Why do I need to contact the graduate reader?

If you are writing a thesis, dissertation, or nursing capstone project, 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 by the graduate reader (see Deadlines) 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/nursing capstone, you’ll have the copies ready for them to sign.  Do not wait to have your committee members sign your title pages until the graduate reader has approved it.  Follow instructions supplied at the time the graduate reader approved your title page.

May I FAX my title page for approval?
No.  Email your title page to graduatereader@usm.edu.

What does the graduate reader check for in my document?
Adherence to the Guidelines, adherence to the style guide for your field (selected on the Contact Graduate Reader form), consistency within the text, correct grammar, citations, references, and more.

What do I do if I realize I'm not going to graduate as scheduled?
Contact the graduate reader (601-266-4372) and the appropriate graduate degree auditor (601-266-5136 or 601-266-4181) and notify them that you need to be placed in the next graduating class.  You will need to submit a deferment form and fee to the degree auditor.  Failure to contact both the degree auditor and graduate reader could cause you to be placed in an inactive file.

How should I contact the graduate reader and complete the document approval process if I don't live in the Hattiesburg area?
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 the deadlines.  You may also opt to use the USM Image Center to print and deliver your document, be sure to follow all instructions given to you by the Graduate Reader.

Should I have my dissertation proposal approved by the graduate reader?
No, the Graduate School does not have a specific policy for proposals.  Be sure your proposal defense form is turned in at least one semester before your dissertation/thesis defense.

What if my document includes an element that is not covered in the Student Manual for Preparing Theses and Dissertations?
Contact the graduate reader for permission to use the element and/or clarification on how to include the element in your document.