Thesis and Dissertation Information

Thesis and Dissertation Information for Winter 2021

As Grand Valley State University begins to welcome students back to campus for the Winter 2021 semester, the Graduate School is making some temporary changes to the procedures defending a thesis or dissertation for Winter 2021

Thesis and dissertation defense procedures:
The Graduate School will still require a public defense for graduate students completing a thesis or dissertation.  Students are not required to attend a face-to-face defense while GVSU is not holding face-to-face courses.

Graduate students need to conduct a thesis or dissertation defense with all committee members (using synchronous communication – no video recordings).  If a graduate student wishes to conduct the defense face-to-face, that is permissible, as long as social distancing is strictly enforced.  Committee members can attend using a telecommuting technology if desired.  If a graduate student does not wish to conduct a face-to-face defense, the committee chair must work with the student to use an appropriate telecommuting alternative supported by the university, such as Zoom, BlackBoard Collaborate, Skype for Business, or Google Meet. These defenses must be publicly announced and available available through a web link. 

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Palm ( in the Graduate School. The Graduate School will continue to provide services and support during the immediate future.  We are practicing physical distancing and employing a remote work environment. Therefore, it is best to contact us by email.


Requirements and Deadlines

BEFORE beginning the Thesis or Dissertation process, students must meet with an advisor or Graduate Program Director to review the department specific guidelines and proposal information.

Students are required to remain continuously enrolled in either 695/696 or 795/796 once a thesis/dissertation is started, until the end of the semester of graduation.

Semester of Thesis or Dissertation Defense:

Final Day to Defend Thesis or Dissertation:

Final Day to Submit Final Documents to The Graduate School: 

Winter 2021

April 9, 2021

April 30, 2021

Spring/Summer 2021

July 21, 2021

August 11, 2021

Fall 2021

November 29, 2021

December 17, 2021

Winter 2022

April 8, 2022

April 29, 2022

Spring/Summer 2022

July 20, 2021

August 10, 2022

Forms, Guides, and Information
Forms, Guides, and Information

Explore the following content for required resources and helpful information while you complete a thesis/dissertation.

Graduate Writing Resources

Graduate Writing Resources Page (GVSU)

Writing Center for graduate students (GVSU)

Scholarly Communications (GVSU Library)

10 Tips for Graduate Student Writers (PDF)



For assistance with any of these forms or questions regarding the guidelines, please contact the Thesis and Dissertation Coordinator in The Graduate School at (616) 331-7105 or