Doctoral Theses

Academic Commons holds the full text of doctoral theses written since 2011 at Columbia and of theses written for a Doctorate of Education at Teachers College since mid 2018. A selection of dissertations from Union Theological Seminary, and from Columbia before 2011, are also available. You can start exploring theses by selecting one of the doctoral programs below.

  • Anthropology (125)
  • Anthropology and Education (26)
  • Applied Anthropology (27)
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (79)
  • Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (131)
  • Architecture (36)
  • Art History and Archaeology (181)
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  • Business (202)
  • Cellular Physiology and Biophysics (20)
  • Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Studies (189)
  • Cellular, Molecular, Structural, and Genetic Studies (12)
  • Chemical Engineering (115)
  • Chemical Physics (34)
  • Chemistry (267)
  • Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (118)
  • Classical Studies (15)
  • Classics (32)
  • Clinical Psychology (78)
  • Cognitive Studies in Education (91)
  • Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design (2)
  • Communications (44)
  • Comparative and International Education (43)
  • Computer Science (248)
  • Counseling Psychology (65)
  • Counseling and Clinical Psychology (4)
  • Curriculum and Teaching (89)
  • Developmental Psychology (14)
  • Earth and Environmental Engineering (88)
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences (184)
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures (107)
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (65)
  • Economics (273)
  • Economics and Education (70)
  • Education Leadership (17)
  • Education Policy (16)
  • Electrical Engineering (271)
  • English Education (76)
  • English and Comparative Literature (179)
  • Environmental Health Sciences (47)
  • Epidemiology (127)
  • French and Romance Philology (49)
  • Genetics and Development (65)
  • Geological Sciences (1)
  • Geology (1)
  • Germanic Languages (43)
  • Health and Behavior Studies (115)
  • History (263)
  • History and Education (12)
  • Human Development (8)
  • Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (131)
  • Intellectual Disabilities-Autism (13)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies in Education (26)
  • International and Transcultural Studies (8)
  • Italian (44)
  • Kinesiology (14)
  • Latin American and Iberian Cultures (58)
  • Materials Science and Engineering (33)
  • Mathematics (141)
  • Mathematics Education (76)
  • Mathematics, Science, and Technology (61)
  • Measurement and Evaluation (37)
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  • Microbiology, Immunology, and Infection (44)
  • Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (73)
  • Music (138)
  • Neurobiology and Behavior (198)
  • Neuroscience (4)
  • Nursing (78)
  • Nutritional and Metabolic Biology (55)
  • Ophthalmology (1)
  • Organization and Leadership (136)
  • Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine (53)
  • Pathology and Cell Biology (6)
  • Pharmacology and Molecular Signaling (39)
  • Philosophy (76)
  • Philosophy and Education (42)
  • Physical Disabilities (13)
  • Physics (215)
  • Political Science (218)
  • Politics and Education (24)
  • Population and Family Health (20)
  • Psychology (148)
  • Pure Science (1)
  • Religion (68)
  • School Psychology (51)
  • Science Education (68)
  • Slavic Languages (25)
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures (19)
  • Social Work (180)
  • Social-Organizational Psychology (42)
  • Sociology (94)
  • Sociology and Education (19)
  • Sociomedical Sciences (77)
  • Speech and Language Pathology (28)
  • Statistics (103)
  • Sustainable Development (58)
  • Teaching of Social Studies (26)
  • Theatre (29)
  • Union Theological Seminary (5)
  • Urban Planning (43)

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  • What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.

A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master’s program or a capstone to a bachelor’s degree.

Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation , it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic , crafting a proposal , designing your research , collecting data , developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions , and writing concisely .

Thesis template

You can also download our full thesis template in the format of your choice below. Our template includes a ready-made table of contents , as well as guidance for what each chapter should include. It’s easy to make it your own, and can help you get started.

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Table of contents

Thesis vs. thesis statement, how to structure a thesis, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your thesis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about theses.

You may have heard the word thesis as a standalone term or as a component of academic writing called a thesis statement . Keep in mind that these are two very different things.

  • A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay , and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay .
  • A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs, and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
  • In the US, a dissertation is generally written as a final step toward obtaining a PhD.
  • In other countries (particularly the UK), a dissertation is generally written at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

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The final structure of your thesis depends on a variety of components, such as:

  • Your discipline
  • Your theoretical approach

Humanities theses are often structured more like a longer-form essay . Just like in an essay, you build an argument to support a central thesis.

In both hard and social sciences, theses typically include an introduction , literature review , methodology section ,  results section , discussion section , and conclusion section . These are each presented in their own dedicated section or chapter. In some cases, you might want to add an appendix .

Thesis examples

We’ve compiled a short list of thesis examples to help you get started.

  • Example thesis #1:   “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807” by Suchait Kahlon.
  • Example thesis #2: “’A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947″ by Julian Saint Reiman.

The very first page of your thesis contains all necessary identifying information, including:

  • Your full title
  • Your full name
  • Your department
  • Your institution and degree program
  • Your submission date.

Sometimes the title page also includes your student ID, the name of your supervisor, or the university’s logo. Check out your university’s guidelines if you’re not sure.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional. Its main point is to allow you to thank everyone who helped you in your thesis journey, such as supervisors, friends, or family. You can also choose to write a preface , but it’s typically one or the other, not both.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
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See an example

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An abstract is a short summary of your thesis. Usually a maximum of 300 words long, it’s should include brief descriptions of your research objectives , methods, results, and conclusions. Though it may seem short, it introduces your work to your audience, serving as a first impression of your thesis.

Read more about abstracts

A table of contents lists all of your sections, plus their corresponding page numbers and subheadings if you have them. This helps your reader seamlessly navigate your document.

Your table of contents should include all the major parts of your thesis. In particular, don’t forget the the appendices. If you used heading styles, it’s easy to generate an automatic table Microsoft Word.

Read more about tables of contents

While not mandatory, if you used a lot of tables and/or figures, it’s nice to include a list of them to help guide your reader. It’s also easy to generate one of these in Word: just use the “Insert Caption” feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

If you have used a lot of industry- or field-specific abbreviations in your thesis, you should include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations . This way, your readers can easily look up any meanings they aren’t familiar with.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

Relatedly, if you find yourself using a lot of very specialized or field-specific terms that may not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary . Alphabetize the terms you want to include with a brief definition.

Read more about glossaries

An introduction sets up the topic, purpose, and relevance of your thesis, as well as expectations for your reader. This should:

  • Ground your research topic , sharing any background information your reader may need
  • Define the scope of your work
  • Introduce any existing research on your topic, situating your work within a broader problem or debate
  • State your research question(s)
  • Outline (briefly) how the remainder of your work will proceed

In other words, your introduction should clearly and concisely show your reader the “what, why, and how” of your research.

