Book) – https://www.asanet.org/publications/journals/asa-style-guide/?hilite=asa+style+guide
- IEEE Editorial Style Manual, 2018 - https://ieeeauthorcenter.ieee.org/wp-content/uploads/IEEE-Editorial-Style-Manual.pdf or https://www.ieee.org/
Thesis/Dissertation Digital Accessibility
In an effort to increase the visibility of graduate students’ research, The Graduate and Professional School has asked that students aim to make their thesis/dissertation documents more accessible to people with disabilities. By following the checklist below, electronic theses and dissertations will be accessible to people who are blind, have low vision, and those who have cognitive and/or mobility impairments. The accessibility checklist, in conjunction with using one of the Word templates provided, will establish a basic standard that will ideally lead to SHSU being a more inclusive research institution.
Accessibility Checklist for Word Documents
- Heading Styles and Bookmarks
Using heading styles provide organization and structure to your document. The Graduate and Professional School offers several Word templates with pre-formatted heading styles to assist students with organizing their thesis/dissertation. You may need to change the font style and position of heading styles/levels depending on what style guide you are using. Ensure that your heading styles are consistent throughout your document as this is the basis for creating bookmarks within your document once it is converted into the final approved PDF version of your thesis/dissertation by the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist. For template users, instructions on heading levels and how to input headings into the Table of Contents can be found in the TOC and List of Tables/Figures Instructions.
- Alt Text Images
Adding alt text to images, tables, figures, pictures, etc., provides a description of the images for people who are blind or have low vision. To add alt text, right click the object/image. Select “Edit Alt-Text” and add a description of the image (This should be done with all images in your document). If there is descriptive text in the image, include that text in the description as well; screen readers cannot read text within an image.
- Edit Document Properties
Adding information to the document properties of your thesis/dissertation helps identify your word document and add additional metadata. In Word, select “File” then “Properties.” Add the title of your thesis/dissertation in the title field and your name in the author field.
- Color Contrast, Symbols and Bullet Points
Avoid using color fonts or color combinations that will make it difficult for people who are color blind or color vision deficient (CVD) to read. For example, a sign with a red background and black text cannot be seen by some color-blind people (red background with white text is a better option). Avoid using the following color combinations in text and images.
- Green and Red
- Blue and Yellow
- Green and Gray
- Blue and Gray
- Green and Brown
- Green and Black
- Blue and Purple
Some symbols and bullet points can be difficult to read; an example being the asterisk (*). Students are advised to increase the font size slightly on symbols and bullets if they appear to be too small for people with low vision to distinguish.
NOTE: New versions of Word offer an “Accessibility Checker” feature to easily check for accessibility issues in your document. In Word, select “Review” then “Check Accessibility.” The accessibility checker will appear and list any issues found in your document. Please address as many of these issues as possible.
When the final approved PDF version of your thesis/dissertation is sent to you to submit through Vireo, the following information will be checked and edited in the PDF document properties by the Thesis/Dissertation Specialist:
- Title and Author Name
- Initial View (Show Document Title)
- Language (English)
- Keywords (Optional)
For more information on accessibility for Microsoft Office suite and Adobe Acrobat PDF, follow the links provided:
Policies, Procedures & Compliance
- Policies and Procedures
Research involving human or animal participants must be approved by the SHSU Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects prior to the commencement of the project. Instructions and applications are available from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Thomason building- Suite 303 or from the OSRP website.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA or Air Traffic Organization), relevant state laws, and University and Texas State University System (TSUS) policies govern operation of UAS, including drones and model aircraft. SHSU complies with all FAA requirements and state laws. UAS activity is only permitted on SHSU property when the use conforms to these authorities and is approved by the SHSU UAS Advisory Committee. The SHSU UAS policies and any UAS Advisory Committee procedures ensure compliance with legal obligations and reduce risks to safety, security, and privacy.
The Sam Houston State University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), in conjunction with the Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management Department (EHS & RM), maintains a registry of all laboratories and personnel working with human pathogens, and/or toxins, human blood, body fluids, and tissues, and recombinant DNA technology. Biohazardous materials are defined as any organism known to or suspected of causing infection in humans, and a toxin is a proteinaceous poison, which is highly toxic to humans. Experiments using biohazardous materials and toxins should follow the CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) Guidelines (4th Edition-1999). Experiments using recombinant DNA technology should follow the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA (rDNA) Molecules, (April 2002).
The export of certain data, technologies, software and hardware is regulated and controlled by federal lase for reasons of national security, foreign policy, prevention of the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and for competitive trade reasons. SHSU and all its employees are required to comply with applicable export control laws and regulations.
The IACUC, a federally mandated committee, is charged with oversight of all aspects of the institution’s animal care and use program, facilities, and procedures. The regulations of the AWA and PHS require institutions using animals for research or teaching to appoint an IACUC. IACUC members are appointed by the Institutional Official and include scientists, non-scientists, veterinarians and representatives from the community.
The Newton Gresham Library has a plethora of resources to assist graduate students. From tutoring to subject librarians, graduate students are encouraged to utilize all resources SHSU provides to ensure the successful completion of their thesis or dissertation.