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Because the graduate thesis policy underwent significant revisions that went into effect in the Fall of 2015, some graduate students may be confused about how to complete their thesis. The guidelines below are meant to help students and their advisors navigate the new policies. Please note: all students will be submitting their thesis electronically. For information about electronic thesis submission, please visit the Electronic Thesis Submission page

Thesis students fall into three categories:

  1. Active students who registered for Thesis Seminar hours before Fall 2015,
  2. Inactive students who registered for Thesis Seminar before Fall 2015, and
  3. Students who will start their thesis in Fall 2015 or later.

Active students who registered for Thesis Seminar hours before Fall 2015: If the student can complete their thesis before being moved to Inactive status: they will not have to register for any additional Thesis Hours. In practice, this means they have three terms (including summer) after their last term of enrollment to complete their thesis. (Last term of enrollment is the last term in which they received a grade on their transcript, including I or W.) When the student completes their thesis, the thesis advisor will submit the change of grade form and change the student’s I to a letter grade, as has been done in the past. If the student cannot complete the thesis before becoming inactive, he or she should enroll in 1 hour of Thesis Hours to maintain active status (and original catalog year). The thesis advisor should assign the P grade (or HP grade, as appropriate) for the semester’s worth of work. This one hour will keep the student “active” for another three terms, which should be sufficient time to complete the thesis. When the student completes their thesis, the thesis advisor will submit the change of grade form and change the student’s I to a letter grade.

Inactive students who registered for Thesis Seminar hours before Fall 2015: If a student returns to Northeastern to complete their degree after being inactive, they will need to apply to the University and the program for re-admission. They will then be under the catalog year for the term in which they are re-admitted, so will be covered by the new thesis policy. They will need to register for thesis hours for each term that they are actively engaged in completing their thesis. At the completion of their thesis, the Incomplete in their thesis seminar will be changed by their thesis advisor to an appropriate letter grade. The 6 credit hours required by the new thesis policy can be met by using a combination of the new thesis hours (which may be fewer than 6, depending on the work remaining when the student restarts their thesis) and the old thesis seminar credit hours.

Students who start their thesis in the Fall of 2015 or later fall under the new thesis policy.

Note: the 6-year policy applies to all courses, including Thesis Seminar hours.

Graduate Studies

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