Read more about introductions

A literature review helps you gain a robust understanding of any extant academic work on your topic, encompassing:

  • Selecting relevant sources
  • Determining the credibility of your sources
  • Critically evaluating each of your sources
  • Drawing connections between sources, including any themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing work. Rather, your literature review should ultimately lead to a clear justification for your own research, perhaps via:

  • Addressing a gap in the literature
  • Building on existing knowledge to draw new conclusions
  • Exploring a new theoretical or methodological approach
  • Introducing a new solution to an unresolved problem
  • Definitively advocating for one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework, but these are not the same thing. A theoretical framework defines and analyzes the concepts and theories that your research hinges on.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter shows your reader how you conducted your research. It should be written clearly and methodically, easily allowing your reader to critically assess the credibility of your argument. Furthermore, your methods section should convince your reader that your method was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • Your overall approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative )
  • Your research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment
  • Any tools or materials you used (e.g., computer software)
  • The data analysis methods you chose (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • A strong, but not defensive justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. These two sections work in tandem, but shouldn’t repeat each other. While your results section can include hypotheses or themes, don’t include any speculation or new arguments here.

Your results section should:

  • State each (relevant) result with any (relevant) descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Explain how each result relates to the research question
  • Determine whether the hypothesis was supported

Additional data (like raw numbers or interview transcripts ) can be included as an appendix . You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results.

Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is where you can interpret your results in detail. Did they meet your expectations? How well do they fit within the framework that you built? You can refer back to any relevant source material to situate your results within your field, but leave most of that analysis in your literature review.

For any unexpected results, offer explanations or alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your thesis conclusion should concisely answer your main research question. It should leave your reader with an ultra-clear understanding of your central argument, and emphasize what your research specifically has contributed to your field.

Why does your research matter? What recommendations for future research do you have? Lastly, wrap up your work with any concluding remarks.

Read more about conclusions

In order to avoid plagiarism , don’t forget to include a full reference list at the end of your thesis, citing the sources that you used. Choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your thesis, taking note of the formatting requirements of each style.

Which style you choose is often set by your department or your field, but common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

In order to stay clear and concise, your thesis should include the most essential information needed to answer your research question. However, chances are you have many contributing documents, like interview transcripts or survey questions . These can be added as appendices , to save space in the main body.

Read more about appendices

Once you’re done writing, the next part of your editing process begins. Leave plenty of time for proofreading and editing prior to submission. Nothing looks worse than grammar mistakes or sloppy spelling errors!

Consider using a professional thesis editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect.

Once you’ve submitted your final product, it’s common practice to have a thesis defense, an oral component of your finished work. This is scheduled by your advisor or committee, and usually entails a presentation and Q&A session.

After your defense , your committee will meet to determine if you deserve any departmental honors or accolades. However, keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality. If there are any serious issues with your work, these should be resolved with your advisor way before a defense.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .

If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)

A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.

Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:

  • Plan to attend graduate school soon
  • Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
  • Are considering a career in research
  • Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience

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  • Thesis and Dissertation Format and Submission Guidelines

Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines

A guide through the entire thesis/dissertation process, from getting started to submitting.

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As part of the graduation requirements for students completing theses, dissertations, or doctoral projects, once final documents are accepted by the Graduate College as complete, approved, and properly formatted, students must then submit their final approved document electronically to ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV by the appropriate deadline each semester.

Theses and dissertations must be properly formatted according to both the style guidelines used in your discipline and the format required by UNLV.

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1. Tools to Help with Research

  • UNLV Research Librarians UNLV Libraries have many resources to help with the research process prior to writing your thesis or dissertation. The most important resource the library offers is your college’s research librarian. You can find contact information and helpful research tips
  • UNLV Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) A good starting place for research is seeing what has been done by students in your department. Open access to e-theses and e-dissertations (ETDs) benefit graduate students, as research can be shared with prospective or current employers, a valuable career tool. Open access makes research accessible to a global audience and has potential for increased use and higher impact of your work. Students can incorporate interactive features such as multimedia, hyperlinks, and supplemental files by using various forms of creative scholarship.

2. Before You Start Writing Your Thesis or Dissertation

If you have concerns about how to start writing the thesis or dissertation so that it complies with the Graduate College policies or if you have concerns about what forms need to be submitted prior to and after your master’s and/ or doctoral defense, this section should help alleviate these concerns. The “Things to Think About Before Writing the Thesis or Dissertation” provides helpful suggestions about how to start the formatting before you start writing. Presetting your formatting will ease formatting-induced frustrations in the long-term. The “Paperwork to Complete Your Master’s Defense and Degree Program” and “Paperwork to Complete Your Master’s Defense and Degree Program” help with concerns about making sure all paperwork has been turned in when it should be. Finally, check the graduation and submission deadlines for the semester you wish to graduate. Make sure you submit your graduation application, defend, submit, and upload your thesis or dissertation on or before the listed deadline.

  • Things to Think About Before Writing the Thesis or Dissertation
  • Graduation & Submission Deadlines

3. General Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations

This section just provides some general guidelines for the theses and dissertations. Reading it will help to answer questions about whether the theses or dissertation is collaborative (it is not), how to choose a style guide, who is responsible for judging the acceptability of the thesis or dissertation, and so forth.

  • General Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis/Dissertation Document Order
  • Most Common Formatting Issues
  • Announcing your Thesis or Dissertation Defense
  • Novice Webex Users Simple Tips for Virtual Defense
  • Advanced Webex Users: Preparing for Oral Thesis/Dissertation Defenses using Webex

4. Use of Previously Published Material

This section discusses the nature of using previously published material. Please read if you are planning on incorporating such material into your theses or dissertation.

  • Use of Previously Published Material

5. Organization of the Thesis and Dissertation

This section includes guidelines, tips and examples for each section of the thesis or dissertation. Simply click on the hyperlink and it will lead to a pdf. The sections are presented in the order of how the material must be presented in your document.

  • YouTube Instructional Video - Graduate College TD Series: Cover Page.
  • YouTube Instructional Video - Graduate College TD Series: Copyright Page
  • YouTube Instructional Video - Graduate College TD Series: Abstract
  • Acknowledgments
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Preface (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • Tables and List of Tables
  • Figures and List of Figures
  • Any other lists, including: List of Definitions, List of Algorithms, List of Equations
  • Headings and Subheadings Manual
  • Manual for Formatting Requirements for Font Size, Style, and Type and Spacing: Changing the Default Paragraph Styles
  • Manual for Format Requirements for Margins and Page Numbers
  • Appendix or appendices
  • Bibliography/ References
  • Curriculum Vitae

6. Thesis & Dissertation Checklist

All theses, dissertations, and doctoral projects are checked by reviewers using this checklist. We recommend that students compare their document to this checklist prior to Graduate College format review.

  • Thesis and Dissertation Format Review Checklist

7. Copyright Information

Thesis or dissertation authors automatically own the copyright to their documents since it represents the author’s original work, fixed in any tangible medium.

Registering a copyright on a thesis or dissertation is optional. Students may consider it because they want the public record to show they own the work’s copyright; they want a certificate of registration; or because in successful litigation, works that are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office may be eligible for attorney’s fees and statutory damage.

Students can register a copyright on their thesis or dissertation with the U.S. Copyright Office by:

  • Working through ProQuest, which collects a fee for its service
  • Filing a registration of copyright themselves by sending an application form, a nonrefundable filing fee, and a non-returnable copy of their thesis or dissertation to the U.S. Copyright Office

More information on copyright is available on the U.S. Copyright Office’s website . Answers to frequently asked copyright questions on the FAQs page .

