Thesis Requirements

Thesis Fulfillment

All MA candidates must complete a substantial (40–60 pages excluding notes and reference material) academic paper or a digital media project approved by a thesis committee consisting of a director and two other faculty members along with six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research).


The prospectus, either for the M.A. Thesis or Ph.D. Dissertation, is a written plan for the research the student intends to complete. Formatting and expectations are similar to those expected for the Dissertation Prospectus.  

Format Review

All thesis projects must conform to a standardized format provided by the College of Arts & Sciences. By the format review deadline, you must submit a single, complete draft of your manuscript within the mandatory template provided by our office. A complete draft includes the following:

  • All preliminary pages, fully completed
  • A complete table of contents and list of tables, figures, and abbreviations where applicable
  • Captions for all tables and figures
  • All major headings, section headings, and subsection headings
  • At least one or two paragraphs of text beneath every heading
  • A draft version of your references and/or works cited pages

Thesis Format Review Deadlines, Preparation Guidelines, and standardized Thesis Word Templates can be accessed at the College of Arts & Sciences: Graduation Requirements & Calendar.

Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guidelines: All theses and dissertations required as part of a degree program will be accepted ONLY in digital .pdf format. All electronic files submitted for partial fulfillment of degree requirements must conform to the university standards before final approval is granted by the Graduate Services Office. This guide explains in detail and gives specific examples of precisely how the format and typeface of the document should appear. See the Graduation Calendar for submission deadlines.

Applying to Graduate

Every candidate for a degree from Georgia State University must apply for graduation at least two semesters before the one targeted for Commencement. This registration must take place through the Graduation Services Office. No graduation will be approved without prior registration.

Every candidate for graduation must be registered during the semester of completion of all graduation requirements, including thesis/dissertation defense, performance, or gallery show.