The Office of Graduate Education

Dissertation and Thesis

Summer and Fall 2020 Update: All Final Oral Examinations will be held remotely until further notice. Please see the FAQs for information about remote defenses. If you have any questions regarding your defense, please email [email protected]. We look forward to working with you!

Preparation of Dissertation and Thesis

The final step in earning a graduate degree is generally the completion of the master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. The Formatting Guide is designed to help the student present the results of graduate study and research for the use and interest of the academic community and the public. This guide contains format requirements for:

  • The traditional master's thesis or doctoral dissertation,
  • The manuscript master's thesis or doctoral dissertation, in which manuscripts of articles that have been or will be submitted to journals in the field are used in the body of the thesis or dissertation

The Submission Guide is designed to help you through the submission and publication process.

Download the Guides below:

Summer 2020 Dissertation and Thesis FORMATTING Guide (.pdf) (updated 6/2/2020)
Summer 2020 Dissertation and Thesis SUBMISSION Guide (.pdf) (updated 6/2/2020)

Fall 2020 Dissertation and Thesis FORMATTING Guide (.pdf) (updated 6/2/2020)
Fall 2020 Dissertation and Thesis SUBMISSION Guide (.pdf) (updated 6/2/2020)

These guides were prepared by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education. Questions concerning these guidelines or any aspect of manuscript preparation for the thesis or dissertation should be directed to the Office of Graduate Education, FA3.104, (972) 883 2234. Revised June, 2020

Scheduling a Defense

Master’s defenses are scheduled through each program and PhD defenses are scheduled centrally through our office.

Doctoral Defenses: Once your supervising committee agrees that your doctoral dissertation is ready to be defended, an appropriate time and place must be determined for your defense. Consult the deadlines page for scheduling a defense, holding a defense, and submitting a final document for the desired graduation semester. Refer to the checklist to make sure you have filled out all of the required forms.

Master's Defenses: Master’s defenses are scheduled through each program, so please reach out to your committee and your program contact for help scheduling the defense. Master’s students do not need to use or submit the Request for Final Oral Exam form. This is a PhD form only, but please check with your program to see if they have any additional defense paperwork you need to submit to them directly. Refer to the deadlines page and checklist to make sure you have completed all the required steps. Please submit the Report of Final Examination for Master’s Thesis as an admin file to your online submission after your defense.

Virtual Defenses: Since all defenses are currently remote, we have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions for defenses. Our office can help host master’s defenses as needed through our Zoom accounts but the defenses are still scheduled through each program.The Examining Committee Chair (ECC) is only assigned for PhD defenses. This is not a requirement for master’s defenses, and your program is the best point of contact for information about how your program schedules and structures master’s defenses.

As a reminder, our office accepts digital signatures on all administrative files. Digital signatures must use a Digital Certificate. For information on how to enroll for a Digital Certificate and instructions on how to digitally sign a PDF, please see OIT's page.

Deadlines, Templates, Checklists, and more...


Master's and Doctoral Deadlines
Priority Deadlines and FAQs

Thesis/Dissertation Templates

Windows Thesis/Dissertation Template (updated 2/16/2018)
LaTeX Template (updated 11/11/2016). For LaTex technical questions, you may contact Dr. Kevin Hamlen
Sample Pages (.pdf)


Checklist for Final Submission of Doctoral Dissertation
Checklist for Final Submission of Master’s Thesis

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

An in-person Doctoral Hooding Ceremony will not take place Summer 2020. Given the evolving situation, any updates on the hooding ceremony will be posted on the hooding FAQ page as well as the COVID-19 updates page. We welcome all spring and summer doctoral candidates to join us for the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony as soon as we are able to safely gather again.

Upcoming Workshops

See Summer 2020 workshops and events!


Spring 2020 Formatting Workshops_Formatting (.pdf)
Spring 2020 Formatting Workshops_Submission (.pdf)


Detailed information concerning the procedures for completing a graduate degree at The University of Texas at Dallas is contained in the Policy Memorandum “Policy on Procedures for Completing a Graduate Degree - UTDPP1052”

Contact Information

For questions please contact Josefine Green, Alyssa Grimley, or Allison Nepomnick.
For electronic submission process questions please contact Dr. Elizabeth Rugg.