If students choose to register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, they must indicate it with a copyright page in their thesis or dissertation. This page is optional, but encouraged, for students who do not register a copyright.

Please follow the guidelines below if including a copyright page:

  • The copyright page is inserted after the title page
  • This page is not numbered 
  • This page does not have headers or footers in the margins 
  • First line: Copyright by Name (First then Last), YEAR
  • Second line: All Rights Reserved
  • If submitting in December, date for January of the following year. 

8. Creating a PDF

This document discusses how to create a pdf. This is the format required for when you submit your document (thesis or dissertation) to the Graduate College for review.

  • Creating a PDF

9. iThenticate

All theses and dissertations must be submitted to iThenticate for a similarity check prior to submission of the final document to the Graduate College. A copy of the similarity report must be submitted to the student’s advisory committee at the time of the final defense, and it will be taken into account when determining the outcome of the defense. If the student passes their defense, the report shall be attached to the Culminating Experience Results form before submission to the Graduate College.

  • More information on iThenticate
  • Generating a Similarity Report

10. Format Review

Please submit your committee-approved thesis, dissertation or doctoral project through our  submission website .  Note : You can only submit your document using your Rebelmail account. If you are simultaneously logged into other Gmail accounts, you will need to sign out of them and log in to your Rebelmail account only.

Please note that Professional Papers should not be submitted for Graduate College format review. Please work with your respective department if you have any format-related questions.

Theses, dissertations, and doctoral projects must be submitted to the Graduate College for format check through the online submission form. If you have any difficulty with your online submission process please email  [email protected]  so we can assist you as soon as possible.

11. Thesis and Dissertation Submission Process

Once the formatting of your thesis, dissertation, or doctoral project is approved by the Graduate College, you will receive your final document and instructions on how to submit it to ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV . Students must submit their final document electronically to ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV by the appropriate deadline each semester as part of their graduation requirements.

Thesis & Dissertation Assistance

Students with questions about their thesis or dissertation can take advantage of the Graduate College's thesis and dissertation office hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 12-2 p.m. Email [email protected] at least 48 hours in advance to schedule a virtual appointment (via Google Meets or WebEx).

Option to Embargo

Some students may have a compelling reason to embargo their thesis or dissertation for a period of time to protect intellectual property rights or due to other publication restrictions.

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Dissertations & Theses

All doctoral dissertations and master’s theses are submitted by the student for archiving upon final approval by the student’s committee. (“Dissertations” here also refers to DNP projects in Nursing and DMA documents in Music.) These works will be added to the UA Campus Repository and the national archive of dissertations and theses maintained by ProQuest/UMI. There are no fees charged for archiving.

The Graduate College has provided Sample Pages for use in your dissertation or thesis. These samples represent the first two pages of the dissertation or thesis. 

The Graduate College also has Dissertation and Thesis Formatting Guides available in order to assist students with formatting their dissertation or thesis.  Please review the relevant guide prior to submitting your work for archiving.

In order to graduate in a given term, a student must submit the dissertation or thesis by the published deadline for the term. Note that the dissertation submission deadline typically falls before the end of the term. The student must have defended the dissertation or thesis and gained final committee approval before submitting it for archiving. If the committee requires further revisions, the student must request a change to their graduation term from the Graduate College .

The links in the menu at the right provide full information about the process of submitting a dissertation or thesis for archiving.

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Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation

The document that you submit for format approval must be a complete, defense-ready document. This means you should choose your style guide in consultation with your chair, write an abstract that meets the Graduate College guidelines, and thoroughly check your document for consistency, grammar, punctuation, etc. Keep in mind that a significant portion of the formatting (i.e., margins, spacing and pagination) will be done by the ASU Format Wizard . The ASU Format Wizard is required for all students that have a document that goes through Graduate College format review. Please review the ASU Graduate College Format Manual  before creating your document, and use the Format Checklist for students and Format Checklist for chairs and co-chairs .

Preparing for the format process

Choose a style guide

All students are required to follow a standard style guide or accepted journal in their field. A style guide should be used in addition to the ASU Graduate College Format Manual . Although format advisors do not review your document for strict adherence to style guide requirements, you must use a style guide, in conjunction with the Format Manual, to format your document. You and your chairperson are responsible for ensuring your document follows your style guide.

Be aware that the Graduate College requirements outlined in this document supersede those of your style guide or journal.

Using your style guide

Any aspect of your document that is not addressed in the Format Manual is subject to the guidelines of your chosen style guide. You will use your style guide to format the following elements (if applicable) of your thesis/dissertation:

Heading structure and style (e.g., centered or flush left, etc.) for each level

Table format (e.g., gridlines) and style of table titles (e.g., italics, above the table)

Style of figure captions (e.g., flush left, below the figure)

Citation method (e.g., numbers or author names) and format (e.g., parentheses or brackets)

Reference list (or notes/bibliography) format (e.g., author-date, publication type, alphabetical, etc.)

Quotation format (e.g., spacing/indenting of block quotes)

Consult with your chair and department as there are often specific recommendations regarding which style guide you should use. Make sure you use the most current version of the selected style guide to be confident that you are following the publication standards in your field of study.

The format advising office created the following quick reference PDF guides to assist you in using the most common style guides:

Write your abstract

Your abstract should present a succinct summary of the research and results of the work you completed for your thesis/dissertation. Many researchers read abstracts to determine the relevance, reliability and quality of a source; therefore, if you create a clear and concise abstract, others are more likely to read your entire document.

You may find it helpful to review other abstracts from your field or visit the  ETD/Proquest website . Writing assistance is also available from  ASU Writing Centers .

Your abstract may be utilized as a resource by other researchers, thus the Graduate College has developed the following guidelines to assist you in writing an abstract that is both informative and concise:

Structure your paragraph(s) to include: - An introduction to the study or project which helps place the research in context - A clear description of your methods of analysis or experiment process - A summary of your results and conclusions

Proofread carefully for spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors

Maintain a professional tone and avoid colloquialisms

Do not include bibliographic citations in the abstract

Do not write in the future tense; past or present tense is preferred

You may use special characters and foreign alphabets if necessary

Never use “we,” "us" or "our" since your document is not co-authored

Wherever an acronym first occurs in the text, write it out in full, followed by the acronym in parenthesis (e.g., “Graduate Program Services (GPS)”)

Please keep in mind that while you want to be as specific as possible, you must not exceed the maximum word-length guidelines. All students must limit their abstracts to 350 words or less. Your chair/advisor can assist you in selecting the most appropriate information to include in your abstract.

Revise your document

Before your document is submitted to the Graduate College, you and your committee should thoroughly review your document and check for technical as well as grammatical errors. Additionally, you should have at least two other readers proofread your document to make corrections and catch typographical errors. If you need further assistance, you may also visit  ASU’s Writing Centers .

You must work diligently to ensure that your document is free of sentence fragments, fused sentences, comma splices, agreement errors, punctuation errors, etc. Remember that although the format advisor may catch some of these errors, it is ultimately the responsibility of you and your chair to ensure your document is error-free for publication.

Email a format advisor

Unsure how to interpret the Format Manual? Have a situation that seems unique?  Email a format advisor . Typically, an ASU Graduate Format Advisor will be able to address e-mail inquiries within three (3) business days. However, as the semester deadlines approach, students should expect to wait up to ten (10) business days for a response.

