The Graduate School performs manuscript format checks and oversees the publication process for master's theses. Master's essays, however, should not be submitted to the Graduate School for format checks; these must meet departmental requirements. For all master's students, degree-related functions (e.g., degree certification) are performed by the student's school/college graduate office, not by the Graduate School.
Departments establish deadlines regarding thesis submission and defense, and master's students must adhere to their departmental deadlines. Thesis advisors have primary responsibility for approving the content and style of master's theses. However, the thesis manuscript format — margins, spacing, pagination, page layout, parts and their order — must conform to Graduate School specifications. Approval of the manuscript format by the Graduate School is a degree requirement.
- Check with your college (CLAS, CFPCA, Engineering, etc.) to make sure all of your degree requirements are completed.
- Contact your college if you need to change your status from master to doctoral. This is NOT done automatically.
- Your college, not the Graduate School, is responsible for certifying the master's degree.
Graduation deadline dates
Master's graduation deadlines for 2017-2018
Signed title page (submit to the Ph.D. Office when your manuscript has been accepted).
Dissertation and thesis format guidelines
Students should use Wayne State University's Graduate School Format Manual in formatting their manuscripts.
Thesis manuscript format check
Immediately following the defense, the thesis manuscript must be submitted electronically for a format check by the Graduate School. The manuscript should be submitted as a PDF file to the Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) Administrator website of ProQuest/UMI, the publisher of dissertations and theses.
To begin, the student should create an account on the ETD website. The site prompts the student through the steps of creating a profile and completing a Publishing Agreement (see below). Once all the requested information has been provided, the student will be prompted to upload the thesis manuscript as a PDF file.
Graduate School staff will check the thesis and notify the candidate of any format corrections necessary. The Graduate School staff, as the ETD administrator, will notify the student of "changes required" or "manuscript accepted," which requires no format changes.
Publishing and copyrighting
After completion of the student's account profile and before submission of the initial manuscript for a format check, the student is asked to complete a Publishing Agreement. This is mandatory. The student also has the option to copyright the thesis through the site. It is recommended that they do so.
View more information from ProQuest/UMI
Please Note: Although completion of the Publishing Agreement is required at the time the thesis is submitted for the initial format check, the thesis manuscript will not be submitted to ProQuest/UMI by the Graduate School until all formatting revisions have been made.
Archiving and disseminating the published thesis
Wayne State University Libraries maintains electronic copies of students' dissertations and theses and would like to make these available to the Wayne State community and the general public through Digital Commons@WSU. Students can control the level of access to their theses. Students should complete the permission form on the Libraries website.
Binding the thesis
Students wishing to have their theses bound should find a bindery service.
Bohemio Bookbindery provides dissertations bound in the Wayne State University standard format or custom bound in any style desired — genuine leather bindings also available.
The dissertation requirements are satisfied through the completion of 30 credits of IME 999X in the course of developing and conducting an independent research project. A grade of Y will be supplied for all dissertation credits earned until the time at which the defense is successfully completed. At that time, all grades will be converted to 'S' - satisfactory. A student is not allowed to register for dissertation credits until they have been approved for candidacy after filing a Petition for Candidacy (available on the Graduate School Website). Students must complete four consecutive semesters of IME 999x (9991, 9992, 9993, and 9994). The Spring/Summer semester may or may not be counted towards the definition of consecutive semesters, at the student's discretion. Registration for all dissertation credits must be done through the Ph.D. office. A student may contact the Ph.D. office by phone at 313-577-2171 or in person. Once 30 credits of 999x are completed, students may register for IME 9995 (Doctoral Candidacy Maintenance) at a reduced tuition rate.
When petitioning the Graduate School for Doctoral Candidacy status, the student must form a Dissertation Committee. Committee membership is described in the examinations section, below. Advisors have the primary responsibility for approval of the dissertation, but the Dissertation Committee must read, approve, and sign the manuscript. Such approval includes all academic and professional evaluations and judgments as to originality, accuracy, significance, methodology, conclusions, and correctness of style.
Candidates are instructed to closely follow the Graduate School regulations governing the format of the dissertation. Students should obtain a copy of the WSU Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations from the Graduate School (4327 FAB). These guides are updated regularly, and students should make sure that they have the most recent version. The Ph.D. office staff is available to assist advisors and students who have format questions or problems. The final draft of the manuscript should be submitted to the Graduate School for format check at least two weeks prior to the defense date. The dissertation format and appearance must be acceptable to the Graduate School before the Public Lecture Presentation-Defense shall be authorized.
Students should obtain the deadline dates for graduation requirements from the Ph.D. Office of the Graduate School. These should be reconfirmed during the semester in which the dissertation defense is planned.
The dissertation manuscript must be submitted to all committee members at least three weeks prior to the planned defense date. When all members of the committee have tentatively approved the dissertation, the candidate prepares the Final Report form. After all committee members have signed it, indicating approval of the content of the dissertation for a public lecture presentation defense, the candidate brings the form to the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of the defense date for processing. At this time, the Graduate School will appoint a Graduate Examiner to moderate the defense.
Following satisfactory completion of the defense, the student must do the following within 10 calendar days:
- Deposit with the Ph.D. office of the Graduate School: two unbound copies of the dissertation, each in its own bag or envelope, printed on at least 20# bond paper; two additional copies of the dissertation abstract; and one additional copy of the title page.
