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Thesis and Dissertation

Thesis and Dissertation Deadlines

Deadlines for SUMMER 2024:

Deadline to submit to the dean’s office is Wednesday, August 7th

All successfully defended theses and dissertations for the SUMMER 2024 term must be uploaded to the library by Wednesday, August 14th

****All theses and dissertations uploaded are to be the FINAL version of your work. Once it is submitted to the library, it cannot be taken down.****

For students submitting in Summer 2024, all procedures below apply except those pertaining to bound copies. For a copy of the current Summer 2024 procedures, please contact the graduate director in your department.

See virtual thesis defense tips on the Graduate School webpage.

Thesis and Dissertation Committees

A master’s thesis committee consists of at least three members, one of whom may be a designated external reader; a doctoral dissertation committee consists of at least four members, one of whom must be a designated external reader. Departments may have their own rules about who may chair such committees and is eligible to be an external reader. In fall 2021, the CLASS graduate affairs committee developed some guidelines regarding external committee members based on common practices in the College. These are not requirements, but they may be a useful starting point for students and graduate advisors when discussing committee composition.

Many departments require students to gain departmental approval for their thesis or dissertation committee by a specific point in the program, usually in advance of a student’s final semester. Both the thesis committee form and dissertation committee form are available for this purpose. Please check whether your department uses these forms and, if so, at what point in the program they are due.

Obtaining College Approval

Once a thesis, dissertation or senior honors thesis has been successfully defended and approved by a faculty committee, the final version of the manuscript must be submitted to the dean’s office of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The committee certifies that the manuscript is approved as to style and content, but the dean’s office has final authority in the acceptance of the manuscript. The manuscript must be grammatically correct, reflect clear communication ability and follow the standards presented in this document and in the specific style manual adopted by the program of study. Errors and omissions in the final version of the manuscript may delay the student’s degree conferral. The student should work closely with the advisor on issues of format and style.

The student should submit the properly formatted final copy as a PDF document to the office of the dean:; the student’s committee chair should be cc'd on the email to receive a copy. The email should also have attached (as a PDF) the fully signed thesis/dissertation approval forms

All documents should be submitted no later than the deadline listed for each semester. Typically, this is two weeks prior to the conclusion of the semester. We encourage students to turn their thesis in earlier than this deadline to allow time to deal with any formatting or other problems that sometimes emerge at this final stage.

Students wishing to schedule a college review and submission appointment may do so, but such appointments are not required. These must be scheduled and completed prior to the submission deadline. Contact Anna Marchese in the CLASS dean’s office ( to schedule an appointment.

Anna Marchese will notify students once the thesis/dissertation has been reviewed, either to state that approval has been granted or to request any revisions that need to be made. Once approval has been obtained, the student must submit the digital copy to the Texas Digital Library(TDL). Please allow at least 5 business days for the review process.

Preparing the Official Copy

  • Consult with your advisor/committee about the progress of your work, formatting and content issues early in the semester.
  • Physical appearance: left margin is of 1.25”-1.50” and 1” on the remaining three sides.
  • All figures or illustrations must be captioned.
  • Font, header style and spacing should be used consistently throughout the thesis.
  • There is no fixed style for references, equations, figures and tables, but whatever style that is adopted should be used consistently.
  • A consistent form of referencing should be used throughout the thesis. Consult your department to see if it has a preferred style.
  • The thesis must be double-spaced.
  • The type size should be 10-12 pt.
  • Template of Front Matter
  • The student is responsible for ensuring that order is followed correctly and that all pages have been included.
  • The title page format should be as follows:
    May and year for spring completion
    August and year for summer completion
    December and year for fall completion

Submitting the Digital Copy to UH Library

Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations must be submitted electronically to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission and Management System (ETD) for official archiving. This step is a required part of the degree completion process; degrees will not be conferred if the thesis/dissertation is not uploaded.


  • Convert your official manuscript to a PDF (Portable Document File).
  • Upload manuscript to the ETD website
    • Logon requires CougarNet account username and password.
    • Once logged on, student will need to:
      • Verify personal information
      • License agreement
      • Provide document information, including the email address of the student’s committee chair
      • Upload files
      • Confirm and submit

Preparing the Bound Copy(IF your department requires a bound copy)

Some departments may require students to submit one bound copy of their thesis/dissertation. Check with your home department to determine if this is required. The student is responsible for all costs and actions associated with binding and printing.

Printing Instructions

Please contact the Copy Center for the best method to send your work for binding. You may go in person or send your thesis or dissertation electronically and make payment arrangements accordingly.

  • The Copy Center will provide details on costs and options. The student may submit additional copies for personal binding at this time; however, the student will be responsible for collecting the personal copies. The dean’s office will distribute one bound copy of the master’s thesis or dissertation to the student’s home department. 
  • The University Copy Center is located at 9020 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX and can be contacted at 713.741.5200.  
  • Please allow 6-8 months for thesis or dissertation binding.

Senior Honors Thesis

Students should follow the procedures outlined above for obtaining college approval and formatting.

Please email the signed signature page (as a PDF) when you email the thesis. Once the thesis has been approved, the College will email you a college-signed copy of the signature page. 

Follow Honors College instructions for electronically uploading your thesis.

CLASS does not require students to submit bound copies of the Honors Thesis, but check with the Honors College for any additional requirements on their part.