Please Note: Format advisors do not provide advice regarding the use of software, and cannot instruct students on how to use software.

Formatting your document

To assist students with formatting their thesis or dissertation, the Graduate College provides a formatting tool, called the Format Wizard, in Microsoft Word and LaTeX. This tool will help with formatting the preliminary pages of your document, fixing the margins, and setting pagination. Please keep in mind that, regardless of whether you use the Formatting Wizard or not, you must still review your document to ensure compliance with the Graduate College standards. The  ASU Graduate College Format Manual  is the rubric with which your document is reviewed and will supersede your style guide and the Format Wizard.

ASU Format Wizard

The ASU Format Wizard is a resource used to provide assistance as you write your thesis or dissertation under the supervision of your committee chair. The Format Wizard is designed to help students with basic format requirements such as margins and spacing, and may greatly streamline the format process for you. This tool will also format preliminary matter and page numbers for you; however, it will not format your citations or create your headings.

You will need to carefully review the final document generated through the Format Wizard to ensure it adheres with your selected style guide requirements. Your document must satisfy professional standards of published research. Both your committee and the Graduate College expect to see evidence of careful attention to style and format in the document that you present to fulfill the requirements for your graduate degree.

You must not assume that the Format Wizard will do all of the formatting for you. You will have to go through your document to make any changes necessary to meet Graduate College standards. Please use the software option that you are comfortable editing, as the Graduate College will not provide assistance in using your software.

  • Preview the  Format Wizard Instructions (PDF)
  • Access the  ASU Format Wizard .

Please use the Format Wizard in conjunction with the format guide, keeping in mind that some updates may need to be done manually.

Microsoft Word users

Current issues we are resolving include the alignment of page numbers for entries in the table of contents and the alignment of the page numbers throughout the document.

LaTeX users

Please refer to the LaTeX template on the website

Submitting your document

  • Students must submit documents through their iPOS by clicking on the Format tab and uploading a Word or PDF document as an attachment. If you are attaching multiple files, the documents must be submitted as a compressed zip file.
  • The document should be uploaded to your iPOS 10 business days prior to the defense.
  • Documents should only be submitted after consultation with the student's committee/chair and must be a complete, defense-ready document (i.e. meets standards set by the  ASU Graduate College Format Manual , complete content).
  • The Graduate Format team will not review incomplete documents or those that have not been formatted according to the format manual. If students submit a partial or incomplete document, the document will be returned without evaluation and revisions will be requested before further review.
  • Students must be enrolled in at least (1) credit hour during the semester they plan to defend their thesis/dissertation and while working on format revisions.

Non-thesis culminating events (Applied Projects, Capstone Courses, Comprehensive Exams or Portfolios) do not need format approval from the Graduate College. For questions regarding documents that require special format, please email  [email protected] .

Revision process

A format advisor checks your work against the ASU Graduate College Format Manual requirements. They also spot-check for misspellings, inconsistencies, typographical errors, and grammatical problems, but a thorough review of the entire document for these errors is the responsibility of you and your chair.

Graduate College may return the document to you for additional revisions. Turnaround time for review fluctuates depending upon the volume of documents, and increases as the semester deadlines approach, but you should expect a response within 3 – 5 business days. Your document will be reviewed as quickly as possible, and you will be contacted electronically upon completion of the review (correspondence is done via your ASU email, so check frequently).

After you have made the required corrections outlined in the email and reviewed the entire document, you will need to upload your revised document in your iPOS. This process will continue until your document is ready for electronic submission through ETD/ProQuest.

To avoid jeopardizing your graduation, be sure to submit your final revisions by the posted semester deadline (graduation deadlines). If the deadline is not met, you will be required to register (and pay) for one (1) graduate-level credit hour the following semester to be able to graduate.

Final document submission to ProQuest

You will receive an email from the Graduate College format advisor notifying you that your document is ready for electronic submission through ETD/ProQuest. Read the email carefully as you may receive instructions before  final submission to ETD/ProQuest . You must have received format approval from the Graduate College and your final defense result from your committee.

When can I expect to get my format review revisions?

Turnaround time depends on the time during the semester when you submit your document for initial review. As a general rule, the closer document submission is to the semester deadlines, the longer it will take for your review to be completed due to the increased volume of documents received. Regardless, your document will be reviewed as quickly as possible and you will be notified of the results by email.

How long do people typically have to make revisions?

Format revisions can be made after the defense, along with any changes recommended by the committee.

I am from out of town, and I'm concerned about how to go through the format review process long-distance. Can you offer any advice?

Documents should be uploaded in the students iPOS and then once approved, uploaded to ProQuest. Please note that the students' defense must be scheduled prior to format submission and that the document must be submitted at least ten business days prior to the scheduled defense ( 10 Working Day Calendar ). Students’ final defense results or ‘Final Pass’ are electronically entered by the committee chair in the iPOS. This indicates that the defense committee has given final approval of the thesis/dissertation. Students can see the status of their document and their defense through their MyASU account.

Would it be possible for me to meet with a format advisor to have my document checked for any changes that need to be made before I submit for format review?

We cannot conduct a review before you submit your document and schedule your defense. We encourage all students to use the  ASU Format Wizard  to build the shell, page margins, and preliminary matter of their document. For specific information please consult the  ASU Graduate College Format Manual  or the standard formatting requirements.

If I am still in the process of revising the text, am I able to submit my work for a format review? In other words, does the document need to be completely finished before I give it to you?

Your document must be completed before you submit it for format review. However, it is likely that your committee will suggest revisions that may require the inclusion of additional material. As such, you may make changes to your document after initial format review, as suggested by your committee.

Could you clarify which dates belong on the Title Page?

The center of your Title Page should list the month and year of your defense. The bottom of your Title Page should have the month and year of your graduation (December, May, or August), and should be located just above the 1-inch margin.

My abstract is 482 words. The Format Manual says 350 words maximum. Is this mandatory?

Yes! If an abstract is longer than 350 words, potential readers may only be able to read up to that point. For more information on writing your abstract, see the  ASU Graduate College Format Manual .

My document includes photographs for which I have obtained permission to use. Where in the document do I include this statement of permission?

Documents that make use of copyrighted material or research involving human or animal subjects must include a statement indicating that the publisher or appropriate university body has approved the use of material or research. You should include any approval documents in an appendix and follow the formatting as expressed in the  ASU Graduate College Format Manual .

References, footers and endnotes

What do I do about direct quotes from an online journal? Since there are no page numbers, how do I indicate where the quote came from?

For citing online sources, refer to the style guide you chose to write your document. If your style guide does not have specific instructions, you may also refer to the Columbia Guide to Online Style.

Are there any size requirements for the endnotes?

Endnotes should be the same size as the text. For footnotes, however, the size may be smaller.

How do I insert approval documents or other original printed materials in the appendix? Is this done by scanning, or is there another process?

You may scan or photocopy as long as you maintain the 1.25-inch side margins and the 1-inch top and bottom margins. Images may be reduced as necessary to retain the proper margins but must stay legible.

