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Thesis and Dissertation

Directions on Form, Preparation, and Submission of the Final Copies of Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations


The Graduate School is now handling thesis and dissertation.


Phone: (936) 294-2408 | Fax: (936) 294-2409
TGS Main Email:
Thesis/Dissertation Email:
Main Campus: Templeton Building – 1st Floor

This guide will be available online until the Graduate School completes the ETD Manual (expected completion is Fall 2021) at which time it will replace the current NGL thesis/dissertation handbook. Please use this guide for formatting purposes only. For procedural information and other assistance, please go to the Graduate School's webpage linked above.

Need to Know

Official SHSU Directions 

  1. These are specific directions for graduate students who are submitting a thesis or dissertation as a part of their degree at Sam Houston.
  2. Sam Houston guidelines take precedence over the student's chosen style manual (APA, MLA, Chicago)​​The current guidelines take precedence over outdated versions. 
  3. Students should speak with their thesis/dissertation directors and advisors about the style manual they should choose.
  4. Students should NOT use another thesis/dissertation as a model.
  5. Because styles and guidelines continue to be updated, something that used to be correct may no longer be correct.
  6. The thesis/dissertation will be reviewed based on the style the student has chosen and the current SHSU guidelines. 

Order of Events

  1. First Draft Review: Check your academic calendar for the specific date. You should have three chapters done to submit to the Thesis Clerk for format review. You should email your document to by that date. Feel free to turn in your document earlier if you are ready. You should include your name, contact information, and chosen style (MLA, APA, Chicago) when submitting your document. After you submit, you will receive an email from the Thesis Clerk letting you know that they received your document and that it is waiting for review. After the document is reviewed, the Thesis Clerk will email you their review and attach the updated version of your document. 
  2. Defense Deadline: This is decided by you and your advisor. There is a set deadline for this that you can find in the academic calendar. You should have this done before the Second Draft Review. If you have this done before the Second Draft Review date, feel free to submit early. 
  3. Second/Final Review: Check your academic calendar for the specific date. For this review you should have already defended your document. The document that you turn in for this review should have all the final edits, and should be ready for publication. The Thesis Clerk will review your document a second time. After their review, they will email you the updated copy and a PDF copy along with instructions with the next steps.
  4. Route Sheet: This is not a physical piece of paper. You can find the link on this website. You fill out your information and the route sheet will automatically go to the next person for approval. You can start this sheet at any time, but your advisor may not approve it until after you have defended. The route sheet will be digitally sent to the next person after the person before them approves it. 
  5. Vireo: This is where your document will be published into the system. The Thesis Clerk will send you information on how to submit in an email during your Second Draft Review. This is the last step. After everything has been double checked, the document will be approved. All of the documents for your specific semester will be published all at one time on a preset date.

Human and Animal Research Subjects (Institutional Review Board - IRB)

Research involving human or animal participants must be approved by the SHSU Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects prior to the commencement of the project. 

Instructions and applications are available from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Thomason building- Suite 303 or from the OSRP web site at



These are regular Microsoft Word documents that can be used by both PC and Mac users. These have a helpful outline for creating your document. 

Style Manuals

The following style manuals have been accepted by the Sam Houston State University Graduate Council.  The most recent edition of these manuals should always be followed.  CONSULT YOUR THESIS/DISSERTATION DIRECTOR TO DETERMINE WHICH MANUAL IS REQUIRED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT.

  • ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors and Editors (American Chemical Society)
  • AIP Style Manual (American Institute of Physics)
  • Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual
  • Chicago Manual of Style OR A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations (Kate L.Turabian)
  • Form and Style: Theses, Reports, Term Papers (William G. Campbell)
  • A Manual for Authors of Mathematical Papers (American Mathematical Association)
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Languages of America)
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Scientific Style and Format: THE CSE Manual for Authors, Editors and Publishers (Council of Science Editors)
  • Style Manual for Political Science (American Political Science Association - APSA)
  • Style Manual: An official guide to the form and style of Federal Government printing (United States Government Printing Office)
  • Suggestions to Authors of the Reports of the United States Geological Survey
  • The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Harvard Law Review)


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