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Advising Thesis and Dissertation Students

Faculty advisers, committee members, and program directors all play key roles in providing the guidance and support that students need to complete a thesis or dissertation successfully.

Thesis and Dissertation Office

The Thesis and Dissertation Office in the College of Graduate Studies advises students about UCF electronic thesis and dissertation requirements, information regarding graduation deadlines and formatting of the manuscript.

Students should become familiar with the thesis and dissertation section of Once students have a thesis or dissertation committee in the university system, they can log in to the Thesis and Dissertation Services site and ask format and process questions. They will use this same site to request format review of their thesis or dissertation, print their defense approval form, and complete their final submission.

The Thesis and Dissertation Office may be reached at, and the semester deadlines for theses and dissertations are listed in the UCF Academic Calendar.

For a thesis/dissertation student planning to graduate in the semester, the Graduate College requires that the student:

  • Submit the bookmarked ETD PDF file for Format Review by the semester Format Review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis/Dissertation Release Option eForm in myUCF Student Center by the semester Format Review deadline
  • Receive Format Review approval and permission to do Final Submission from the Graduate College editor
  • Announce the defense at least two weeks prior to the defense date
  • Defend successfully by the semester Defense deadline
  • Complete Final Submission of ETD and deliver a signed Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form to the Graduate College editor by the semester Final Submission deadline

Setting the Groundwork: Program Handbook

Having a detailed Program Handbook can help students know what to expect at all stages of their graduate study in your program, including the thesis and dissertation stage. Here are some essential elements:

  • Have your graduate program committee specify guidelines for acceptable and exceptional theses and dissertations and scholarly work in your program handbook.
  • For all official exams, explain the intent of the exam, schedule when the exam will be offered, number of attempts allowed, what constitutes success, how to prepare and defend, how the defense will be evaluated, and attendance procedures.
  • Include a blank annual evaluation form in your program handbook.

Thesis and Dissertation Stages 

This guide defines the following six stages of thesis and dissertation work and provides guidance and best practices for each stage.

Stage 1. Initiating Thesis/Dissertation Work
Stage 2. Enrolling in Thesis/Dissertation
Stage 3. Research Phase
Stage 4. Thesis and Dissertation Review
Stage 5. Defense
Stage 6. Thesis and Dissertation Final Submission

In addition, the following resources provide detailed information that will be helpful to you during thesis and dissertation advising:

Samples of Thesis and Dissertation Services student site, Approval Form, and Thesis and Dissertation Release (Dissemination) Option Form

FAQs related to the thesis and dissertation process

Review for Original Work

Policies Related to Thesis/Dissertation

Dissemination (Release) of Theses and Dissertations

Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Scholars

Human Subjects Research

Patent and Invention Policy

Proprietary and Confidential Information

Review of Theses and Dissertations for Original Work

Viewing Thesis/Dissertation Status and Release Options


PeopleSoft GRAD Custom > Graduate Summary > Academic Progress page

PeopleSoft GRAD Custom – thesis/dissertation status fields being added to Intent to Graduate lists

DocView – Document name is T_D RELEASE OPTION


myUCF Student Center > Graduate Students section > Thesis and Dissertation Status page

Thesis and Dissertation Services website > Home page

Best Practices for Thesis and Dissertation

  • Be aware of important thesis/dissertation deadlines including format review, defense, and final submission dates in the UCF Academic Calendar.
  • Students expected to familiarize themselves with the resources located in the Thesis and Dissertation Webcourse. Students at every stage of the thesis and dissertation process should use this non-credit Webcourse as their primary source for information on policies, procedures, formatting resources, and more.  
  • Faculty are also welcome to access the Webcourse should they wish to familiarize themselves with its contents.
  • All thesis and dissertations must pass format review by the College of Graduate Studies ETD office in order to receive permission to upload their final document by the final deadline. Students should submit their work for review as early as possible and at least by the format review deadline of the semester that the student plans to graduate. Students will need to continue to submit their document for review until they receive format approval. Students will not be able to complete all ETD requirements without format approval.
  • Have the student file an Intent to Graduate Form at the beginning of the semester they plan to defend their thesis/dissertation. Be sure that the degree audit is clean and the student has met all degree requirements other than the thesis or dissertation requirement. Master’s students must have clean audits in the semester before they graduate, since no petitions or exceptions to university policies will be approved in the semester of graduation.
  • Several weeks before the defense, have the student provide the Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form to you. It is important to check it early enough to allow time for any needed corrections. If the committee is incorrect, submit a correction to the Graduate College. If the dissemination (release) option on the form is not acceptable, have the student re-submit the TD Release Option eForm in their myUCF Student Center to correct it. After corrections, have the student print an updated Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form for the defense. Do not use an incorrect Approval Form for the defense.
  • Students are responsible for collecting the appropriate committee and college signatures on the Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form. The student or a designated representative must deliver the signed form to the College of Graduate Studies office in Millican Hall, Suite 230 by the final semester deadline. Departmental approval pages will not be accepted. The signature of the Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will be collected on behalf of the student once the approval form has been submitted to the College of Graduate Studies office. Extra copies of this form will not be accepted for signature.
  • All theses and dissertations at UCF are electronic. No paper copies are ever required.
  • Barring restrictions, all final ETD submissions are available through the UCF Libraries Electronic Theses and Dissertations page and also through the STARS institutional repository.
  • For university support services for thesis and dissertation students, refer to Thesis and Dissertation.



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