Thesis Guidelines and Instructions


Theses for Spring 2024 graduates should be sent in PDF format via e-mail to Gabby Jacobsen,, Assistant to the Dean of the School of Graduate, Continuing, and Online Education, no later than Monday, April 15th.

M.F.A. will vary depending on Orals in gallery setting.

The thesis requirement will be marked as satisfied only when Graduate Studies has fully approved the thesis and its formatting.

Thesis Preparation Instructions

For detailed instructions: Instructions for Preparation of a Master's Thesis (PDF - 174 KB). 

Thesis Process

Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your thesis process runs as smoothly as possible:

  1. Review and review again the formatting guidelines in our Instructions for Preparation of a Master's Thesis (PDF - 174 KB).

  2. If your program is requiring physical signatures, have at least 1 copy of your Approval Sheet (Signature Page) at your thesis defense. Have all of your committee members sign the Approval Sheet at that time after you've successfully defended your thesis.

  3. Immediately following your defense, and after completing any required changes to your thesis, submit your approved thesis to the Graduate Studies Office.  If you are receiving digital signatures, your final thesis should come to Graduate Studies directly from your College Dean.  

  4. At that point your thesis will be reviewed by a member of Graduate Studies and any formatting changes will be communicated to you within two days. If the Graduate Studies Office requires specific changes to your thesis, make all the necessary formatting revisions and submit a new copy to the Graduate Studies Office as soon as possible.

  5. Your electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) will be made available to the public in Digital Commons, Winthrop’s open access repository for the intellectual work of faculty, students, and staff.  See the “Digital Supplementary Material” section below for the additional documents that will be required.  With these forms, you will select how your thesis will be accessible to the public. Students may choose to embargo their work for six months or make the work available immediately.

  6. Once the Graduate Studies Office has approved your thesis, they will mark your thesis requirement as complete.

NOTE: Graduate Studies no longer requires a printed copy of your thesis, HOWEVER, you must confirm with your advisor about whether your program will require their own printed copy. 

Digital Supplementary Material 

Student Agreement for Public Access of Thesis (PDF - 21.6 KB)
Digital Commons Mandatory Metadata Fields (PDF - 88.1 KB)

With these forms, you will select how your thesis will be accessible to the public. Beginning with May 2015 graduates, all master's theses will be uploaded to the Digital Commons page on the Dacus Library website. Students may choose to embargo their work for six months or make the work available immediately.


If you have any questions regarding the submission of your thesis, please contact Gabby Jacobsen,, 803/323-2377.

Printing & Binding Resources

Departments and students wishing to have bound copies of a thesis may order copies on their own.  There are many commercial binding companies and it is strongly recommend that you research to identify the service that best meets your needs. While Graduate Studies does not endorse a particular company, we are happy to direct you to the following websites for your information:


GradWorks Online

Thesis on Demand

Smith Shattuck

Book One

Bachelor Print

DB Bookbinders

Wert Bookbinding


This Binding Guide (PDF - 519 KB) refers to the pre-summer 2023 requirements for the binding of official printed submission copies. These guidelines are meant as a reference for students who are having personal copies printed and bound. You are not required to follow these instructions for your personal copies unless you want your personal copies to resemble an official submission copy.