The Final Stages

Section 1 - STEP-by-STEP GUIDE for presentation, submission of your thesis or project, and graduation:
After you have completed your research or project, you must submit the first draft of your thesis or project to your major professor. Thesis/Project Defense deadline for Spring 2023 is April 15. Contact the Graduate Administrative Support Coordinator at ac48@humboldt.edu to schedule your defense date.
  • Two scenarios for finishing your degree

    Plan A (standard plan)

    Fall or Spring semester x

    • complete data collection and analysis
    • begin writing thesis

    Fall or Spring semester x+1 semester

  • enroll for two units of Bio 690/699 as a regular student
  • submit full draft of thesis to your advisor no later than the first-week of classes
  • engage in (many) rounds of critique and revision (set up a schedule)
  • major advisor emails thesis to committee for review (Cc: Grad Coordinator too!) one month before the scheduled defense.
  • schedule a courtesy format-check appointment with cfr@humboldt.edu
  • defend no later than April 15 for spring or November 15 for fall 
  • After the defense, but considerably before May 10 (approx. date for spring) or December 10 (approx. date for fall): Submit your final thesis or project to Digital Commons for committee approval. This version should be approved by your entire committee prior to submission to Digital Commons. However, you need to leave enough time for the committee members to submit their electronic signature after submission but before the deadline (see Graduate Studies for the actual deadline dates!)

 

Plan B (if you don’t meet the deadlines for completion during F/S semester x+1)

Click here for temporary rule change regarding the use of Extended Education

Fall or Spring semester x+ 2 semesters (approximate dates)

  • enroll in 1 unit of Bio x693 through the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement (Note: x693 units are not eligible for financial aid) provided that your advisor can distribute the thesis to the committee no later than the ADD/DROP date for the semester - you must submit the form to Grad Studies for verification, SH 217A by the ADD/DROP Deadline! Graduate students in Biology may enroll in Bio x693 only one semester.
  • or else enroll in 2 units of Bio 690/699 as a regular student
  • schedule a courtesy format-check appointment with cfr@humboldt.edu
  • defend no later than April 15 for spring or November 15 for fall
  • After the defense, but considerably before May 10 (approx. date for spring) or December 10 (approx. date for fall): Submit your final thesis or project to Digital Commons for committee approval. This version should be approved by your entire committee prior to submission to Digital Commons. However, you need to leave enough time for the committee members to submit their electronic signature after submission but before the deadline (see Graduate Studies for the actual deadline dates!)

General rules

  • Your committee (Grad Coordinator too) must see the thesis one month before your defense.
  • Committee members have three weeks to return with comments, questions, and criticisms.
  • You have one week to reply to committee comments.
  • The major advisor distributes an approved version of the thesis to the committee, not the student.
  • Only after your major advisor has completed a thorough review shall a revised draft be submitted to all remaining committee members. Your advisor will send an email to committee members stating, certifying, or verifying that your thesis or project is ready for review, however, you should keep your committee informed about the progress of your thesis. It is important to keep in mind that ALL members of your committee are full participants in the critical review of your work. Their role is summarized in the statement they will sign on the approval form for your thesis or project.
  • Allow ample time for your major advisor and committee members to review the thesis or project critically and for you to make appropriate corrections or modifications.
  • The completed initial draft, including figures and bibliography, must be submitted to your major professor no later than the beginning of the semester during which you plan to graduate,

AND

    • a more or less final draft distributed to the committee at least one month before the date of your departmental presentation and defense (see below). This draft should be carefully prepared and free of typographical and grammatical errors.
    • The members of your committee will return the draft with their comments to you at least one week prior to your presentation; you are under no obligation to receive or address their comments after that date. You are, however, obliged to satisfy each member of your committee when his or her comments are submitted in a timely fashion.
    • After review by your committeea final draft of your thesis or project must also be submitted for review by the Graduate Coordinator of the Department. This draft should be in a form acceptable for submission to the Graduate Dean.
    • Any substantive objections to your work by a member of your committee or the Graduate Coordinator will be submitted to you in writing. In the rare event that you cannot resolve such objections among the parties concerned, an appeal panel of the Department Graduate Advisory Committee will review the matter. A majority vote of this group is sufficient to render a decision. Appeals beyond the Department should be addressed to the Graduate Dean.

IMPORTANT: Each semester, the Graduate Coordinator sets the deadlines for thesis or project presentation and for the review of your final thesis or project. This deadline is approximately mid-November in the fall semester and mid-April in the spring semester.

Section 2 - Thesis or Project presentation and defense.
  • The date for your thesis or project presentation and defense should be set as early in your final semester as possible. It is your responsibility to plan carefully to allow sufficient time for revisions, duplication, and handling of other administrative details to avoid delay of your graduation.
  • Presentations must be coordinated with all members of your committee and the Graduate Administrative Support Staff in the Department of Biological Sciences. Presentations must be held during the regular academic session; they may not be held at night, on weekends or holidays, or during final examination week. In addition, thesis or project presentations will not be held during the last three weeks of the semester when classes are in session. Notices must be posted throughout the Department at least one week in advance, and a notice must appear in the Department Announcements.

     

  • The form of your presentation should be consistent with that made at professional meetings of biologists in consultion with your major professor. After your presentation and a period for discussion and questions, your major professor will excuse the general audience and conduct whatever examination your committee feels necessary. Further revision of your thesis or project may be required.

    1) Seven-year limit. In accordance with state and university regulations, all students must complete requirements for the Master's degree within seven years. An extension may be granted under special circumstances (GRADUATE STUDENT HANDBOOK).

    Section 3 - FINAL Steps for Submitting Your Thesis or Project

    1) Approval

  • Thesis/Project Submissions are now done online through Digital Commons.
  • Obtain approval signatures from your advisor, committee members and graduate coordinator.

2) Format Review is no longer required, however, it is strongly recommended!

Please contact cfr@humboldt.edu (email) or by phone at 707.826.5602 to schedule a courtesy format review.

(3) Thesis or Project Submission

  • After your thesis defense, but considerably before the May date for spring graduation and December date for fall graduation: Submit your final thesis or project to Digital Commons for committee approval. This version should be approved by your entire committee prior to submission to Digital Commons. However, you need to leave enough time for the committee members to submit their electronic signature after submission but before the deadline for the May and December dates. Documents received by 5:00 pm PST on the above deadlines are assured of review and processing in time for clearing the culminating experience portion of your degree, barring any major format errors.

    CONGRATULATIONS!