GSAS Master's Thesis Guidelines

If a student chooses or is required to complete a master’s thesis, he or she must enroll for six credits of thesis research as prescribed by the program (see §5.3.1 in the GSAS Academic Policies and Procedures Guidebook). 

A master’s thesis committee must consist, at minimum, of a thesis director (mentor) and one reader, each of whom must be a full time faculty member in the student’s department or program at Fordham. Committee members are specified, along with the thesis topic, on the Thesis Title Approval form, which is submitted to us by the department chairperson or program director. The department chairperson or program director is responsible for ensuring that the committee is professionally appropriate. 

When a thesis title and committee have been approved, the student’s program will be notified. For any changes made to the thesis title or thesis committee membership, a new form must be prepared and sent to dean’s office for approval. 

An oral defense of the master’s thesis is not required by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, but may be a program requirement. If this is a program requirement, the student must be physically present at the defense* (*please see the updated policy changes on remote learning), and may not participate by any means of distance communication (such as Skype, teleconferencing, phone, etc.) 

Students should note that the presentation of the thesis to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is the last requirement that is necessary for the degree. All other requirements for the master’s degree must be completed before the thesis is submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 

Some departments require master’s research papers, projects or internships. These papers are not always presented to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, though the approval forms for these projects are presented to the school as part of the last requirement for the degree. Students in these departments should consult their departments about requirements for these projects. 

Presentation of Master’s Thesis 

Please note that we are making the following changes to the procedures by which the GSAS policy on the Presentation of the Master’s Thesis to GSAS is implemented (see 7.7.2 GSAS Academic Policies and Procedures Guidebook).  

If you choose or are required to submit a Master’s thesis, you are now required to upload the thesis to ProQuest/UMI.   While the final thesis paperwork should still be submitted to GSAS, a physical copy of the thesis is no longer needed. Capstone papers, long papers, final project papers, research papers, etc., should not be uploaded to ProQuest/UMI. Only those final requirements officially described as a “Master’s thesis” should be uploaded. 

Students are not required to present their Master’s theses in person to GSAS. Instead, the presentation of the Master’s thesis to GSAS will be conducted “in absentia”: after uploading the thesis to ProQuest/UMI, students must submit the final thesis paperwork to GSAS for review.  Once the thesis and the paperwork have been reviewed, students will be cleared for graduation.  

In programs where capstone papers, final project papers, and the like are required, students should follow that program’s process for submitting the project and then file the final paperwork with GSAS. Again, no appointment is required. 

The Master’s thesis should be uploaded to ProQuest/UMI using the following link: 

The uploaded thesis should be in its final version, including any changes required by the committee and in the proper format as indicated in Appendix E of the GSAS Academic Policies and Procedures Guidebook

Programs are required to submit the final thesis paperwork to [email protected]  by the deadline in the academic calendar so that the student can be processed for graduation. 

Please follow the deadlines posted in the Academic Calendar