University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

Graduate Academic Policies

Guide for Preparation of Theses/Dissertations

  • Guide: The Dean's Office publishes a document containing guidelines for theses and dissertations. You are advised to obtain a copy of these guidelines in advance of beginning to write a thesis or dissertation. Download Guide (pdf file)
    (Some departments have additional requirement, refer to your departmental web site or contact your graduate admissions office for additional requirements and deadlines.)
  • ChecklistThesis and Dissertation Checklist (pdf file)
    Special Note - All students must apply for graduation by the deadline date of the semester in which the degree is posted!
  • Submission FormThesis/Dissertation Binding Form (pdf file)
    Students must be enrolled in the semester in which they graduate.


Updates for Theses and Dissertations

Starting in Fall 2019, graduate students should use the new UHGS Written Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form. The thesis and dissertation committee members will no longer sign a signature page when they approve the thesis or dissertation. Instead, committee members will sign an approval form, stating that they have read and examined the manuscript. The committee members will certify that it is adequate in scope and quality as a thesis/dissertation for a graduate degree and indicate their approval or disapproval of the content prior to being submitted to the college/department for processing and acceptance.

Graduate students should use the new UHGS template for the front matter (Title page, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, etc.)


Resources for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations


Cullen College of Engineering: Thesis & Dissertation Submission and Binding Requirements

BS Honors Thesis Requirements

Graduating BS Honors thesis students are required to follow the procedures in the online guide for preparing and writing their theses. The amount of copies submitted is designated by the student’s advisor, typically ranging from 4-5 copies. BS students will need to turn in their manuscripts and signature pages in to the College Graduate Coordinator for review and final approval. These students need to follow the instructions for paper requirements and submission deadlines for Traditional Binding only. Graduating BS Honors Thesis students are not required to do an electronic submission at this time. 

MS Thesis and Dissertation Two Step Submission Process:

Step One: Electronic Submission (ETD)

From Summer 2012 onward, the submission of a manuscript for graduating MS Thesis and PhD students is a two step process. The college requires these students to submit an Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD). Additional information on submitting the ETD is available online at the Graduate School website, which also includes steps on how to submit an ETD.

In order to submit an ETD, students must turn in a hard copy draft of their thesis for review. Once a manuscript has successfully passed the review and has received approval, via the submission checklist signed by the coordinator, students can then begin the ETD submission process. First,students will need to convert their documents into a PDF. Students will then upload their PDF to the Vireo system here. Students will log in and create an account using their cougarnet access. After the initial upload, it is a college requirement to select the minimum of 2 years as an embargo or journal hold. More information about the embargo is available at the Vireo site when the manuscript is uploaded. Consult with your advisor about the 5 year patent hold if you or your advisor would like to keep your document pending publication for a longer period.

Regarding electronic submission, it is a college and university level policy to upload a blank, unsigned signature page in lieu of the signed signature page (which is still needed for traditional binding; signed signature pages are required for your final hard copy submission in Step Two). Once approved, your document will go into a “pending publication” status. For assistance with using the Vireo site, review the video here.

It is mandatory for graduating doctoral students to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) by visiting the SED website. Email confirmation sent to the coordinator that the survey has been completed is required for graduation. 

Step Two: Traditional Binding Submission

Both BS Honors and Graduate MS Thesis and PhD students are required to submit hard copies for traditional Binding. For graduate students, the college requires one bound copy for the department. The student will verify with their advisor if a bound copy is required for the advisor. The minimum requirement for graduate students is 1-2 copies and 4-5 copies for BS Honors Thesis. Students are welcome to purchase additional personal copies for themselves. Microfilming is no longer required for dissertations. The hard copy submission requires signed signature pages. Color images used in figures and tables are permitted. Hard copies need to be submitted by the binding deadline listed online. Paper requirements are 20-pound weight, 81/2" x 11" white bond paper (with a minimum of 25% cotton fiber content), this applies to BS, MS, and PhD students.


Information for All Thesis / Dissertation Students (BS, MS, PhD)

Deadline for Submission: To graduate in a given semester, the student must upload their ETD to the Vireo website and notify the coordinator, along with submitting the approved hard copy thesis (with fully signed signature pages) to the Graduate Associate Dean’s Office (E421) by the appropriate deadline. All documents and payment must be turned in at the time of submission. Any student missing this deadline must enroll and reapply for graduation in the next semester. No extensions will be made.

Fees: The cost of binding is $45 per copy for BS, MS, and PhD. Microfilming is no longer required for dissertations. Copyright is free and included in the ETD.

If there are questions or if clarification is needed regarding this two-step process, contact the Director of Graduate Student Affairs located in E421 in the Dean’s Office of Engineering Bldg 2 (D3): mavernon [at] central [dot] uh [dot] edu (Miranda Vernon-Harrison), phone 713-743-4219.


Early Submission of Thesis or Dissertation (For students who have missed the previous semester’s deadline)

If a student meets all of the requirements for completed submission of thesis or dissertation prior to the last day to add a class in Session 1 (regular academic session) of the academic term, they are eligible to request via petition to have their minimum required enrollment reduced to one credit hour.  Such petitions are approved at the discretion of the Associate Dean for graduate studies of the respective college and filed with the Graduate School.  Such petitions must be submitted to and approved by the Associate Dean for graduate studies no later than the last day to add classes in Session 1 (regular academic session) of the academic term, as published in the graduate Academic Calendar. Students who meet this early submission deadline and do not submit a petition to request a reduced minimum required enrollment by the last day to add a class in Session 1 (regular academic session) for the academic term are required to remain in the required three credit hours of enrollment. 

For international students: If the student is not required to take any additional courses to satisfy the requirements for completion, but continues to be enrolled for administrative purposes, the student is considered to have completed the course of study and must take action to maintain status. A student’s visa will be closed once the thesis or dissertation is submitted. For example, if a student misses the previous semester’s graduation and completes by the first day of the next semester, the student’s completion date will be the date that the thesis or dissertation was submitted. Please contact ISSS for more information at 713-743-5065.

Deadlines to submit the thesis or dissertation to the Engineering Dean’s Office for graduation:

Thesis and Dissertation Deadlines
Summer 2019
Submit first draft for review/format check two weeks prior to defense date and latest by: Friday, July 19, 2019
Last day to defend: Friday, August 2, 2019
Last day to submit final copy and electronic submission: Friday, August 9, 2019
Fall 2019
Submit first draft for review/format check two weeks prior to defense date and latest by: Thursday, November 21, 2019
Last day to defend: Thursday, December 5, 2019
Last day to submit final copy and electronic submission: Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Spring 2020
Submit first draft for review/format check two weeks prior to defense date and latest by: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Last day to defend: Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Last day to submit final copy and electronic submission: Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Last updated: September 2019