After the student has chosen his or her permanent advisor, a thesis committee is formed (for those students pursuing thesis option) and approved by the EECS Graduate Program Director in consultation with the thesis advisor and the student. The M.S. thesis committee shall be composed of a minimum of three members (having a majority of EECS faculty), one of whom should be from the student's focus area. The thesis chairperson and/or the thesis advisor must be a full member of the UT Graduate Faculty.
The student must prepare a thesis proposal soon after formation of the thesis committee with approval by the committee members. It is the responsibility of the advisor to circulate or give copies of the proposal to each faculty member in the student's focus group. Then, using a form available from an EECS Academic Program Coordinator, the thesis advisor notifies the Graduate Program Director in order to obtain final approval of the thesis proposal.
After the thesis topic and title have been selected and approved, the student must submit a form to an EECS Academic Program Coordinator: Graduate Research Advisory (GRAD) Committee Approval and Assurance Form.
A final draft of the M.S. thesis is prepared by the student when research is completed to the satisfaction of the faculty advisor. The student should obtain directions regarding thesis preparation from the UT Graduate School. The draft thesis should be submitted to the advisor for critical review and evaluation. This should be done in a timely manner, giving the advisor sufficient time to review the final draft. After the thesis advisor has reviewed the thesis draft, recommended changes, and approved the final text and form of the document, the student should submit copies to the thesis committee for evaluation. The thesis committee members should have at least one week for review of the document before the defense. All members of the thesis committee are expected to be present at the thesis defense.
The student, in consultation with the thesis advisor and committee, schedules the thesis defense. The thesis advisor will counsel the student regarding specific topics to be addressed at the defense. The defense is presented in an open, announced meeting presided over by the thesis advisor. The student is allowed approximately 35 minutes for a formal oral presentation. Following the oral presentation, the thesis committee, other faculty, students, and guests are allowed to ask questions concerning the student's thesis work. After the question and discussion period is concluded, all those present, other than the faculty members constituting the committee, will be excused.
The thesis committee holds a private discussion of the student's thesis and makes a final decision by a majority vote whether the student's defense has been successful. If the student does not pass the thesis defense, then the thesis committee, in consultation with the Graduate Program Director, will decide a course of action to correct deficiencies, weaknesses, or other problems.
Even if the student passes the thesis defense, there are usually changes or additions/deletions required as a result of the defense. These are made by the student in consultation with the faculty advisor and any concerned committee members. The student should also be aware that the Graduate School requires final corrected copies to be submitted by a specified date, if a student is to graduate that term.
After successful defense and corrections have been completed, the committee will sign a thesis approval page and forward it to the Graduate Program Director.
At least two permanently bound copies of the thesis must be prepared in accordance with the University regulations. One copy is to be provided to the faculty advisor and the other will be retained in the files of the EECS Department. Two unbound copies (original plus one copy) are submitted to the Graduate School for archival storage in the University library. It is the student's responsibility to pay costs associated with copying and binding of the thesis.