- Pay binding, microfilming, and copyrighting (optional) fees.
- Submit the Microfilm Agreement, Survey of Earned Doctorates, and Commencement Reply Forms to the Graduate School. These forms are provided to students when the manuscript is submitted for format approval.
Dissertation proposal defense (Oral Examination)
Before taking the examination, the student must have filed the Plan of Work and the Petition for Doctoral Candidacy (available on the Graduate School Website) with the Graduate School. The Dissertation Committee previously selected by the student and his/her advisor administers the Oral Examination. It must consist of at least three members from the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department, including the student's advisor, and at least one member from outside of the program. The expertise of these latter members must be appropriate to the student's dissertation work. All Committee members must hold current Graduate Faculty appointments. The Committee membership should be selected based on the proposed dissertation project.
The Oral Examination takes the form of the Dissertation Proposal and Proposal Defense. The proposal should be completed in close consultation with the student's research advisor. There is no set format. The defense will consist of an oral presentation of the proposed research project, followed by a period of questions on any topics termed relevant by the Examination Committee. The proposal should be submitted to the Dissertation Committee at least two weeks before a planned defense.
The Dissertation Committee is responsible for examining and certifying that the student has an adequate command of knowledge in the field of study and can organize, apply, and convey that knowledge. The Exam should be conducted following the rules set forth on the Report on Doctor of Philosophy Oral Exam form (NOTE: This form is for information purposes only, it is not to be turned in. Use the Doctoral Dissertation: Prospectus and Record of Approval in its place.) The member of the committee from outside of the program shall serve as the lead examiner and complete the evaluation form. A student may be passed in the examination if there is not more than one negative vote. Abstentions shall be considered negative votes. If the Examining Committee determines that the applicant has not passed all parts of the written and oral portions of the examination, the committee must make specific recommendations as to admitting the applicant to a second examination and specify any additional work that should be completed prior to the examination. If the Chair of the Dissertation Committee certifies that the student has failed the oral part of the examination, a second examination may not be held until at least one semester has elapsed but must be held within one calendar year following the first exam. The second examination shall be considered final.
The Oral Examination must be satisfactorily completed at least 12 months prior to the Dissertation Defense.
On satisfactory completion of the Proposal Defense, the student must complete a Doctoral Dissertation: Prospectus and Record of Approval form. All members of the Dissertation Committee and the Graduate Committee Chair should sign the form. It should be forwarded to the Graduate School for final approval.
The Dissertation Committee shall normally consist of the same members who oversaw the Proposal Defense. There shall be at least three members from the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department and at least one member from outside of the program. The expertise of the outside members must be appropriate to the student's dissertation work. In the case of co-advisors from within the program, the number of members from the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department shall be increased to four. The outside member shall attend all meetings of the Dissertation Committee, including the Dissertation Lecture Presentation-Defense, as a voting member. After Graduate School approval of the committee, through the Petition for Doctoral Candidacy form, any change in the committee requires written approval of the Graduate School Dean.
The dissertation manuscript must be submitted to all committee members at least 3 weeks prior to the planned defense date. When all members of the committee have tentatively approved the dissertation, the candidate prepares the Final Report form. This includes the SafeAssign certification that must be obtained and signed by the committee chair or the graduate director. Starting January 1, 2017, the first page of SafeAssign reports must be sent to the Ph.D. Office. After all committee members have signed it, indicating approval of the content of the dissertation for a public lecture presentation defense, the candidate brings the form to the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of the defense date for processing. At this time, the Graduate School will appoint a Graduate Examiner to moderate the defense.
The Graduate Program Officer should confirm arrangements for the Lecture Presentation-Defense via written notice. If arrangements must be changed, the Graduate Program Officer or advisor should notify the Graduate School, the doctoral candidate, the committee members, and the Graduate Examiner.
The Lecture Presentation-Defense is conducted by the doctoral candidate's committee and is presided over by the Graduate Examiner. This final lecture must be publicized to the entire academic community in advance by the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department. The student and/or the advisor normally do this. The Lecture Presentation is open to the general University committee. In this lecture, the student shall formally present the methodology, research, and results of the investigation. Following the formal presentation and an open discussion period, a closed examination will be held on any subjects deemed relevant by the Dissertation Committee. Finally, a closed-door session of the Committee will be held to determine whether or not the student has passed the Dissertation Defense.
Committee meetings and annual evaluations
Following petition for Doctoral Candidacy, each doctoral student is required to meet at least on an annual basis with his or her Dissertation Committee. If the outside faculty member is from a non-local institution, they may be involved in this meeting through teleconferencing or videoconferencing technology. The committee should discuss the student's progress in their dissertation research and complete the Annual Evaluation form. After the Oral Exam has been successfully completed, changes to the Dissertation plan that are agreed upon by the Committee should be noted for the student's file.
Paperwork requirement – Final report: Dissertation public lecture presentation - Defense
This Dissertation Public Lecture Presentation form should be completed by the student and signed by the members of the Dissertation Committee indicating preliminary approval of the dissertation manuscript. It must be submitted to the PhD office of the Graduate School, along with a draft of the dissertation and a copy of the public announcement of the defense, at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled defense. The format of the dissertation will be checked (if not previously approved) and a Graduate Examiner will be appointed for the defense. Following successful completion of the defense, the form must be signed again by all Committee members and submitted, along with the Graduate Examiner's Report, to the Graduate School.