Graduate Studies


Preliminary Review

  • Theses/Projects may be submitted to the Thesis Editor and Advisor for preliminary review of thesis draft. Be sure to include your:
    • Student ID number
    • Semester of graduation
    • Thesis or Project/Non-Print Media
    • Title of Thesis or Project
    • First and Last Name
    • Address
    • Phone number
  • Contact and schedule meeting with Thesis Editor for writing and format instruction.
  • Call or email Thesis Editor in advance to schedule an appointment as his time is limited: don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Preliminary edits are ONLY offered approximately four weeks prior to each semester deadline: mark your calendar.
  • Draft MUST reflect your best effort to meet university and departmental format requirements.
  • Complete drafts or sections of draft may be submitted as long as in a timely manner.
  • Drafts may be submitted for more than one preliminary review per deadline.
  • Documents submitted to the Thesis Editor will be returned either via email or here for pick up in the Office of Graduate Studies
  • If using formatter, you do not need to submit your documents to the Thesis Editor for a preliminary review.

Final Submission of Thesis/Project

  • One printed copy of the final thesis or project that has been approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee.
  • Two original approval pages signed by all committee members, as well as the Graduate Coordinator if required by the program.
  • One copy of the approval page will be retained by the Office of Graduate Studies; one copy will be returned to the candidate with the approved thesis or project.
  • A fully completed Thesis/Project Submission Form (PDF)
  • A completed and signed Master’s Candidate’s Agreement
    • The candidate’s signature on the “Master’s Candidate’s Agreement” must be original (e.g. no photocopies, faxed, or proxy signatures will be accepted).
  • A completed and signed Thesis/Project: Chair’s Verification Sheet (PDF)
  • One CD containing an identical PDF of the final approved thesis/project
  • All deadlines are absolute and published on the CSU, Chico Office of Graduate Studies website.
  • Submit a final formatted thesis/project with all committee signatures in place to the Office of Graduate Studies by the published semester deadline.
  • All signatures, in indelible black ink, must be those of the actual committee members; no proxy signatures can be accepted.
  • Each culminating activity regardless of discipline must adhere to the specific University requirements for uploading to the CDR.
  • Please click here for a PDF regarding University format (PDF).
  • Once the Thesis Editor has forwarded your thesis or project to the Dean for his final approval and signature, the CD with your PDF will be sent to the Library to be catalogued on the Chico Digital Repository. Please check and revise your PDF several times to make sure that the University format here is correct, and nothing has shifted or changed when you burned the document on to the disc. The PDF is much more important than the paper copy your turn in. You will get the paper copy back once we have approved the thesis or project and the Dean has signed the Approval pages. You will not, however, see the CD with the PDF again.
  • An extra copy of the abstract without page numbers, and a PDF copy of the thesis/project on a properly labeled CD (PDF), must accompany the submitted thesis/project.
  • Semester deadlines for the final submission of theses/projects to the Office of Graduate Studies are established two years in advance.
  • All deadlines are published on the CSU, Chico Office of Graduate Studies website.

Final Clearance

  • Specific university and departmental format criteria be met.
  • To meet the submission deadline date, all theses/projects must follow the specific guidelines established in this guide.
  • Written component must comply with the department style guide requirements for the reference system used in the text, the list of references at the end of the work, the format for all tables, and the format for the captions beneath figures (see Appendix A for department style guide requirements).
  • Upon submission, the final document must have the signatures of all members of the graduate advisory committee (proxy signatures are not acceptable) and, if required, the signature of the department’s graduate coordinator.
  • The Office of Graduate Studies will only allow for one final edit of each thesis/project.
  • Documents received for final approval not in compliance with all aspects of both the University format and the departmental style guide requirements will not be accepted.
  • Candidates for graduation will not be cleared under these circumstances and will be required to reapply for graduation for a subsequent semester.

