California State University, Sacramento

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Office of Graduate Studies Academic Affairs

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General Information

What is a Thesis?

The California Code of Regulations: Title 5 Education, Section 40510 defines a thesis as:

The written product of a systematic study of a significant problem. It identifies the problem, states the major assumptions, explains the significance of the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyzes the data, and offers a conclusion or recommendation. The finished project [product] evidences originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation.

What is a Project?

The California Code of Regulations: Title 5 Education, Section 40510 defines a project as:

A significant undertaking appropriate to the fine and applied arts or to professional fields. It evidences originality and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and rationale. It is described and summarized in a written abstract that includes the project’s significance, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion or recommendation.

Projects can be done alone or in collaboration with other students.

What is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is the major research project normally required as part of the work for a doctoral degree. Dissertations are expected to make a new and creative contribution to the field of study, or to demonstrate one's excellence in the field.

The California Code of Regulations: Title 5 Education, Section 40511 states:

The dissertation shall be the written product of systematic, rigorous research on a significant professional issue. The dissertation is expected to contribute to an improvement in professional practices or policy. It shall evidence originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale.

Format Workshops

The Office of Graduate Studies cordially invites you to attend our Culminating Experience Format Workshop. The workshop is designed to help students with the formatting of the thesis, project, dissertation, doctoral project and the submission of required documents.

Students are required to attend a minimum of one workshop. Format Workshop will be held via a Canvas Course and registration is required.

Submission: Important Dates


  • Student must have completed the mandatory format workshop prior to submitting their Culminating Experience.
  • Check-Ins are for students who are graduating in the current semester to submit their Culminating Experience.

Disclaimer: Ample appointment slots have been allocated to accommodate all graduating students. However, students are encouraged to sign up for appointments early in the submission cycle. Failure to sign up for an appointment, and/or show up to an appointment may delay a student's degree completion timeline.

Students should be advised that if they cancel an appointment once the submission period begins, OGS cannot guarantee another appointment will be available, and thus, students may have to move their graduation date and submit during the next submission cycle.

T/P/D Appointment Link

The pathway is Advising > Graduate Studes > T/P/D Review and Submission > Pick an available appointment date and time.

Thesis/Project/Dissertation Check-In Registration and Submission Dates
Thesis / Project / Dissertation Review Registration Period Thesis / Project / Dissertation Review and Submission Dates
July 12th at 9:00am – August 4th at 4:00pm Monday, August 2nd – Friday, August 6th 9:00am -  3:00pm Final Deadline for Submission August 6th at 3:00pm
FALL 2021
November 8th at 9:00am - December 1st at 4:00 pm Monday, November 29th - Thursday, December 2nd 9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday December 3rd 9:00am - 3:00pm
Deadline for Submission December 3rd at 3:00pm

University Electronic Repository

What is an Electronic Repository?

California State University, Sacramento (CSUS or Sacramento State) uses an electronic digital collection system, which captures, manages, and disseminates the scholarly materials of the Sacramento State community.

Why an electronic repository?

In its effort to enhance access to knowledge and information, beginning with the Fall 2009 semester, Sacramento State will require graduate students, who have a departmentally approved Thesis/Project/Dissertation, to submit their theses/projects/dissertations electronically.

How do I learn more?

Information about the electronic submission process of thesis/project/dissertation is provided to students at the Thesis/Project/Dissertation/Doctoral Project Culminating Experience Workshop.