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Thesis / Dissertation Information

Guidelines to Thesis/Dissertation Process
Funding Opportunities
Thesis or Dissertation Defense
Continuous Enrollment
Thesis Deadlines Fall 2013
Thesis Deadlines Spring 2014
Thesis Deadlines Summer 2014
MS in Oral Biology Checklist

For Spring 2014 Completion:

The thesis formatting review process has changed - manuscripts are no longer submitted in hard copy to the TAMBCD Graduate Office, but are submitted electronically to the TAMU Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) Thesis Office.  Instructions for doing so may be found in Thesis/Dissertation 101 in Step 10 (page 17).  These same instructions may be found at the TAMU Thesis Office web page TAMU Thesis Office Page for HSC Students. If the link does not work, copy and paste or type the following URL in the address line: http://ogs.tamu.edu/2013/09/health-science-center-thesis-transition-fall-2013-degree-candidates/

Other useful links for Spring 2014 completion
Final Defense and Oral Examination Request
Thesis/Dissertation Writing Guidelines
Thesis Word Processing Templates
Online Presubmittal Conferences
Vireo Instructional Users Guide
Vireo Portal

General Overview for Graduate Students

The following information is subject to change upon completion of the merger with Texas A&M University.

Students enrolled in the advanced education programs at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry are required to complete a research project as a part of their academic experience.  Those seeking an advanced degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) are required to submit and defend a thesis or dissertation.

A series of courses in research and scientific communication is offered. The courses are designed to develop the student's comprehension of the research process, including scientific writing and biostatistics.  The writing and evaluation of research protocols incorporated into the courses provides students with the opportunity of early submission and approval of their research projects by their Advisory Committee and the Associate Dean.

The thesis or dissertation should deal with a topic related to the major field of study, embody the results of individual research, possess a unity of theme, demonstrate an understanding of the literature on the subject, establish mastery of appropriate research tools and techniques and require at least the greater part of six months to one year for preparation.  In addition, the thesis/dissertation should provide evidence of originality and critical judgment, illustrate the development of broad capabilities, as well as an intensive focus on the subject of research; meet the special criteria of the College, be written in a creditable scientific and literary style, constitute a contribution to knowledge; and be worthy of publication.

Guidelines to the Thesis/Dissertation Process

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) publication Thesis/Dissertation 101 is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for students and mentors. The guide outlines what to do, in what time-frame, and what forms to use from inception of the research project to the final approval and electronic upload of the successfully defended thesis or dissertation.

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Funding Opportunities

Graduate students in the clinical M.S. in Oral Biology program at A&M Baylor College of Dentistry may be eligible for a grant from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies of up to $1,500 to aid thesis research, depending on availability of funds.  Not all expenses related to every thesis research project are considered allowable from ORGS funds.  Expenses considered non-allowable from ORGS funds must be paid from another source.

Before Grant-in-Aid funds may be approved or used

  • The signed Thesis Proposal Approval form must be on file in the ORGS.
  • A Thesis Grant-in-Aid Application form, including the detailed budget, signed by both the graduate resident and thesis committee chair must be submitted to the ORGS.
  • The approved research proposal must be attached to the grant application form.
  • The applicant must read and sign the Acknowledgement of Allowable/Non-Allowable Expenses form. A copy must be on file in the ORGS.
  • Expenses incurred before receiving approval from the ORGS will not be paid by that office.
  • Contact the ORGS to verify allowability of items not listed below. Do not assume that because an item does not expressly appear on the list that it will be paid from ORGS funds.

Allowable Expenses

  • Animals drugs (must have IACUC approval)
  • Animal purchase and maintenance (must have IACUC approval)
  • Chemicals and gases
  • Computer consumables (paper, envelopes, toner cartridges, labels, etc. if directly related to the specific research project)
  • Computer Software (if specialty software directly related to the specific research project such as Survey Monkey)
  • Copying - research related materials such as patient surveys, questionnaires, etc. (sample must be attached to request for payment)
  • Core Facilities charges (e.g., Histology, SEM, uCT, Confocal Microscopy, ARU charges)
  • Educational books and films (approved on a case-by-case basis)
  • Laboratory supplies
  • Library charges
  • Media expenses related to data collection (sample must be attached to request for payment)
  • Patients/Research Subject* incentives cash payments (must be approved in IRB protocol)
  • Postage for surveys and/or questionnaires
  • Radiograph film
  • In-State travel (approved on a case-by-case basis)

Non-Allowable Expenses

  • Cameras
  • Camcorders/VCRs/Televisions, etc.
  • Computers & computer equipment
  • Computer Software (general use software such as MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, statistical analysis, etc.)
  • Copying of materials related to the production of Thesis/Dissertation
  • Data Processing Services
  • Express mail services
  • Food for meetings or as an incentive
  • Incentive gifts (to patients/research subjects, faculty, staff or students)
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Media expenses related to thesis production
  • Memberships or Educational training
  • Office furnishings & equipment (e.g., copiers, Fax machines, printers, scanners)
  • Salary for faculty, staff or student
  • All out of state travel expenses

*BCD employees may participate in studies but may not be paid, regardless of the source of funding, for such participation.


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Thesis or Dissertation Defense

Candidates in M.S. or Ph.D. program who complete the required courses and an approved thesis or dissertation will perform a public presentation of their research and take a comprehensive oral examination. The thesis or dissertation Advisory Committee is the examining committee.  In these examinations, the candidate will be given an opportunity to show some mastery of a given field of learning, acquaintance with methods of research, and evidence of independent thought. The oral examination will be conducted by the committee and may consist of two parts: (1) questions related to course work, clinical procedures, etc., and (2) in-depth queries concerning the research and thesis or dissertation. The research mentor as the chair of the committee and the program director share responsibilities in advising the student regarding pertinent information concerning all aspects of the examination. More details regarding the thesis or dissertation defense may be found in the publication Thesis/Dissertation 101.

Final Defense and Oral Examination Request
Thesis/Dissertation Writing Guidelines
Thesis Word Processing Templates
Online Presubmittal Conferences
Vireo Instructional Users Guide
Vireo Portal

Continuous Enrollment Policy

The HSC and BCD adhere to a continuous enrollment policy that requires all graduate students maintain a minimum of one semester hour enrollment at Baylor College of Dentistry following completion of their degree plan defined course work until they complete the requirements for their Certificate and Degree and until the degree has been awarded.  Completion of requirements includes final clearance of the approved manuscript by the TAMU Thesis Office.  While the Certificate may be awarded when a defendable draft of the thesis is submitted to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (with approval by the Program Director), the Master's diploma will not be awarded until the Thesis Office has notified the Office of Research and Graduate Studies that the electronic submission process has been completed.  Students with financial aid should be aware they must be enrolled at least half time to continue to be eligible for deferral of student loans. A student who does not meet the published deadline for completion (including final clearance by the Thesis Office) will not be awarded a diploma until the next award date, and will be required to be continuously enrolled until the degree is awarded.

Last edited by: jspears 02/20/2014

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