Degree Evaluations

Your academic record will be evaluated to confirm that you have met all degree requirements in addition to your master’s thesis or project before you are cleared for the master’s degree. Sarah Lehner and Rosanne Kenoyer are the academic evaluators in the Office of Graduate Studies, and you are invited to contact them with any questions you have concerning your graduation check and degree clearance.

Working with a Formatter

List of Formatters

Many candidates prefer to leave the specifics of the technical format requirements to a professional formatter. Contact the Thesis Editor and Advisor for a list of formatters. However, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to determine if the chosen formatter has the necessary qualifications for the work involved. Formatters’ fees vary, so rates need to be discussed and agreed upon prior to making any final arrangements.

Note: the formatter works independently from Chico State and has no connection. You must sign a document provided by the formatter that is a binding agreement that you have carefully reviewed the final draft provided by the formatter and understand that once this final draft is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, no changes can be made.

A clear understanding of responsibilities of the formatter and the student will avoid problems, time delays, and excessive costs. The Office of Graduate Studies recommends the use of contracts to delineate responsibilities and cost of the final product. The following are common guidelines followed by many formatters and students.

Student Responsibilities for Working with Formatter

  • Structure the document as closely as possible to the university format.
  • Clearly and consistently indicate all sections and headings throughout the work.
  • Follow the format dictated by the departmental style guide for all tables and figures.
  • Follow the departmental style guide for content and format for all references.
  • Deliver the material on time and keep the formatter informed of any schedule changes.
  • Once a formatter is selected, book the approximate block of time and stick to your delivery date of the approved thesis or project.
  • Use the designated departmental referencing system.
  • List the references completely and in proper sequence at the end of the work.
  • Use proper spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
  • Show formula, equations, and symbols legibly, with all sub and superscripts clearly indicated.
  • Make sure your review the thesis or project closely before submitting to the Office of Graduate Studies. Once you have signed the agreement form with the formatter stating that you have reviewed the formatted work and approve, we will not allow any changes to be made.

Thesis or Project Formatter Responsibilities

  • Assure the final thesis/project adheres to the university format and the required departmental style guide.
  • Apply standard mechanics of neatness and professional appearance to the university guidelines for margins, spacing, paragraph indentation, and other specific requirements.
  • Assure proper word divisions are used for all hyphenated words.
  • Complete the formatting assignment within the agreed-upon time frame; if unable to do so, notify the student so that other arrangements can be made.
  • Produce an exact copy of the draft submitted.
  • Correct typographical errors at no additional cost in the final copy.
  • Changes in content made by either the committee members or the student are beyond the scope of the usual agreement; charges for reformatting retyping due to content changes will generally be negotiated separately.

Questions Students Should Ask Formatters

  • Do you guarantee that your work will meet both the university and the departmental style guide requirements?
  • What computer programs and which platform do you use?
  • Will you provide a printed out copy as well as a disk or CD with the final formatted document for my use?
  • If provided, will the final formatted copy of the thesis or project provided for my use be in a Word document (not a PDF) so that it can be modified for future publications?
  • Have you done work for other students in my particular discipline?
  • Do you have the most recent edition of my departmental style guide and the most recent edition of A Guide to Graduate Studies?
  • How long will it take to complete the formatting of my document?
  • When must my document be to you to guarantee submission by the semester deadline?
  • What are your rates and how are they calculated?
  • Can you provide references from previous master’s candidates?
  • Do you use a written contract?

Questions Formatters Might Ask Students

  • Approximately how many pages is the thesis/project?
  • Is this a final copy, approved by all members of the graduate advisory committee?
  • Have you applied for graduation in the Office of Graduate Studies?
  • Have you followed the required department style guide?
  • Do you have special formatting requirements such as tables, figures, charts, the use of a foreign language, or math?
  • When will the material be submitted for final formatting?
  • Will all the material be submitted at once?
  • Do your expectations of the formatter include editing or checking grammar or spelling? If so, is your committee aware of this?

(If you need special accommodation to access any documents on this page, please contact the Office of Accessible Technology and Services.)