Physics Graduate Thesis

Please click here for a schedule of upcoming Physics Ph.D. Thesis Defenses.

The information on this page is applicable for both Ph.D. and Masters (with the exception of an Oral defense) degree candidates.


How do I submit a Thesis Proposal? When is it due?

Students must register for thesis and be assigned a thesis committee no later than the first term of their fourth year of graduate school. It is strongly recommended that students register for thesis in a term earlier than this final deadline. The first step is for the student and research supervisor to agree on a thesis topic. An initial Graduate Thesis Proposal Cover Sheet pdf icon (Master's Degree candidates should see process in next paragraph) must be submitted to Academic Programs by the second week of the term. The form requires an initial thesis title, the name and signature of the research supervisor, and the name of one reader for the thesis committee agreed upon by the student and advisor. The student should register for 8.THG (reminder: the minimum number of combined units for all subjects in any particular semester should equal 36) beginning this term. A third reader from the physics faculty, who is not in the same research area, but whose interests, background, or special knowledge make him or her an appropriate member of the committee, will be assigned by the Graduate Student Coordinator. If there is a co-supervisor (see above), the thesis committee will consist of four people: research supervisor, co-supervisor, selected reader, and assigned reader. After notification of the final reader, the student will need to convene an initial thesis committee meeting no later than four weeks before the last day of classes.

Master's degree candidates should complete the initial SM Thesis Proposal Cover Sheet pdf icon. The second reader of the Master's degree thesis committee is assigned by the Graduate Student Coordinator. Once the second reader is assigned, the thesis proposal submission process is complete.

See the Doctoral Guidelines for additional information.  [top]

I am going to graduate soon--what do I have to do in terms of paperwork etc.?

Please reference the Registrar's complete graduation checklistexternal link icon. Students should reference this list at the START of the semester prior to graduation.  [top]

How do I get on/off the Degree List?

Fill out the Degree Applicationexternal link icon through the student section of WebSISexternal link icon. Petitioning to be on the degree list for a particular commencement is required. Note that it is EASIER TO BE REMOVED FROM THE DEGREE LIST THAN TO BE ADDED. Thus, students are encouraged to petition for the degree list if they have any aspiration of graduating. Removing oneself from the degree list requires an e-mail to Academic Programs.  [top]

When is my thesis due? Can I get an extension?

The Doctoral Thesis due dates can be found on the Institute's Academic Calendarexternal link icon. The department can generally grant some extensions beyond the Institute deadline. Students desiring extensions should contact the Academic Administrator, Catherine Modica.  [top]

How do I find a room for my Thesis Defense?

Many Divisions have conference and/or seminar rooms which can be used for oral exams and defenses. Physics Headquarters (4-304) has limited rooms available for meetings and conferences (because demand is heavy, these rooms are difficult to schedule). Classrooms can be scheduled through the Registrar's Officeexternal link icon.  [top]

When I submit my thesis to Physics Academic Programs, what do I need to bring?

Please refer to the Graduate Thesis Submission Guidelines.  [top]