Thesis Work

Thesis Timeline

First Year of Study

Mid-May

Second Year Transition Form Due.  You will receive an electronic link, and will be asked to sketch some preliminary plans and some advising preferences. Thesis advisors and second readers are then assigned before the conclusion of the quarter. 

Early June

Once your thesis advisor has been assigned, please reach out and contact them.  If possible, plan to meet with them before the last day of Spring Quarter instruction to outline a plan of work for the summer and the following academic year. Thesis advisors are often not available over the summer, so please do not delay without first consulting your thesis advisor.

You will be asked to complete a Thesis Completion Plan which will guide the Graduate Office in setting up your independent study credits and enable you to register.  Please complete your Thesis Completion Plan and return it to iasgrad@uw.edu by the last day of Spring Quarter or as soon as possible thereafter to facilitate this.

Second Year of Study

Fall Quarter

Work on Thesis

Winter Quarter

Work Toward A Completed Thesis

Spring Quarter

Complete Thesis

2020 - 2021 Completion Dates and Deadlines

(For Spring 2021Graduation)     

Students in their final quarter are invited to review the UW Graduate School's page on Preparing to Graduate

Monday, March 29
First day to submit your Masters Degree Request.  To graduate, you must do so by Friday, June 11.

Monday, April 5
First draft of Thesis due to Thesis Advisor

Friday, April 16 
Master’s degree requests due if you wish to be included in Commencement ceremonies and last chance to change your name listing in the Commencement program

Friday, May 7
Revised Thesis due to Thesis Advisor and Second Reader. 

This is also a good time to set up an ETD (Electronic Thesis/Dissertation) account and explore the submission requirements and thesis publication and access options.

In addition to the pages that the UW Graduate School maintains on electronic thesis submission, the UW Lbraries offers these FAQs that explain the process and its choices

Wednesday, May 12
Spring Festival Intent to Participate. Let Graduate Office know of your intent to read at the Spring Festival and how you would like your name and the title of your thesis to appear on the program. Please also submit a 75-150 word bio at this time for the festival program.
Submit your program information via Catalyst 

May 17-19: How to Submit Your Thesis in ETD: learn what the process and requirements are for submitting your thesis for publication and preservation. Register in advance to receive a link to ONE of the following sessions, or contact iasgrad@uw.edu for a recording.

  • Mon, May 17, 4-5 pm (PT)
  • Tues, May 18, 4-5 pm (PT)
  • Wed, May 19, 4-5 pm (PT)

Monday, April 26
Registration/order form for Commencement opens

Sunday, May 16
Registration/order form for Commencement closes

Friday, May 21
Thesis Advisor and Second Reader provide written feedback to student on thesis. If for any reason you do not meet the May 7 deadline, you will not be assured of timely feedback.

Friday, June 4
Final thesis due to Thesis Advisors with a filled-in copy of the “Master’s Supervisory Committee Approval Form.”  

Please note: You must upload a completed and signed Master’s Supervisory Committee Approval Form when you submit your thesis electronically in the ETD Administrator. The form certifyies that your faculty committee (thesis advisor and second reader) have examined the final copy of the thesis, have found it complete and satisfactory, and confirm that any and all required revisions required have been made.

Unable to Collect Signatures? Students who are experiencing difficulties collecting physical ink signatures (unable to access scanners, printers, postal delays, etc.) should refer to page 2 of the Master’s Supervisory Committee Approval Form for special instructions.

Saturday, June 5: Spring Festival

Friday, June 11, 11:59 p.mLast chance to submit a Master’s Degree Request

Friday, June 11, 11:59 pm: Recommended date to submit

Friday, June 25, 11:59 pm:Last chance to submit thesis electronically  

Missing this deadline will require you to enroll in Summer Quarter to submit your thesis and graduate.

Saturday, June 12, 11:00 -12:00 PM: Graduate Hooding Ceremony (Virtual)

Sunday, June 13, 1:00 - 3:00 PM:  UW Bothell Commencement Ceremony (Virtual)

See more Commencement updates and FAQs here


Notes on consequences of missed submission, or unapproved final submissions.

Scenario 1.  Thesis work is completed and approved, but the final ETD submission deadline is missed.

If students have completed all their degree requirements, including satisfactory thesis work, but miss the submission deadline for filing with the Graduate School, they can pay a Graduate Registration Waiver Fee of $250 instead of re-enrolling. This is for students who may have formatting issues as opposed to substantive issues with their final thesis. 

Scenario 2. Thesis work is not approved by final submission deadline.

Without approval of final requirements, including satisfactory completion of the thesis, students cannot graduate.  The Graduate School requires that students maintain enrollment as a full- or part-time graduate student in the quarter that they graduate.

For MFA students whose theses are not approved prior to the final ETD submission deadline, the student will need to enroll in additional credits (min. 1 CR) in the future to maintain enrolled status and file for completion/graduation in the quarter of their enrollment.  (Students do not have to go on leave for the summer if they plan to enroll in autumn). 

See Final Quarter Registration for details.