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Thesis Requirements

Each graduate sequence has a thesis and non-thesis option. Here are the steps that thesis-option students should follow for their thesis proposal.

The thesis proposal, including the title, literature review, objectives, hypotheses, methodology, and experimental design must be approved by the student's thesis committee at the proposal presentation meeting.

The Thesis Proposal Approval Form should be completed after the successful proposal presentation meeting and submitted and approved by the Graduate School before a student is admitted to candidacy to embark on thesis research.

Institutional policy also requires that all research proposals involving human subjects be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Research proposals involving animals must be reviewed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Research proposals involving biohazards must be reviewed by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).

Your Proposal

Illinois State's Graduate School offers many helpful thesis and dissertation resources. You can also email or call (309) 438-4593 for additional help.

  1. Once the committee is formed by the student, the chair should check to ensure the committee meets all Graduate School and departmental committee guidelines.
  2. A proposal presentation is to be held (Graduate School policy, see page 30). The proposal presentation can be open to the public or closed to include just the committee members and student. There are no stipulations on this by the Graduate School and a proposal hearing date does not need to be announced.
  3. The chair and committee guides the research.
  4. With the agreement of the student, committee chair, and committee members a defense date is set and the student must follow the process outlined by the Graduate School.
  5. A typical proposal presentation follows the similar format as the defense
    1. Introduction of the committee.
    2. 20-30 minute presentation by the student.
    3. Questions from the committee.
    4. Guests leave the room, if applicable.
    5. The student and the committee members discuss the proposal.
    6. A course of action is decided and is conveyed to the student on next steps.
    7. Thesis proposal form signed by the committee is submitted to the graduate program coordinator.

Copyright Checklist

Information about copyright, completing the copyright checklist, FAQs, and other related topics can be found through Milner Library's copyright information page.