FAQ

Why do I need to contact the graduate reader?

If you are writing a thesis or dissertation, the graduate school will not accept your final document unless it has been approved by the graduate reader.

Why does my title page have to be approved before the rest of the document?
You should have your title page approved before your defense so that you can make final (i.e., cotton) copies of it to take to the defense. That way, if your committee is ready to sign off on your thesis/dissertation, you'll have the copies ready for them to sign. Do not have your committee sign your title page until the graduate reader has approved it.

May I FAX my title page for approval?
Yes, you may FAX it to (601)266-5138, but email title pages are preferred. Email your title page to graduatereader@usm.edu.

What does the graduate reader check for in my document?
Adherence to the Student Manual for Preparing Theses and Dissertations, adherence to the style guide for your field (e.g., MLA, APA, CBE), consistency within the text, and correct grammar.

What do I do if I realize I'm not going to graduate as scheduled?
Contact the graduate reader (601-266-4369) and the graduate degree clerk (601-266-4369) and notify them that you need to be placed in the next semester's graduating class. If you fail to contact either of these people, you may be placed in an inactive file. If your status is inactive, you need to contact the graduate degree clerk one semester prior to the semester you intend to graduate.

How should I contact the graduate reader and complete the document approval process if I don't live in Hattiesburg?
The procedure for approval can be done through the mail. Keep in mind, however, that you are still responsible for meeting all deadlines. You may need to use express mail to ensure that you meet deadlines. Contacting the Graduate Reader and sending your title page to approved can be done through email.

Should I have my dissertation proposal approved by the graduate reader?
No, the office of graduate studies does not have a specific policy for proposals. If your proposal will constitute the first part of your dissertation or thesis, you and your committee may decide that it will be beneficial to have the graduate reader check the proposal. Be sure to change all future tense to past tense and follow the guidelines set forth in the Student Manual for Preparing Theses and Dissertations.

What if my document includes an element that is not covered in the Student Manual for Preparing Theses and Dissertations?
Contact the graduate reader to work out any formatting problems.