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Thesis Submission and Defense Process

Thesis Submission and Defense Process

Once the thesis proposal has been approved, students should consult regularly with their adviser, and, if possible, the other committee members. During this period students should clarify ideas and approaches and submit drafts for feedback. Students should plan ahead to ensure that they are able to meet the thesis defense deadline for the semester in which they plan to graduate (see below for deadlines and dates).

If you have questions about the thesis defense process, please write to gallatin.thesis@nyu.edu.

 

Selecting the Thesis Committee

As early in the process as possible, students should select the members of the thesis committee. Each thesis committee includes three panelists who will read the thesis and participate in the thesis defense. Of the three panelists, one must be the student's primary academic adviser, and at least one must be a full-time Gallatin faculty member. If the academic adviser is a full-time Gallatin faculty member, the student may opt to ask two other non-Gallatin faculty members to serve on the committee.

Students are responsible for selecting and confirming the participation of each panelist. Students should consult with their primary advisers about composing the committee. The M.A. program directors are also available to help students with this process.

Once the student has selected their committee, the student must submit this proposed committee to the MA program for approval by submitting the Proposed Thesis Defense Committee form at least six weeks in advance of the thesis defense date. For proposed second or third readers who are not NYU faculty members, students must include a link to their CV.

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Submitting the Thesis Your Adviser, to Gallatin, and to the Thesis Defense Committee

The adviser will be reviewing drafts of the thesis with the student in an on-going fashion prior to the submission of the thesis to the defense committee.

The student will submit a final draft version of the thesis to the adviser via email no fewer than six weeks in advance of the intended thesis defense date.

After the adviser has approved the thesis and thinks the student is ready for the defense, the student will then submit the thesis to Gallatin and to the thesis committee no fewer than four weeks before the anticipated defense date.

To submit the thesis to Gallatin and to the thesis committee, students should use the online Thesis Submission form. This form will send copies of the thesis to the adviser and to the second and third reader. At this stage, Gallatin will contact the adviser to confirm their approval of the thesis. 

Students completing an artistic thesis that entails a performance, an exhibit, or a film screening must arrange to have the committee members see the performance in advance of the defense.

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Scheduling the Defense

At the same time as the thesis is being submitted to Gallatin and to the thesis committee, the student will consult with all three panelists regarding the dates and times when they are available. When an acceptable date and time have been arranged, the student will complete the online Thesis Defense Registration form, which must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the defense. A defense confirmation will be emailed to the student, the adviser, the second reader, and the third reader. This confirmation email will provide an overview of what to expect in the defense for both the student and the committee.

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Defending the Thesis

On the day of the defense the student will defend the thesis in a one-and-a half hour discussion with the three members of the committee.

After the defense, the adviser will complete an online form, which states the outcome of the defense and notifies the MA program of this outcome.

The possible outcomes are:

  • Pass – with no revisions
  • Pass – with minor revisions to be approved by the adviser 
  • Pass – with major revisions to be approved by the adviser
  • No Pass - Student must submit and defend the thesis at a future time

 

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Submitting the Final Thesis

Within 30 days after the defense, the student must submit the final, corrected version of the thesis by completing the Final Thesis Submission form.

A final version of the thesis will be added to the Gallatin Master's Thesis Archive.

Students who have passed the defense and have met all other degree requirements will be eligible for graduation. 

 

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Thesis Defense Deadlines

In planning the date of the thesis defense, students must adhere to the deadlines below. 

Student is planning to graduate:*Last date to defend 

Draft thesis to adviser due via email and Proposed Thesis Defense Committee form due

Thesis Submission form due and Thesis Defense Registration form due

Thesis Submission, Final form due 
End of Fall Term (January conferral)  Dec. 15 6 weeks prior to defense date 4 weeks prior to defense date 30 days after defense date Failure to meet these deadlines may result in increased costs to you, in the form of additional semester(s) of thesis advisement registration being required
End of Spring Term (May conferral May 1
End of Summer Term (September conferral)  Sept. 8
* If deadline dates fall on a weekend, then the last day to defend is the Friday before.

Sample Thesis Scheduling Chart

Below is an example of submission deadlines based on specific defense dates. It demonstrates how students should plan for the defense.

I am planning to graduate:My planned defense date is:

My draft thesis to adviser is due via email and Proposed Thesis Defense Committee  form is due

 

My Thesis Submission form due and Thesis Defense Registration form due:

My Thesis Submission, Final form due: 
End of Fall Term (January conferral)  Nov. 27 Oct. 16 Oct. 30 First day University offices reopen in January Failure to meet these deadlines may result in increased costs to you, in the form of additional semester(s) of thesis advisement registration being required
End of Spring Term (May conferral)  Apr. 1 Feb. 19 Mar. 4 May 1

End of Summer Term (September conferral)

 

Sept. 5 July 18 Aug. 8 Oct. 4

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Matriculation Policy

Students must be registered for Master's Thesis II in the semester that they are defending. Students who need additional time register for Thesis Advisement each term (including the summer, if they plan on graduating in September) until they have successfully defended the thesis. Credits for Thesis Advisement are not included in the 40-credit requirement for the master’s degree.  Thesis Advisement has a special tuition rate of $400 (plus a nonrefundable registration and services fee).

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