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Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines

Submission Deadlines for Academic Year 2020–2021

The deadline for submitting a defended Master’s thesis or Ph.D. dissertation to the Office of Academic Affairs is noon (12 pm) on the days indicated in the table below:

Fall 2020

Noon (12 pm)
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Spring 2021

Noon (12 pm)
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Deadline Extended

Summer 2021

Noon (12 pm)
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Thesis or Dissertation Reviews for Final Submissions

Thesis/Dissertation Submission Process - Spring 2021

NSM’s Office of Academic Affairs will not be accepting theses and dissertations in person until the University has resumed face-to-face instruction. The submission and reader evaluation process will be done electronically.

Revised Instructions for Electronic Submission and Reader Evaluation Process

First, Hold a Defense of Your Thesis/Dissertation

At this point, you need to plan to hold your defense entirely remotely, unless we hear otherwise from the university. At your defense, your committee may require that you make corrections to your thesis/dissertation. The document that incorporates these corrections and that you submit to NSM is called the “committee-approved thesis/dissertation.”

Steps to Submit Your Thesis/Dissertation to NSM

  1. Convert your committee-approved thesis/dissertation to a PDF and upload it to the Texas Digital Library TDL (this is normally done after it is read by the NSM readers, but you will do this at the first submission in this case). Make sure to keep a copy of this file for yourself.
  2. Make sure that your Approval Form has all the signatures from your committee members (please ask your committee members to use electronic or digital signatures; scanning a hard copy of the form will disable the approval and signature fields). ALL SIGNATURES MUST BE ON THE SAME FORM. This means that you will need to send the form sequentially to your committee members as you collect signatures. It will take a bit of time, so plan ahead.
  3. Email your signed Approval Form to Ms. Sharonda Glass (, and let her know that you have uploaded your PDF on the TDL for submission to NSM. Your thesis/dissertation is not considered submitted, unless she has received your signed approval form.
  4. If you are applying to the outstanding dissertation award, attach the application form for the outstanding dissertation award to the email as well. Applying to the award is done at the same time as submitting the dissertation. Follow the rest of the instructions for the outstanding dissertation award, including the electronic submission of your documents to your departmental graduate chair.

Process for Reader’s Review/Corrections

  1. Ms. Glass will send your thesis/dissertation electronically to the appropriate reader. The reader will provide his comments in a separate Word document called the “cover sheet”. Dr. Widger (reader for Biology & Biochemistry, and Chemistry) also has sections highlighted in your PDF file. The cover sheet and the highlighted PDF, if applicable, will be sent to Ms. Glass by the reader.
  2. Ms. Glass will email you the cover sheet and the PDF, if applicable (if the PDF is too large for an email, she will upload it to TDL and replace your initial submission). In this email, she will also give you a deadline on when your revised version should be re-uploaded to TDL.
  3. Make ALL the corrections requested by the reader. Save your corrected document as a PDF file again. Make sure to rename it with the words “REVISED” in the file name, so it is a distinct file. Upload this file to TDL again and replace the current file. Email Ms. Glass that your corrections are available on TDL.
  4. Ms. Glass will check your revised file and ensure that all corrections have been made.

For guidelines on how to prepare and submit your thesis or dissertation, please review the Thesis and Dissertation Instructions or consult the graduate advisor in your major department.