Thesis, Dissertation and Comprehensive Exam

  1. Theses and dissertations: A thesis or dissertation presents the results of the student’s original investigation in the field of major interest.  It must represent a contribution to knowledge, be adequately supported by data and be written in a manner consistent with the highest standards of scholarship.  In programs where a thesis or dissertation is required, the student must comply with the specific regulations of his/her program and the general requirements of the School of Graduate Studies listed below.
    • Thesis/dissertation topic must be approved by the thesis/dissertation advisory committee.
    • Students whose research involves human subjects, animals, biohazards, or radiation must have their research proposals approved by the appropriate compliance committee before beginning their research.
    • Copies of the thesis/dissertation must be presented by the student to his or her faculty advisor for review by the examining committee no later than one week prior to the defense of the thesis/dissertation.
    • A student may defend the thesis or dissertation no more than twice.  The results of the defense must be submitted by the department to the School of Graduate Studies within 24 hours.
    • After the thesis or dissertation has been successfully defended, the student must submit the approved thesis/dissertation to the School of Graduate Studies according to the published guidelines. 
    • Prior to or at the time of submission, the student must complete and sign the Non-Exclusive Distribution Agreement granting North Carolina A&T State University a limited, nonexclusive, royalty-free, license to reproduce the thesis or dissertation in electronic form and make it available to the general public at no charge, subject to the embargo choice/publishing restrictions of the student.  This form should be delivered to the School of Graduate Studies along with the original copy of the signature page bearing signatures of committee chair, department chair and/or dean of the school. 
  2. Advisor: All graduate students must have a graduate advisor who is a member of the Graduate Faculty. 
  3.  Graduate Committee: The advisory committee for a master’s thesis is composed of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty. The student’s advisor serves as chair or co-chair of the committee.  The advisory committee for a doctoral dissertation is composed of at least four members of the Graduate Faculty. The graduate advisor serves as chair or co-chair of the committee 
  4. Comprehensive Exams: Students enrolled in a graduate program may be tested by a comprehensive examination to determine the student’s knowledge and skills in a general subject area or a concentration.  The comprehensive examination date will be announced by the departmental graduate committee chairperson at the beginning of the semester.  This examination will be administered to the enrolled student by an examining committee of the department.
    • Eligibility to sit for the examination will be determined by the departmental graduate committee and the results of the examination will be forwarded to the School of Graduate Studies no later than 30 days prior to the end of the semester.
    • Students may only take the comprehensive examination twice. After the second failure, the student may be dismissed from their academic program.
Points of Pride