Theses, Dissertations and Nursing Capstone Projects

Graduate students who plan to write a master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation or doctoral nursing capstone project need to take note of the following:

  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.
  • Adhere to the published deadlines. Deadlines represent the last day to complete each task; students are encouraged to complete tasks as soon as possible.
  • Contact Graduate Reviewer Form (Effective immediately, this document is no longer required.)
  • Submit an Application for Degree to the Degree Auditor in the Graduate School with receipt of payment. Be sure to enroll in the appropriate number of thesis, dissertation or nursing capstone hours.  If you have questions concerning the number of hours needed, please contact the Degree Auditor or your Advisor.
  • Submit the Graduate Committee Request form to the Graduate School no later than the semester the proposal is defended (the proposal must be defended at least one semester before the defense of the thesis/dissertation/capstone). Title pages will not be approved without the committee form.  In the event there are committee changes, please submit a new committee form to the Graduate School.
  •  Submit the title page for approval.  Use one of the two templates below and email the Word file to the Reviewer for approval.  The Reviewer will provide you with an approved title page along with instructions for use.  Only the approved title page should be used at the defense.

  • All students receiving a research doctorate must complete the Survey of Earned Doctorate. Master’s students do not need to complete this. The survey can be completed by visiting  Our office will be automatically notified when you complete it. Please save the Certificate of Completion for your own records. This survey must be completed before final clearance is given and is different than the exit survey required by the University.

Title pages are not to be created until you have read the instructions for using the title page template. Do not alter the template.



  • Submit your title page to the Reviewer for approval by or before the published deadline
  • Go to Step 1 and read the instructions and then use one of the title page templates to create the title page.



As you write and prepare your thesis, dissertation, or nursing capstone project make sure that you are formatting as required by the USM Guidelines.  Read the guidelines and the instructions for using the templates in Step 2 before using any of the templates.

Contact the reviewer by email to schedule a template lesson in person or via screen share.



Doctoral candidates are required to attend commencement unless excused by the Dean of the Graduate School

Master's and doctoral candidates should reserve a seat for participation in commencement using the online form during their final semester. 

Prior to commencement, the Reviewer will send additional information to doctoral candidates regarding line-up procedures.  All other graduate candidates will be contacted by the Registrar’s Office.

Additional information about commencement can be found at the commencement webpage.