Theses, Reports, & Dissertations

The MS Thesis (Plan A), MS Report (Plan B),and PhD Dissertation require a successful formal defense to meet graduation requirements.  The Graduate Degree Programs page provides links to information about requirements and completion deadlines for each graduate degree plan.

Approved thesis and dissertation proposals formalize an agreement between the student and committee members regarding the topic and content of the student’s thesis or dissertation. The Thesis or Dissertation Proposal Outline lists content and formatting requirements for the proposal.  MS Plan A students submit a copy of the signed thesis proposal cover sheet to the Graduate School, and depending on the student’s supervisory committee, a proposal defense may be required before the cover sheet is signed.  PhD students are required to have a formal proposal defense.  After the committee approves the dissertation proposal they sign the proposal cover sheet and the Application for Candidacy form.  The signed form and cover sheet are then submitted to the Graduate School.

Thesis, Report, and Dissertation Formatting
The thesis, report, or dissertation must conform to the Graduate School's requirements listed in the Publication Guide, and the AIAA or ASME style guides for ‘Departmental Requirements’ listed on page 6 of the Publication Guide.   Whether students use a word processing application, or the LaTeX template (linked below) to create their thesis or dissertation, a PDF file is required for the formatting and style review the MAE Graduate Academic Advisor does before the final defense.  When the final draft is sent to the Supervisory Committee members for their review, prior to signing the Appointment for Examination form, a pdf of the document should be emailed to the MAE Graduate Academic Advisor.

RGS Publication Guide &
Word Template
NEW!  Guide to Using LaTeX YouTube Video
LaTeX Thesis/Dissertation Template LaTeX Wikibooks (Resource for how to use LATEX)
ASME Reference Guide Word formatting video by Jason Quinn
AIAA Reference Guide AIAA Manuscript Preparation Kit
AIAA Prep Guide for Journal Papers Published MAE Theses, Reports, and Dissertations

Final Defense
Approximately 4 - 6 weeks prior to the defense, the student should give a copy of the report, thesis, or dissertation to each committee member for approval or corrections. An Appointment for Examination form must be completed by the student and committee, indicating approval of the proposed time and place for the examination and defense, and submitted to the Graduate School a minimum of 10 working days prior to the defense. After the final defense, only minor changes, usually editorial, should be required by the committee. If major changes are required, a defense of the revised document should be held. Refer to the ‘Degree Completion’ section on the Graduate Student General Information page of the online General Catalog for information about the final defense and other degree completion requirements

Writing Resources
These websites, and names of books, might be of interest to those who will be writing a thesis, report, or dissertation. The websites were found by searching for ‘writing for engineers ’ and ‘writing for engineering students’ in Google.

Colorado State University
Writing Guides:  Writing in Engineering

Penn State


UCLA Graduate Writing Center

Utah State University Writing Center

How engineers can improve technical writing.

National Writing Project
How to Build Better Engineers: A Practical Approach to the Mechanics of Text

Essentials for the Scientific and Technical Writer, by Hardy Hoover, Dover Publications.
The Craft of Scientific Writing, by Michael Alley, Springer; 3rd edition.