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Thesis & Defense Guidelines
The crucial work produced in the course of graduate study for PhD students and MS students choosing a thesis option is a doctoral dissertation or masters thesis. There is no length requirement for these works, and they are read and approved by a committee put together by the student and their advisor. For PhD candidates, this committee consists of four members of which one must be an outside examiner from outside Tufts. For MS candidates, the committee must include at least 3 faculty members. The department provides a LaTeX template designed to help students meet the Tufts formatting requirements with basic instructions for setting up the document. This is currently available on the OGSM Resources page.
Exact deadlines for when to submit the thesis, and other important guidelines can be found in the GSAS Handbook and GSAS' Graduation website. It is essential that you read and understand the Graduate School requirements in order to ensure an on-time graduation. Additionally, students must submit the "Thesis/Dissertation – Request for Final Approval" form to the chair of their committee once a final draft of the document, including any revisions recommended by the committee, is approved for publication.
For PhD students, during the electronic submission process, students are given the opportunity to order bound paper copies of their thesis or dissertation from ProQuest. The Department requests that the student reserves one of these bound copies to be kept in our library, and will cover the costs for that extra copy.
In the last term before graduation, the student and advisor will schedule a thesis defense, which is announced to and open to the whole department and to visitors invited by the candidate.
The standard format is a presentation by the student followed by questions from the audience. The general audience is then asked to leave, and questions from the committee follow. In addition to the Graduate School rules, the Math Department has some additional requirements regarding thesis defenses:
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