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Office of Graduate Studies Academic Affairs

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Thesis/Project/Dissertation Information

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.

Protected Writing Time

Protected writing time is a series of, free, online workshops designed to help students with the writing progress leading to the completion of the prospectus, thesis, dissertation, or capstone project. For more information, please visit the Protected Writing Time webpage.

  • Required: September 10 & 24, October 8 & 22, November 5 & 19
  • Optional: September 17, October 1, 15, & 29, November 12

Meeting Times: 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Templates & Guides



Culminating Experience Workshop

The Office of Graduate Studies requires students to attend our mandatory Culminating Experience Format Workshop. The workshop is designed to help students:

  1. Understand the final steps to degree completion;
  2. Format their culminating experience (for those who are completing a thesis, project, or dissertation);
  3. With strategies for studying for the Comprehensive Examination (for those completing a Comprehensive Examination).

Registration Opens: February 6, 2023

Registration Closes: March 20, 2023

Deadline to Complete the Workshop: March 30, 2023

Review & Submission: Important Dates

Please Note:

  • Students must have completed the mandatory format workshop prior to submitting their Culminating Experience.
  • Appointments are for students who are graduating in the current semester to submit their Culminating Experience.
  • No walk-ins will be accepted. An appointment is required.

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.

How to Make an Appointment:

When you click the link below, you will be redirected to the appointment registration website; follow these instructions to schedule your appointment:

  1. Type of appointment: select Advising in the drop-down selection
  2. Service: scroll to Graduate Studies and select T/P/D Review and Submission
  3. Pick an available appointment date and time for your review date.
Spring 2023 Deadlines
Thesis / Project / Dissertation Review Registration Period Thesis / Project / Dissertation Review Appointment and Submissions Dates
Monday, April 10, 2023 at 9:00am - Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 4:30pm Monday, April 24 - Thursday, April 27, 2023 from 9:00am - 6:00pm & Friday, April 28, 2023 from 9:00am - 3:00pm
  Monday, May 1 - Thursday, May 4, 2023 from 9:00am - 6:00pm & Friday, May 5, 2023 from 9:00am - 3:00pm
  Deadline to submit: Friday, May 5, 2023 at 3:00pm 

Sac State Scholars

What is Sac State Scholars?

In its effort to enhance access to knowledge and information, Sacramento State requires graduate students who have a departmentally approved Thesis/Project/Dissertation to submit it electronically.

California State University, Sacramento (CSUS or Sacramento State) uses Sac State Scholars to capture, preserve, and disseminate the scholarly output of the Sacramento State community.

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.