In this document, we will use the word “thesis” as pertaining to both master's and doctoral works. A thesis1 must satisfy two sets of criteria:

  1. academic and intellectual requirements assessed by the faculty of the university;
  2. a document which embodies intellectual requirements and the original point of view that is proposed. This Thesis Manual is mostly concerned with the second aspect of a thesis.

“thesis (the'sis)n., pl. -ses (-sez'): 1. A proposition that is maintained by argument. 2. A dissertation advancing an original point of view as a result of research, especially as a requirement for an academic degree ``dissertation (dis'ar-ta'shan) n.: A lengthy, formal treatise, especially one written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university; a thesis.” (Source: American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)

Suggestions to Students

All students must carefully read the content of this Thesis Manual before writing their theses. If a student's style of manuscript does not conform to the standards of this Thesis Manual, the prior approval of the Thesis Examiner must be sought. It is imperative to be consistent in format and style throughout the thesis. A sample thesis is available at:

Every student must consult the Sequence of Events and deadlines for graduate students that are published each semester by the Graduate Academic Affairs, located 10 West 35th Street, 2nd Floor.

If the indicated deadlines are not met, the student's graduation may be delayed until the following semester. The appointments with the Thesis are set up to help students avoid unforeseen problems in preparing a thesis and to provide suggestions otherwise unavailable to students.

Throughout this Thesis Manual a preliminary draft of a thesis refers to the one prepared for discussion with the Thesis Examiner, which must include samples of starred items on page 2--under "Contents of a Thesis"--as well as samples of tables, figures and photos. The Thesis Examiner will reject no preliminary draft, when the student has made an effort to use the IIT approved format; however, the extent of corrections required for an acceptable final draft will vary with the stage of development of the preliminary draft.

Suggestions to Faculty Advisers

In order to advise students better, every faculty adviser should be familiar with the contents of this Thesis Manual. In case there are any questions, faculty advisers may contact the Thesis Examiner through the Graduate College. In the absence of specific recommendations from the adviser, the Thesis Examiner (in consultation with the leadership of Academic Affairs) shall have the final responsibility to interpret the totality of the rules in accepting or rejecting an individual thesis as suitable for binding and depositing in the IIT library.