How are tables within appendices numbered-consecutively or numbered within the appendix (e.g., Tables 1-5 in Appendix A, Tables 1-5 in Appendix B)?

Refer to your style guide concerning tables in appendices, or if your style guide does not address this issue, defer to your chair/advisor's recommendation.

Beyond format review: finishing up

What steps need to be completed after my defense?

Once all corrections have been made and approved by your committee, your committee chair will electronically enter your Final Pass in the iPOS. After the Graduate College receives your final defense result and all format revisions have been completed, the student will receive an email approval to proceed to ETD/ProQuest. Make sure to check your email regularly for any additional revision requests after submitting to ProQuest. Be sure to check both your ASU email as well as the email used to register with ProQuest. Please see MyASU for further information, and always check the graduation deadlines and procedures tab.


How do I order bound copies of my thesis/dissertation?

You may order bound copies of your document through ETD/ProQuest. Alternatively, you may also go to any third party bindery to obtain bound copies if desired. Locating a third party vendor is the responsibility of the student; ASU Graduate College does not endorse outside vendors.

I ordered a copy of my thesis/dissertation through ProQuest. Why haven’t I received it yet?

Unfortunately ASU cannot answer questions regarding the purchase of bound documents. Purchasing questions and comments should be directed to ProQuest’s Support section at

Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."

An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.

Steps in Constructing a Thesis

First, analyze your primary sources.  Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)

Once you have a working thesis, write it down.  There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.

Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.  A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.

Anticipate the counterarguments.  Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis is never a question.  Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.

A thesis is never a list.  "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.

A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational.  An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.

An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.  "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."

A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible.  Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."

Copyright 1999, Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University

Boston College Libraries homepage

  • Research guides

Finding Dissertations & Theses

Boston college dissertations & theses, about boston college dissertations and theses.

Boston College began offering graduate programs in the 1920s. Since then the format of masters theses and doctoral dissertations has changed with the times: from the early technology of print books to microforms (both microfilm and microfiche) and now to PDFs. The information in this guide can help optimize your search for full text of a BC dissertation or masters thesis.

Access to BC Dissertations and Theses

Full text of BC dissertations and masters theses is available in a variety of formats and locations, depending on the publication date. Though there are outliers and exceptions, the following table shows likely availability, including format, location, and years.

* Stored offsite; requires retrieval. Must be used at Burns Library.

Additional information on accessibility:

  • A PDF in  eScholarship@BC  is freely available to all; a PDF in ProQuest requires access to that database. Note: We provide all current BC students, faculty, and staff with access to the  ProQuest Dissertations and Theses  database.
  • The full text of an electronic thesis or dissertation may not be available in  eScholarship@BC by the request of the author.  If you are unable to retrieve the full text from the eScholarship@BC record, it may be available in the  ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.
  • Microforms can be either microfilm (up to about 1980) or microfiche (from 1980 through 2008). Machine readers for both formats are available at O'Neill Library.
  • The print versions available at Burns Library are stored offsite. Contact Burns Library, by submitting a question or calling 617-552-4861 to request retrieval (takes 1-2 days). These volumes must be used within the library.

Embargoes: The author may have requested an embargo, delaying the online availability of the dissertation or thesis. If a dissertation is embargoed in ProQuest and/or eScholarship@BC, you will be able to see the author, title, and abstract, but not the full text. Embargoes are typically requested when a dissertation is being submitted to a publisher that proscribes prior publication; a patent application is going to be filed; there is a need to protect proprietary information; or there is a need to respect confidentiality.

Ask for help

If you are sure the dissertation/thesis you are looking for was written before 1966, contact Burns Library by submitting a question or by phone 617-552-4861.

For all other assistance with searching, ask a librarian .

Searching for a BC dissertation or thesis

Library catalog.

The catalog includes records for the following formats/locations:

  • eScholarship@BC (post-2008)
  • Microforms in O'Neill Library (1966-2008)
  • Print volumes in Burns Library (pre-1966)

We recommend that you first search for a dissertation or thesis here. Use the advanced search option to do a title and/or author search. You can also search for the Local Collection Name "BC THESES."

See our search tips for additional help.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

The ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database includes not only Boston College graduate dissertations and theses but also full-text dissertations and abstracts from institutions worldwide. BC dissertations and theses from 1996 on can be found in this database.


eScholarship@BC is the institutional repository of Boston College, managed by the Boston College University Libraries. Both graduate and undergraduate students have the option to provide free access to the full text of a thesis or dissertation through eScholarship@BC, though it is not required. BC dissertations and theses from 2008 on can be found in eScholarship@BC.

Submitting a BC Dissertation or Thesis

If you are submitting a graduate thesis or dissertation to Boston College, see our eTD@BC website for instructions and support.

If you would like to submit an undergraduate honors thesis, see our Undergraduate Theses Submission guidelines .

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Thesis and Dissertation Information

Searching for an example of a correctly formatted thesis or dissertation? Use our Boise State Thesis/Dissertation Word Template as a guide! Need help formatting your document? Schedule an appointment today.

Distinguished Master's Thesis and Project Awards

The Boise State Graduate College honors the accomplishments of high-achieving Boise State University graduate students with the Distinguished Thesis and Project Awards. These awards are distributed five categories: Master’s Thesis and Project Awards (in the Arts, STEM fields, and non-STEM fields,) the Innovation in Technology Award, and the Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship Award. View award winners .

Deadline Dates

Required supporting documents, submission information, preparing for your oral defense, oral defenses, thesis and dissertation formatting requirements, printing and binding information, thesis and dissertation template, graduate student success center.

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How to search for Harvard dissertations

  • DASH , Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard, is the university's central, open-access repository for the scholarly output of faculty and the broader research community at Harvard.  Most Ph.D. dissertations submitted from  March 2012 forward  are available online in DASH.
  • Check HOLLIS, the Library Catalog, and refine your results by using the   Advanced Search   and limiting Resource  Type   to Dissertations
  • Search the database  ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global Don't hesitate to  Ask a Librarian  for assistance.

How to search for Non-Harvard dissertations

Library Database:

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  • Many  universities  provide full-text access to their dissertations via a digital repository.  If you know the title of a particular dissertation or thesis, try doing a Google search.  

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Thesis & Dissertation Information

This is a one-stop-shop for your thesis and dissertation success. Have specific questions? Contact us at  [email protected] .

Thesis and dissertation defenses and oral comprehensive exams may be held in person or virtually via Zoom or Teams.

Thesis Students

If you are completing a thesis, please review the  resource guides .

You are also encouraged to refer to the  Thesis Requirements for a Master's Degree  page in the  Graduate Catalog   for more information regarding your thesis:

  • ​thesis proposal
  • thesis enrollment and credit
  • thesis deadlines and approval process

Dissertation Students

If you are completing a dissertation, please review the  resource guides .

You are also encouraged to refer to the  Dissertation Requirements for Doctoral Degrees  page in the  Graduate Catalog   for more information regarding your dissertation:

  • advancement to candidacy*
  • dissertation committee
  • dissertation proposal and defense
  • dissertation enrollment and credit
  • dissertation deadlines and approval process

*The requirements for advancement can be found in your program's section of the  Graduate Catalog .

