Apr 13, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]


Policies  > Degree Requirements > Thesis/Dissertation

Continuous Registration

Students who have achieved candidacy and are working on a thesis or dissertation are expected to comply with the enrollment requirements as set forth in the sections entitled Course Load  and Continuous Enrollment . Advice or assistance from a member of the faculty in the preparation of the thesis or dissertation should not be expected unless the student is officially enrolled.

Students are required to be continuously enrolled (i.e., each Fall and Spring semester), including the semester in which the thesis or dissertation is submitted to, and accepted by, the university. Failure to enroll in thesis/dissertation courses may delay graduation and may result in the loss of financial assistance and other privileges. A student not enrolled in a Fall or Spring term is not eligible for a teaching or research assistantship during that term. The student should consult the individual college requirements regarding summer registration for thesis or dissertation credit hours.

Students may enroll in absentia for thesis/dissertation courses if arrangements are made through the department of their major at least two weeks before the registration period. Registration for all other students must be completed in the prescribed manner during the announced registration period. The thesis or dissertation course is considered part of a student’s current course load.


A student enrolled in a thesis or dissertation course should receive the grade indicator “IP” (in progress) without a grade on the student’s permanent record for each registration period until the semester or term in which the dissertation is defended, approved by the College, and graded with a letter grade. A final grade of B or better is required on the completed thesis or dissertation in order for the student to graduate.

Colleges will ensure that the thesis or dissertation has been submitted and approved, and a letter grade of B or better assigned to the thesis/dissertation course prior to certifying the student’s graduation.

A maximum of 12 credit hours of Dissertation coursework may be applied to the requirements for a Doctoral degree and a maximum of 6 credit hours of Master’s Thesis coursework may be applied to the requirements of a Master’s degree. However, once students are enrolled in thesis/dissertation courses, they must continuously enroll in them until degree is conferred. (Also see section on the 99-Hour Doctoral Cap .)

Preparation of Document

The University of Houston uses an electronic thesis/dissertation submission process for submission of the final, official version of the document to the university. Please check with your specific department or college for details regarding the steps for submitting a thesis or dissertation to your college and the university.

Approval of Document Proposal

Students must receive approval of their thesis or dissertation proposal from their thesis or dissertation committee. In some departments, students may not begin research prior to admission to candidacy without the approval of an advisor. The committee is approved by the dean of the college upon the advice of the appropriate department chair or in accordance with college policies. Students must check with their departments or programs for deadlines regarding the submission of the thesis or dissertation proposal.

The thesis or dissertation must present evidence of a mastery of the literature in an area of study, a significant contribution to knowledge, and the ability to conduct independent research.

Every thesis, dissertation or other research project involving the use of Human subjects must be approved by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects before research is started. Students should consult their faculty advisors for information. For additional information or an application form, contact the Office of Research Policies, Compliance and Committees, 316 Ezekiel W. Cullen Building, (713) 743-9104.

Suggested Form

As a general rule, the format and style of presentation should conform to the most acceptable standards of scientific and scholarly writing in the discipline. For instances in which this general rule is an inadequate guide, reference should be made to a style manual approved by the college or department.

Before preparing the thesis or dissertation, the student should obtain a copy of the guide for the preparation and submission of theses and dissertations from the appropriate college office.

Approval of the Final Draft

The final draft of the thesis or dissertation must be completed and submitted to the advisory committee as early as stipulated by the committee, but no later than the deadlines specified by the college. After students have received approval of the final draft from their advisory committee, they must submit it to the college for approval no later than the deadline specified by the college.

Electronic Submission

Once they have received approval from the college, students must submit the college-approved thesis or dissertation electronically for archiving by the University. Students will submit the work and faculty will approve it using Vireo and/or UMI/ProQuest, following the instructions found at the following link: http://www.uh.edu/graduate-school/academics/thesis/. Students must submit their documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) per the guidelines on the web site, following all program, department, and/or college-specific requirements. Students may have hard copies of their theses or dissertations bound for personal use, and they should check whether their specific program, department, college, or library requires a bound copy as well.

Deadline for Completed Submission

All student, department, and college approval processes for submission of thesis or dissertation-including college approval of defended thesis or dissertation, assignment of final grade(s) for thesis or dissertation courses by the faculty advisor, and all components of electronic submission to the university for archiving-must be completed no later than the final grading deadline for faculty for session 1 (regular academic session) of the academic term, as published in the graduate Academic Calendar .

Early Submission

If a student meets all of the requirements described above for completed submission of thesis or dissertation prior to the last day to add a class in session 1 (regular academic session) of the academic term, they are eligible to request via petition to have their minimum required enrollment reduced to one credit hour. Such petitions are approved at the discretion of the Associate Dean for graduate studies of the respective college and filed with the Graduate School. Such petitions must be submitted to and approved by the Associate Dean for graduate studies no later than the last day to add classes in session 1 (regular academic session) of the academic term, as published in the graduate Academic Calendar . Students who meet this early submission deadline and do not submit a petition to request a reduced minimum required enrollment by the last day to add a class in session 1 (regular academic session) for the academic term are required to remain in the required three credit hours of enrollment. 

Previous Publication of Materials

Students who have previously published portions of their electronic thesis or dissertation in professional journals or in books must demonstrate who ultimately retains the copyright to the published works before material can be made publicly available in UH Libraries’ Vireo repository. It is the student’s responsibility to determine copyright ownership; he/she should consult the contracts signed between the corresponding author and the publisher to determine the copyright holder.

Future Publication of Materials

It is recommended that any future publication (article or book) include a note indicating that the material is, or is based upon, a thesis or dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designated degree at the University of Houston.