School of Graduate Studies and Research

Directions for the Preparation of a Thesis

Students required completing a thesis as part of their program requirements, and other students interested in completing a thesis as part of their program of study, should follow these steps, submitting.

 Not later than halfway through the program of study, talk with the program coordinator/director about possible thesis topics and the selection of an advisor for the thesis. The program coordinator/director will help the student identify a thesis advisor. This should be a graduate faculty member in the student's program area with whom he/she feels comfortable. The graduate student should talk with the prospective advisor about possible thesis topics. When the thesis advisor has been identified, it is the student's responsibility to file Form 1:Thesis Advisor (PDF - requires Adobe Reader) with the Office of Graduate Studies. 

In the appropriate semester/summer session, the student should register for the thesis course. Once registered for the course, the graduate student should prepare the written prospectus for the thesis. The prospectus should contain the following:

        • Title Page (including proposed title, student name, thesis committee members, date)
        • Introduction to the proposed thesis
        • Preliminary review of related literature
        • Proposed research questions/hypotheses to be studied
        • Proposed subjects to be used (if applicable)
        • Proposed research design/methodology to be used
        • Proposed statistical analyses to be used (if applicable)
        • Proposed instruments to be used (if applicable)
        • Bibliography/References

The student is responsible for securing the necessary copies of the prospectus for the thesis committee.

When the student registers for the thesis course, the Office of Graduate Studies will forward Form 2 to the thesis advisor of record. It is the responsibility of the thesis advisor to return this form to the Office of Graduate Studies in a timely manner.

When the thesis advisor is satisfied with the written prospectus for the thesis, he/she will convene the thesis committee to conduct the preliminary oral examination of the student. Upon successful completion of the preliminary oral examination, the thesis advisor forwards Form 3: Preliminary Oral Examination and a copy of the prospectus to the Office of Graduate Studies. (M.A. in Music Education students presenting an applied music project must complete and submit the "Warrant" (PDF - requires Adobe Reader) after the prospectus has been approved.)

If the proposed thesis involves the use of human subjects, once the prospectus is approved by the thesis committee, the student must submit the required information to the chair of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke's Institutional Review Board for Research Involving Human Subjects (IRB). The student may not proceed with the thesis until approval from this board is secured. Information on the IRB is included in Attachment 1.

Once the proposed thesis has been approved by the student's thesis committee, and the UNCP IRB (if applicable) , the student should conduct the proposed research. It is important that the student regularly update his/her thesis advisor on the progress being made on the thesis.

The student works with his/her thesis advisor to prepare the written thesis. The thesis should be prepared according to disciplinary and program standards. It must contain the following elements:

        • Title Page (See Sample (PDF- requires Adobe Reader)
        • Abstract of the research and findings (one Page/single spaced)
        • Acknowledgments (if the student wishes to do so)
        • Table of Contents
        • Review of related literature
        • Conclusions/Discussion
        • References 
        • Instruments used (in appendices, if applicable) 

When the thesis advisor is satisfied with the written thesis, s/he will convene the thesis committee to conduct the final oral examination of the student. Upon successful completion of the final oral examination, the thesis advisor forwards Form 4:  Final Defense to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

When all final corrections to the thesis are made, it is the responsibility of the student to provide the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies with a single copy of the work on ordinary bond paper for Graduate School approval. This is due in the Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks before the end of the semester in which the student expects to complete degree requirements. This copy will be reviewed and marked before being returned to the student for revision (if needed). Upon approval of this draft, a final copy should be submitted to the Graduate School meeting the following qualifications: have 1 1/2 inch left margin, 1 inch other margins be on paper that is 8.5 x 11 inch, 20-pound weight, white or very light cream in color, acid-free, at least 25% cotton content (archival quality) paper.

The final copy must be free of streaks and smudges, and must be correctly aligned on each page. 

In addition to the above print copy, all final theses must be submitted electronically as PDFs to Dr. Irene Aiken. Authors who are willing to have their theses added to the University’s digital archives or Institutional Repository must complete the following forms:  Copyright waiverProfile Submissionand Thesis description form