This message is to provide general guidance for graduate students, but is especially important for graduate students with an anticipated May 2020 graduation date who are writing a thesis/dissertation.


For now, the deadlines remain in place, and students should do their best to meet these deadlines. If these deadlines change, we will notify students via email and update the School of Graduate Studies and Research website. For May 2020 anticipated graduates, the following deadlines apply:

  • April 1: Both master's and doctoral candidates have successfully defended thesis or dissertation (if degree program requires a defense). *See below

  • April 1: Draft copy of thesis/dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies and Research at for review.

  • April 1: Copies of signed thesis/dissertation signature pages and necessary forms submitted to the School of Graduate Studies and Research. *See below

  • April 15: Electronic thesis/dissertation submitted to ProQuest.

  • April 30: Both master's and doctoral candidates have applied for graduation through MyIUP.

That being said, we understand that unique circumstances may arise that make it difficult for anticipated May 2020 graduates to meet these deadlines and we will handle requests for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Such requests should be sent in consultation with your faculty thesis/dissertation advisor to the associate dean for Research at


Students in the data-collection phase of their research should follow the guidance of their faculty thesis/dissertation advisors and, where applicable, the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). On March 16, 2020, the IRB and IACUC issued guidance via email to all researchers with approved protocols on fileif you have an approved IRB/IACUC protocol and did not receive email guidance, please contact (for human subjects projects) or (for animal research) immediately.

Thesis/Dissertation Defense

Please conduct defenses via appropriate electronic distance communication platforms (Zoom, Skype, etc).

Signature Pages

Option 1

If you have already obtained ink signatures on your signature page, please scan (or high-resolution photograph) the completed page and email it to The subject header should be "[NAME OF THE STUDENT] Signature Page." Please save, but do not mail, originals at this point.

Option 2

In lieu of paper signature pages with ink signatures, the following will be accepted:

  • Thesis/Dissertation chair will initiate an email to the entire thesis/dissertation committee using only official university email addresses (do not CC any SGSR personnel). In this email, the chair will state the following: "In lieu of ink signatures, this email is to document that we hereby approve the thesis/dissertation of [Student Name], candidate for the degree of [Doctor of/Master's of]."

  • The chair will "sign" (please be sure signature line includes name, title, and departmentfor most faculty, this is their standard email signature line).

  • Each member of the committee will "reply all" to affirm their acceptance of the thesis/dissertation with their signature (simply your name, title, and departmentfor most faculty, this is their standard email signature line).

  • Once each member has replied in the affirmative to the email, the chair will forward the entire email approval string to as a single email message. The subject header should be the "[NAME OF THE STUDENT] Signature Page."

  • The signature page in the actual thesis/dissertation should be modified by the student to say "Signature on file" on the line above each committee members' name and rank, and also on the line above Dr. Randy Martin's name and title. The date that your committee approved your defense should appear on the corresponding date lines next to each of your committee members' signature lines. Leave the date line empty next to Dr. Randy Martin's signature line because you will not know what date your thesis or dissertation will be approved by Dr. Martin.

Publication Agreements

In lieu of paper publication agreements, students may download the agreement, sign, scan/photograph, and email the signed agreement to The subject header should be "[NAME OF THE STUDENT] Publication Agreement."

Format Review

The SGSR will continue to review theses/dissertations per usual practice. Please submit your thesis/dissertation to before April 1 for May 2020 graduates. Documents will be reviewed in the order received.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your advisor, graduate program coordinator, or the SGSR. We understand that these are challenging times, and we want to help you complete your degrees successfully.


Hilliary E. Creely, JD, PhD
Associate Dean for Research