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Proposal 21-15

The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Proposal 21-15
(Voting Units: Academic)

“Deadlines for Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Submission”

PDF Version of Proposal 21-15

Proposed by the Dean of the Graduate School, Jackie Huntoon, on behalf of Graduate Faculty Council

I. Background 

The Graduate Faculty Council consists of representatives of each graduate program at Michigan Tech, including non-departmental programs. This council received a number of comments regarding the deadlines associated with completing graduate degrees.

The deadlines are related to ensuring that the final dissertation, thesis or report conforms to the guidelines established for these documents at Michigan Tech. These comments came from both faculty and students. There were two key themes to these comments:

1)    Fairness – that all graduate students should be treated the same and that any ambiguity in the wording of deadlines (such as major vs. minor changes) be eliminated

2)    Expectations of graduate students - that the expectations of graduate students be met as they go through this process. Many graduate students find that their graduation is deferred for a semester due to the continued need for changes to their thesis, dissertation or report.

II. The Process 

An adhoc committee was formed to address these issues, and the committee brought forward recommendations for changes to the deadlines to the full council. The full council then extensively discussed and adjusted those proposed changes.

III. Proposal 

It is proposed to adopt the deadlines for dissertation, thesis, and report submission as shown in Table 1.The deadlines would be enacted no earlier than fall 2015, pending Senate approval in time for spring adoption.

Table1 includes the actual dates that would have applied if the new deadlines were in place for the Fall semester of 2014and Spring semester of 2015.Thedateschosen for milestones I and II were selected to give students the maximum amount of time to complete their degree in the desired semester. The deadlines for milestones III and IV provide time for the student to address any irregularities in their final document that are found during review by the graduate school.

Table1. Deadlines approved by Graduate Faculty Council Deadlines for Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Submission


Deadline(approved by GFC)


  1. Last day to schedule a final oral examination(submit Pre-defense form and draft of dissertation, thesis, or report to Graduate School) a


November4, 2014

March 24, 2015


Two weeks before final oral examination


  1.  Last day to hold a final oral examination


November18, 2014

April 7, 2015



No deadline

  1. Last day to submit advisor and committee approved dissertation, thesis, or report and all associated degree-completion paperwork to the Graduate School a, b, c, d



December 1, 2014

April 13, 2015


Monday, Finals week December 15, 2014

April 27, 2015

  1. Last day for Graduate School to return a review of the dissertation, thesis, or report  and forms to student  (if preceding deadlines were met by the student) d

Monday, Finals week December 15, 2014

April 27, 2015

Monday, two weeks after finals week December 29, 2014

May11, 2015

  1.  Deadline to turn in the final, fully corrected dissertation, thesis, or report that conforms to all requirements specified by the Graduate School in its review e

Friday, Finals week December 19, 2014

May1, 2015

Friday, Finals week December 19, 2014

May1, 2015

  1. If a student does not meet the deadlines for Milestones I, II and III, they will not be eligible to graduate during the current semester. Students who fall into this category will have to pay regular tuition and maintain continuous enrollment per Graduate School policies until they complete their degree.
  2. If a student meets the deadlines for Milestones I, II and III, they may opt out of paying tuition in the following semester, even if they are unable to turn in a final, fully corrected document that conforms to all Graduate School requirements before the end of the current semester. Instead, these students will be eligible to pay the dissertation/thesis/report completion fee and complete their degree in the subsequent semester.
  3. If a student does not meet the deadline for Milestone III, they will need to register for a minimum of one credit in the following semester because they require the input of faculty subsequent to the deadline date for Milestone III. International students must ensure that they comply with minimum registration requirements specified by the US federal government.
  4. Documents received after the deadline date for Milestone III will be reviewed in the order received and returned within two weeks after the date of submission.
  5. If the deadlines for all other Milestones have been met, but the “final” document that is submitted is:
  • not fully corrected so that it conforms to all Graduate School requirements, or
  • not submitted by the deadline date for Milestone V, the student will be allowed to opt out of paying tuition for the subsequent semester and will be allowed to instead pay the dissertation/thesis/report completion fee. The student will then be eligible to complete their degree in the subsequent semester.

Introduced to Senate:  21 January 2015
Approved by Senate:  04 February 2015
Approved by Administration:  06 February 2015