Thesis Guide

This guide will help you walk through the sometimes confusing steps of thesis writing from start to finish.

Thesis Planning Meeting

This is an essential step in your thesis (or project) process. In these group meetings, you will hear guidelines and get advice about your topic.

see Thesis/Project Workshop Slides

Establish Thesis Committee

Select three faculty that will help guide you in your thesis writing. One member will be the chair of the committee and must be a tenured faculty member (Dr. Frost). One member should be from outside the Homeland Security department to provide breadth (hint: Dr. Andrés also teaches in the MIS department).

see Thesis Committee Form Instructions

Thesis Prospectus

Your prospectus is where you propose your thesis idea and your committee chair must approve the prospectus before you embark on the main thesis writing. You need to do some research to get to the point where you can write a cohesive prospectus, but usually not more than a month to gather a list of references and clearly define your problem statement.

see Prospectus Template

Enroll in Thesis Course

This course placeholder is intended for the semester in which you write your thesis. Traditional thesis writers should enroll in HSEC 799A. Those students with an unpublished thesis project should enroll in HSEC 790. If you need more time to write your thesis, you would enroll in HSEC 799B

Review Thesis Deadlines

It is imperative that you know of all the thesis deadlines, the "at risk" deadlines, the timing window for defending (presenting) your thesis and publishing your thesis.

see Graduate Affairs for Thesis Deadlines

Write Your Thesis

There are a number of policies governing Thesis writing. Make sure you understand all of them so that you don't waste time. It is best to concentrate on writing and wait to do the formatting of your thesis until almost the end of the process.

see Graduate Affairs for Thesis Manual

Thesis Formatting

University requirements dictate that your thesis must be formatted in a very particular way with strict rules. You can do this process yourself or hire a former graduate student to do the process on your behalf.

see Montezuma Publishing for Thesis Formatting Instructions

see Thesis Template

see Freelance Formatters

see Formatting Checklist

Thesis Defense

This is your official presentation of your thesis to your committee and it is typically open to the public. In other departments (and particularly in the European style), this is a full-throat defense of your work and your committee members (or members of the public) will challenge your research and attempt to find flaws in your work, in the hope of producing a more polished final thesis. Revisions of your work are typically requested and you would make additional defenses.

Traditionally in our program, your committee will not allow you to schedule your thesis defense unless they think you are at the stage where you are ready. Additionally, the defense is really more of a presentation of your work, and your committee will not typically ask you to make revisions at this point.

see Thesis Defense Form for Graduate Students

Thesis Review

Once approved by your thesis committee, you would submit your work along with the signature page to Montezuma Publishing, the authorized on-campus reviewers and publishers.

see Montezuma Publishing for Thesis Review Instructions

Apply to Graduate

Don't forget to officially apply to graduate before the deadline on the second week of classes. Students are encouraged to apply the semester prior to their anticipated graduation date just to be safe.

see SDSU WebPortal for application to graduate