Thesis General Information
All graduate students completing a Plan A (Master's Thesis) or a Plan C (Creative Project) as part of a culminating experience degree requirement must deposit their thesis with the Office of Graduate Studies & Research (GS&R). Upon approval by your thesis committee, your thesis manuscript is reviewed by our office and processed for publication. GS&R assures that all formatting requirements for publication have been met and that your thesis meets the quality standards established by the SJSU Thesis Guidelines (pdf) before the final version is uploaded to an online ETD administrator that is used for delivering the thesis to the external publisher, ProQuest, and to the SJSU library.
Below is a brief description of the Plan A and Plan C culminating experience options. For more information on other culminating experience options and general graduation requirements, please visit our sister website Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE).
Plan A - Thesis
This plan requires selection and approval (by your advisor and/or a thesis committee) of a thesis topic, and its successful completion and publication. Students must register for their departmental 299 course. The thesis will not only be reviewed by your department committee for content but it will also be reviewed by GS&R to ensure that the document follows the university's thesis guidelines. Because of this, the process for completing and submitting a thesis is an intensive one that requires students to follow strict deadlines and requirements.
Plan C - Creative Project
This plan is reserved for cases in which the final requirement is met through a special creative assignment. A creative assignment may include original paintings, dramatic presentations, motion picture productions, works of sculpture, and similar items. The student is required to submit a written report to the GS&R on the creative project following the same formatting guidelines as a regular thesis. Plan C also requires registration in a departmental 299 course.
Students should check with their department to determine whether or not their work is considered a creative project or a thesis.
Students submitting their thesis to GS&R are expected to have applied for graduation and completed all the necessary steps towards completion of their degree. Information on the steps for completing a master's degree and other relevant deadlines can be found on the GAPE website. The thesis must be submitted for review to GS&R in the semester that you intend to graduate.
Reviewing the procedures and the SJSU Thesis Guidelines (pdf) in advance can save time and help avoid stress, especially for candidates who are completing their thesis, moving, applying for or beginning new jobs at virtually the same time. The most important thing you can do to make the thesis process go smoothly is to take time as soon as possible to learn about requirements, mark deadlines on your calendar, and be realistic about the amount of time you will need. You may submit your thesis up to a month in advance of the posted deadline.