Additional Resources

  • Institn'l Animal Care & Use Committee
  • Institutional Review Board

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Resource Guides

  • Thesis/Dissertation Guide: Focus on Processes and Procedures
  • Thesis/Dissertation Guide: Focus on Formatting
  • Thesis/Dissertation Guide: Focus on Vireo Submission
  • Microsoft Word Template

BU School of Visual Arts Presents the 2024 MFA Thesis Exhibitions

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MFA branding designed by BU graphic design students Dhwani Garg, Veridiana Victorelli, Amanda Mundy, and Niharika Yellamraju

Boston University School of Visual Arts Presents the 2024 MFA Thesis Exhibitions

The exhibitions, on view from april 2-20, 2024, celebrate the work of 61 graduating mfa students – the largest cohort to date – in graphic design, painting, print media & photography, sculpture, and visual narrative programs ..

Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts (SVA) is pleased to present the Class of 2024 Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Thesis Exhibitions, on view from April 2-20, 2024. The MFA thesis exhibitions feature works of graduating students in BU’s MFA programs in Graphic Design , Painting , Sculpture , Print Media & Photography , and Visual Narrative . This is the first thesis exhibition for the Print Media & Photography and Visual Narrative programs since their launch in 2022. With 61 participating students, the MFA Class of 2024 represents the largest cohort of graduating MFA students in the BU School of Visual Arts.

Also new for this year, SVA’s thesis exhibitions have expanded beyond BU and the traditional gallery space. The MFA Painting Thesis Exhibition will be on view at Boston University Art Galleries’ Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery; BU Art Galleries’ 808 Gallery hosts the MFA Print Media & Photography and MFA Graphic Design ( Side B ) Thesis Exhibitions; and the MFA Visual Narrative Thesis Exhibition is taking place at the College of Fine Arts’ Commonwealth Gallery. The MFA Sculpture Thesis Exhibition will be a satellite show off-campus, on view in Allston at 1270 Commonwealth Avenue, an empty space that was once a drugstore and pharmacy.

“These MFA graduate students reveal highly individualized practices informed by culture, locale, historical research, texts, the property of materials, and the body’s relationship to the physical world. The studio is a site of transformation where the expansion of learning and the compression of making meet, as Painting MFA candidate James Gold aptly describes it in his catalog statement,” says Dana Clancy , BU School of Visual Arts Director and Associate Professor of Art, “Our graduate Class of 2024 are artists and designers who have weathered much recent cultural change and flux. A sense of experimentation and attention to community are both fostered through intense studio work, dialogue, and shared social time in and across programs.”

The BU community and the public are invited to experience the exhibitions and attend the receptions. Details regarding the exhibition hours and public receptions on April 12 and April 19 are listed below.


Dates, times & locations.

April 2-20, 2024

  • Faye G., Jo and James Stone Gallery • 855 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11am to 5pm
  • 808 Gallery • 808 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Commonwealth Gallery • 855 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays from 7am to 8:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 8:30pm
  • 1270 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Exhibition hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11am to 5pm and by appointment only on Thursdays (please email MFA Sculptor Mae-Chu O’Connell, [email protected] , to schedule a visit)

Exhibiting Students by Program

Mfa painting.

Cody Robert Hook Bluett • Sarai Bustos • Tea Chai Beer • Huakai Chen • Natalie Conway • James Gold • Abbi Kenny • Yingxue Daisy Li • Julia McGehean • Sayak Mitra • Linda Obobaifo • Stephanie Petet • Jacob Salzer • Sidharth Shah • Sophie Thervil • Ellen Weitkamp

MFA Sculpture

Helena Abdelnasser • Liam Coughlin • Alyssa Grey • Mae-Chu Lin O’Connell • Yolanda He Yang

MFA Visual Narrative

Sandeep Badal • Lafleche Giasson • Camila Kerwin • Ariel Cheng Kohane • Isabelle Rousseau • Sadie Saunders • Ella Scheuerell • Avanji Vaze • Xinhui Wang • Dajia Zhou

MFA Print Media & Photography

Sofia Barroso • Delaney C. Burns • Julianne Dao • Emily Taylor Rice

MFA Graphic Design

Charles Castro • Yidie Chen (Tica) • Qianyue Chen (Rachel) • Kristen Davis • Alexina Federhen • Dhwani Gopal Garg • Ren Lanzi • Liang Yi Lee (Gloria) • Chi Wei Lin (Eric) • Veridiana Monteiro Victorelli • Carolina Izsak • Arjun Lakshmanan • Christine Seungmin Roh • Raquel Rabines • Kristina Shumilina • Weimiao Sun (Davis) • Arfindo Briyan Santoso • Mengqi Tuo (Bella) • Dharshanya Venkataramanan • Lindsay Towle • Mengdi Wang (Cornelia) • Ash Wei • Xin Yue (Cecilia) • Yinxue Zou (Lucy) • Yingchen Zhou (Molly)

Faculty Advisors, Chairs, and Collaborators

Lynne Allen , Professor of Art, Printmaking, Chair of MFA Print Media & Photography • Kristen Coogan , Associate Professor of Art, Chair of MFA Graphic Design • Deborah Cornell , Professor of Art, Chair of BFA Printmaking • Joel Christian Gill , Associate Professor of Art, Chair of MFA Visual Narrative • Josephine Halvorson , Professor of Art, Chair of MFA Painting • Toni Pepe , Assistant Professor of Art, Chair of Photography • Christopher Sleboda , Associate Professor of Art, Chair of BFA Graphic Design • David Snyder , Assistant Professor of Art, Chair of MFA Sculpture • Lissa Cramer , Director, Boston University Art Galleries • Dana Clancy , Director, School of Visual Arts

Free Admission

All exhibitions are free admission and open to the BU community and the public.  

Parking/Transportation Information

The BU Art Galleries and Commonwealth Gallery are all accessible by the MBTA Green Line, taking the B line to the Amory Street station. Limited street parking is available on and around Commonwealth Avenue. Please visit BU’s Transportation website for a list of public parking lots near BU College of Fine Arts.

More on bu mfa thesis shows

Related Events

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MFA Exhibition Receptions

Painting & Visual Narrative Reception

Friday, April 12 • 6-8pm • Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery, and Commonwealth Gallery • 855 Commonwealth Avenue

Graphic Design and Print Media & Photography Reception

Friday, April 19 • 6-8pm • 808 Gallery • 808 Commonwealth Avenue, enter at Essex Street and Commonwealth Avenue

Sculpture Reception

Friday, April 19 • 7-9pm • 1270 Commonwealth Avenue (vacant CVS in Allston)  

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MFA Special Events

Visual Narrative Book Talk 1 – MFA visual narrative students will present professional graphic novel book pitches, read excerpts, and exhibit pages from their books-in-progress.

Wednesday, April 10 • 3-5pm

Howard Thurman Center, Room 104, 808 Commonwealth Avenue & Online

register for the free event

Visual Narrative Book Talk 2

Friday, April 12 • 3-5pm

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MA Art Education Exhibition and Reception

Alongside the MFA Thesis Exhibitions, the MA Art Education students install the artwork created by their students from Boston-area schools. MA Art Education students prepare to be teaching artists by engaging in coursework and research that include interdisciplinary studies, collaboration with other programs and colleges, arts-based research methods, and immersive practice in PreK-12 schools, museums, or in the community.

