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303.15 - Graduate Thesis & Dissertation

University Group Policy #303.15

I.  Policy Statement

The Graduate Council approved universal rules regarding thesis/dissertations at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

II.    Guidelines

A.  Time Frame  

The maximum timeframe for completion of final project for Master’s and Doctoral students will be determined by their department, which should be included in the student handbook provided by the department.

 B. Dean Approval Form

Each department will determine the final signatory for its Master’s and doctoral projects, and the Approval Form should be included in the departmental student handbook.

 C. Minimum number of copies and submission medium

A minimum of one copy of the thesis or dissertation should be kept in the department and an electronic copy of the final project should be submitted to the WSSU library archives. Departments may have additional requirements for number of copies and format which will be included in the departmental student handbook.

 D. Thesis Committee

While a minimum of two (2) faculty members must be on the committee, departments will determine the number of committee members and the composition of the committees for Master’s and Doctoral level projects. It is recommended that committee members include individuals from outside the department.

Guidelines regarding the number of committee members and composition of committees for Master’s and Doctoral level projects will be included in the student handbook.

 E. Graduate Thesis Defense Requirements

Graduate students who are required to write a thesis, or students who choose a thesis option, must defend the thesis. Guidelines for the preparation of the thesis or project are available from the department. The student has two attempts to pass the defense. If the first attempt is failed, the student must consult with the thesis committee and prepare for a second defense during the next semester. Students who are not prepared for the second defense must petition the Dean for an extension in the thesis defense. Failure to pass the defense on the second attempt will result in dismissal from the program.

III.    Roles and Responsibilities

These guidelines will be the responsibility of each graduate department.

IV.     Applicability

These guidelines are applicable to any graduate student completing a thesis or dissertation.

V.    Compliance

Non-Compliance will be handled at the individual department level, but can include failure of the course.

Responsible Division: Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Adopted March 18, 2011
  • Amended: June 9, 2017