Some programs require students to complete a thesis as part of program requirements and some students may elect to complete a thesis as part of their program of study. In either case, the following procedures should be followed.
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 with The Graduate School.
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)
When the student registers for the thesis course, it is the responsibility of the thesis advisor to complete and forward Form 2 to The Graduate School in a timely manner.
Preliminary Oral Examination
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 Graduate School. (M.A. in Music Education students presenting an applied music project must complete and submit the "Warrant" 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 located here.
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
- 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
- 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 Graduate School.
Final Thesis Submission
When all final corrections to the thesis are made, it is the responsibility of the student to provide the Dean of The Graduate School with a digital copy of the work (PDF format) for The Graduate School approval. This is due in The Graduate School at least two weeks before the end of the semester in which the student expects to complete degree requirements. Please send a digital copy of the thesis as a PDF file to Dr. Kirill Bumin, the Assistant Dean of The Graduate School.
This copy will be reviewed and marked before being returned to the student for revision (if necessary). The Graduate School does not require a paper copy any longer, but the student should check with thesis advisor and graduate program director if a hard copy is required by the discipline-specific accrediting body. Similarly, The Graduate School no longer has specific formatting requirements, such as margin size, font, or citation style, but students are encouraged to check about such requirements with the thesis advisor and graduate program director.
Upon approval of the final draft, a digital copy of the thesis must be submitted to the University’s digital archives. Students are required to complete the following forms: Copyright Waiver, Profile Submission, and Thesis description form, and submit them alongside a digital copy of their thesis. Theses are added to BraveDOCKS, the University's open-access institutional repository. BraveDOCKS, in partnership with NC DOCKS, is part of a UNC system-wide initiative to collect and archive the scholarly output of North Carolina’s universities