April 16-26, 2024 • Gallery 5 • 855 Commonwealth Avenue

Friday, April 16 • 5-7pm • Gallery 5 • 855 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston University

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 34,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Learn more at .

Boston University College of Fine Arts

Established in 1954, Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is a community of artist-scholars and scholar-artists who are passionate about the fine and performing arts, committed to diversity and inclusion, and determined to improve the lives of others through art. With programs in Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, CFA prepares students for a meaningful creative life by developing their intellectual capacity to create art, shift perspective, think broadly, and master relevant skills. CFA offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, as well as a range of online degrees and certificates. Learn more at .

BU College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts

Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts prepares students to think seriously, to see critically, to make intensely, and to act with creative agency in the contemporary world. The School of Visual Arts merges the intensive studio education of an art school with the opportunities of a large urban university, and is committed to educating the eye, hand, and mind of the artist. With rigorous graduate and undergraduate fine art programs that are rooted in studio practice, CFA School of Visual Arts provides highly motivated students with programs in the bedrock disciplines, of the fine arts coupled with a vast array of electives and liberal arts opportunities.

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Dissertation Support Granted to Two Graduate Students Through RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellowship

The Race & Ethnic Studies Institute announces the Spring 2024 recipients of the RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellowship. A fellowship designed to support current Texas A&M doctoral students complete their dissertation or some significant component thereof.

RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellowship

The Race & Ethnic Studies Institute (RESI) and the Carlos H. Cantú Endowment & Scholarship Fund have once again collaborated to offer a fellowship opportunity for current doctoral students at Texas A&M University. The RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellowship, on its fourth award cycle, is made to assist in the completion or support the significant component of the dissertation. Both recipients will receive up to $5,000 for roughly one calendar year.

The fellowship funds will assist grantees with pursuing opportunities to advance their dissertation for research infrastructure, fieldwork, travel to archives, participant incentives, and other pertinent research expenses. It also provides graduate students with a chance to develop their grant-writing skills which are key to pivoting into careers in research and industry.

“We’re proud to give assistance to students whose earnest work will impact academia and the public alike. Work like theirs speaks to the institute’s mission to contribute meaningfully to race and ethnic studies,” says RESI Director, Dr. Wanzer-Serano .

Meet the RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellows

RESI and the Carlos H. Cantú Endowment & Scholarship Fund congratulate Hannah Bowling, doctoral student of English, and Vanessa Verner, doctoral student of Sociology, on their deeply personal proposals. Both RESI and the Carlos H. Cantú Endowment & Scholarship Fund are proud to support their development and provide funding for their research.

Hannah Bowling , doctoral candidate and instructor of record in the Texas A&M University’s English department, focuses in on and examines African diasporic adaptations of Shakespeare, or “Blackspeares” as articulations of the Black experience. As a scholar in premodern critical race studies, she has developed an ongoing digital humanities project: Blackspeare , which articulates a coherent praxis for teaching Shakespeare within the context of the Black experience. Blackspeare is an open-access educational resource, with designs to launch its first phase in the coming summer allowing for post-secondary educators to access supplemental course readings and activities. There are also plans for a secondary phase focusing on a digital archive of Black adaptations of Shakespeare including any texts that can be made open-access as well as reviews and ephemera from Black -authored, -produced, and -themed adaptations of Shakespeare. Through the RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellowship, she has received the funding to conduct archival research in institutions like the New York Public Library, Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and the UWI’s George Lamming Collection. The digital archive is ultimately intended as an asset to not only users of the Blackspeare teacher’s guide but also for scholars more broadly invested in the history of Shakespearean adaptations and the artist endeavors of the African diasporic communities When asked about the impact about her work, Bowling responded, “As of Spring 2024, there does not exist any digital archive of Black Shakespearean adaptations. In a white-dominated field like Shakespeare where systemic racism suppresses not only the creative endeavors but scholarly pursuits of non-white people, I see my work as a direct intervention within this status quo.”

Vanessa Verner , a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology, is inspired by the Spiritually grounded Black women in her life. Her dissertation work focuses on such women in pastoral leadership within Black Pentecostalism which has historically been against women in such positions. Vanessa has engaged in some interdisciplinary work connecting Black rhetorics in church spaces as mechanisms of criticism against women. When she lived in Chicago, she learned about a Jurisdictional Bishop ordaining a woman as a pastor – a concept that she had been taught was “out of God’s order” within the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). This event made her curious about the impacts of a rich history of the foundational role Black women played in establishing new churches across the country, educational developments, fundraising, and civic engagement on contemporary COGIC members and church affiliates. The RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellowship, has given her the funding that has allowed her to expand her reach to obtain her target sample size within the 8 million+ COGIC population while balancing her teaching responsibilities and working on her dissertation by having the opportunity to work with and mentor undergraduate research assistants. Through her research, she hopes to advance knowledge on social behaviors, politics, racisms, classism, and gendered dynamics within racial homogeneous spaces for the effect of increased equity and advocacy. “The impact I hope my research will have on the academic community is to encourage race scholars to reach for the hard questions and not to be deterred from looking inward. Researching a religious space closely related to my personal experiences with church engagement and deep relational ties to friends, family and community, offers essential insight.”

The RESI-Cantú Fellow’s Research Projects

Hannah bowling.

A photograph of a smiling Hannah Bowling.

Abstract: Hannah read Black Shakespearean afterlives, or Blackspeares, through what she term’s the “genre-race paradigm.” Through the synthesis of philosophical blackness and the racial matrix, different creative genres such as drama, film, and novels produce different constructions of racial Blackness. Many 20th century Black artist-philosophers understood racial Blackness as dyadic: some non-Black people seemed closer to Blackness than those who corporeally embodied it, generating a notion of philosophical Blackness.

Under the “genre-race paradigm,” storytelling becomes a tool for Black artist-philosophers to provide access to philosophical Blackness for their audiences. The “genre-race paradigm” is predicated on a collaborative spirit, using the intimacy (or lack thereof) constructed between text and reader/viewer for the audience to obtain philosophical Blackness. Through historical, cultural, performance-based, and textual analysis Hannah read’s the dramatic, cinematic, and narrative works of Derek Walcott, Toni Morrison, Joe de Graft, Shakirah Bourne, Caryl Philips, Margo J Hendricks, and others. As artist-philosophers, these Black writers artfully employ Shakespeare’s global cultural capital from 1965 onward to engage their audiences in Black stories. By focusing on genre, she engages with Black storytelling as community- and culture-building praxis—through careful genre choices, artist-philosophers either produce or withhold access to philosophical Blackness for their audiences.

Vanessa Verner

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Abstract: Historically, women in the Church of God In Christ (COGIC) have been purveyors of upward social mobility and professionalization for Black Americans. Though Black women are vital to the church’s organizational structure, the current General Board, the senior governing board of the church, does not authorize women’s pastoral ordination. However, local and jurisdictional Bishops continue to ordain women as pastors. Recognizing the organization’s disagreement between the General Board and Bishops who ordain women, my work analyzes the ways this contradiction shapes the day to day operations of the church and the viewpoints of its congregants and affiliates.

Currently holding over 5 million members, the COGIC is one of the largest religious spaces in the United States. As such, it is crucial to understand Black religious life through their viewpoints and engagements with the social dynamics of gender, race, and class politics.

Using a Black Feminist epistemological approach, Vanessa delves into how meaning-making affects gender politics within the Black Pentecostal community. Using focus groups and survey methods of members and affiliates of the COGIC, she gains their perspectives on women’s pastoral ordination and how people feel about women in the church broadly. Vanessa is expanding the literature on Black religious life and offers sociological research to provide more context about Black Pentecostals. Her work also provides a more critical insight into how contemporary gender and racial patterns within society manifest in the church over time.

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Batool Salehihikouei PhD Dissertation Defense

April 3, 2024 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm.

Announcing: PhD Dissertation Defense

Name: Batool Salehihikouei

Title: Leveraging Deep Learning on Multimodal Sensor Data for Wireless Communication: From mmWave Beamforming to Digital Twins

Date: 4/3/2024

Time: 11:00:00 AM

Location: EXP-601A

Committee Members: Prof. Kaushik Chowdhury (Advisor) Prof. Hanumant Singh Prof. Josep Jornet Dr. Mark Eisen

Abstract: With the widespread Internet of Things (IoT) devices, a wide variety of sensors are now present in different environments. For example, self-driving vehicles and automated warehouses depend on sensor information for navigation and management of the robots, respectively. In this dissertation, we present methods, where these sensors are re-purposed to assist network management in wireless communication, especially when classic approaches fall short to provide the required quality of service (QoS). This thesis presents data-driven and AI-based methods, where the multimodal sensor information is used for two applications: (i) beamforming at the mmWave band and (ii) joint optimization of the navigation and network management in warehouse environments. In the first part, we study multimodal beamforming methods for mmWave vehicular networks. First, we present deep learning fusion algorithms, where the inputs from a multitude of sensor modalities such as GPS (Global Positioning System), camera, and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) are combined towards predicting the optimum beam at the mmWave band. We prove that fusing the multimodal sensor data improves the prediction accuracy, compared to using single modalities. Second, we study the trade-off between the accuracy and cost of different learning strategies and demonstrate that federated learning is the most successful learning strategy, with respect to the communication overhead. Third, we propose algorithms to further optimize the communication overhead by incorporating a pruning strategy tailored to the disturbed nature of the federated learning systems. Fourth, we propose a modality-agnostic deep learning paradigm that operates on any possible combination of sensor modalities. In part two, we propose using digital twins to overcome the challenges of scarcity of data and close-world assumption in deep learning algorithms. A digital twin is a replica of a real world entity, which is typically used for studying the impact of any configuration settings in a safe, digital environment. In this dissertation, we propose a framework that operates by harmonic usage of the DL models and running emulations in the twin. Moreover, we use digital twins to generate training labels and fine-tune the models for unseen scenarios. Finally, we study a robotic industrial setting, where the path planning policy is continuously updated by monitoring the dynamics of the real world, constructing the digital twin, and updating the policy. The constructed twin captures the features of both physical and RF environments in the digital world and includes a reinforcement learning algorithm that jointly optimizes navigation and network resource management.

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    A dissertation is a long-form piece of academic writing based on original research conducted by you. It is usually submitted as the final step in order to finish a PhD program. Your dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing you've ever completed. It requires solid research, writing, and analysis skills, and it can be intimidating ...

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    The Harvard University Archives' collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University's history.. Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education, chronicling both the growth of Harvard as a major research ...

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    Academic Commons holds the full text of doctoral theses written since 2011 at Columbia and of theses written for a Doctorate of Education at Teachers College since mid 2018. A selection of dissertations from Union Theological Seminary, and from Columbia before 2011, are also available. You can start exploring theses by selecting one of the ...

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  7. What is a dissertation?

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    Thesis & Dissertation Assistance. Students with questions about their thesis or dissertation can take advantage of the Graduate College's thesis and dissertation office hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 12-2 p.m. Email [email protected] at least 48 hours in advance to schedule a virtual appointment (via Google Meets or WebEx).

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  11. Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation

    You will use your style guide to format the following elements (if applicable) of your thesis/dissertation: Heading structure and style (e.g., centered or flush left, etc.) for each level. Table format (e.g., gridlines) and style of table titles (e.g., italics, above the table) Style of figure captions (e.g., flush left, below the figure)

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    The Graduate College of Texas State University Effective for the 2021-22 Academic Year Graduate College Deans: Andrea Golato, Dean ... for all theses and dissertations at Texas State University. The Graduate College formatting requirements take precedent over all other style guides. Recent style manuals (i.e. APA, Turabian, MLA, etc.) in the ...

  16. Find Dissertations and Theses

    How to search for Harvard dissertations. DASH, Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard, is the university's central, open-access repository for the scholarly output of faculty and the broader research community at Harvard.Most Ph.D. dissertations submitted from March 2012 forward are available online in DASH.; Check HOLLIS, the Library Catalog, and refine your results by using the Advanced ...

  17. Thesis & Dissertation Information : The Graduate College

    The Graduate College. Research, Thesis & Dissertation Information. Research Toolkit; Thesis & Dissertation Information; ... This is a one-stop-shop for your thesis and dissertation success. Have specific questions? ... 601 University Drive San Marcos, TX 78666-4684. Phone: (512) 245-2581 . Download Adobe Acrobat Reader. Site Map. Instagram;

  18. Theses & Dissertations

    ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. A collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present day and offering full text for graduate works added since 1997, along with selected full text for works written prior to 1997. It contains a significant amount of new international dissertations and theses ...

  19. Boston University School of Visual Arts Presents the 2024 MFA Thesis

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  20. Dissertation Support Granted to Two Graduate Students Through RESI

    The closest parking is in the Central Campus Garage (CCG) on the campus of Texas A&M University. See the Parking Information page for more detailed information. ... Dissertation Support Granted to Two Graduate Students Through RESI-Cantú Graduate Research Fellowship. ... College Station, TX 77843-4249 (979) 458-6838. 2024 College of Liberal ...

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    The title of the dissertation is "The Evaluation of High School Mentorships and STEM Careers." College of Education | Lehigh University Iacocca Hall, 111 Research Drive Bethlehem, PA 18015 T: 610.758.3225 F: 610.758.6223 . [email protected]. Giving; Masters Program; Students, Faculty & Staff ...

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  26. Batool Salehihikouei PhD Dissertation Defense

    Announcing: PhD Dissertation Defense Name: Batool Salehihikouei Title: Leveraging Deep Learning on Multimodal Sensor Data for Wireless Communication: From mmWave Beamforming to Digital Twins Date: 4/3/2024 Time: 11:00:00 AM Location: EXP-601A Committee Members: Prof. Kaushik Chowdhury (Advisor) Prof. Hanumant Singh Prof. Josep Jornet Dr. Mark Eisen Abstract: With the widespread Internet of ...

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    On February 21, 2024, a delegation from Jiangsu Normal University (JNU) visited Moscow Pedagogical State University. The Chinese partners, led by Rector Zhou Zhuguang, were warmly welcomed by first vice-rector Victor Dronov. MPGU is implementing a joint educational project with Sichuan in the field of Painting.

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