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Graduate Program: M.S. Program: Thesis and Degree Completion Procedures

Master’s Thesis: The Graduate Program in Biostatistics requires that students enroll for a minimum of 18 credits of BIOST 700, Master’s thesis credits.

Identifying a Thesis Advisor and Topic: Start by talking to your academic advisor and members of the Biostatistics faculty. Review faculty research interests (CVs are posted on the department website), talk with Biostatistics or Statistics instructors, your RA Supervisor, faculty before/after Thursday Seminar and fellow students. Also, attend working groups and take reading credits (Independent Study) with the faculty with whom you may wish to do your thesis. You may also consult with the Graduate Program Director.

IMPORTANT: Students must e-mail the GPA ( the name of their thesis advisor BEFORE signing up for BIOST 700. Note: This e-mail must copy the academic advisor and the thesis advisor.

Steps to Completing the Master’s Degree

Please also refer to the Biost MS Requirements page and Grad School Thesis Requirements page for more information.

  1. COMMITTEE - As soon as you have identified a thesis chair/advisor and topic, work with your advisor to identify at least one committee member.

    If your committee has two members, both will be designated as readers for your thesis. If your committee has three or more members, you will need to identify two (or more) committee members to serve as readers of your thesis.

    READERS - Your thesis chair must serve as one of your readers. Let both the Graduate Program Director and GPA/SSC know your proposed committee and topic as soon as you have identified them.

    IMPORTANT: Your committee must be reviewed by the Graduate Program Director to insure it meets Departmental requirements.

    • CHAIR - The Chair(s) of a committee must be able and willing to assume principal responsibility for advising the student. He or she should have adequate time available for this work and should expect to be accessible to the student. The Chair must be a member of the Graduate Faculty with an endorsement to chair from the program offering the student's degree. Emeritus faculty may serve as a Chair if they meet the above conditions. Co-Chairs may be appointed when two Graduate Faculty members serve with equal importance on a student's supervisory committee and equally share the responsibility for the student's progress. Affiliate or adjunct faculty may serve as a Chair if they meet the above conditions.
    • The Chair and the majority of the committee must be from the Biostatistics Faculty except by petition.
  2. TRANSCRIPT AUDIT - AT the beginning of the quarter BEFORE you plan to be finished with the thesis (normally the last quarter of your second year) contact the GPA/SSC and request an audit (review) of your transcript to be sure you have met all of the departmental and Graduate School requirements for graduation.
  3. THESIS - Important: Go to the Graduate School website for the most up-to-date instructions, requirements, and deadlines. You MUST follow these carefully.
  4. APPLY TO GRADUATE - You must apply to graduate during the first seven weeks of that quarter. To do so, use the Graduate School website Master’s degree request form.
    • Note: You may apply to graduate between weeks 7 and 9, but you will be charged a $250 late fee.
  5. COMMITTEE APPROVAL - When your thesis is finished and has been read by your committee members. You must have your committee indicate approval of your thesis and graduation to the SSC by 3:00 p.m. on the last day of the quarter, so that the SSC may recommend your graduation to the Graduate School.

    In lieu of signatures on the Graduation Warrant, the GPA/SSC will accept emails from your committee members. The email must be sent directly to GPA/SSC (no forwards, please), and must include a statement indicating they approve your thesis and graduation for that quarter. Emails must include signature lines (name, title, address, etc.)

  6. To graduate students must ensure that the GPA receives:
    • Committee approval - e-mail may be used as long as it: 1) is sent directly to the GPA by the above deadline and 2) includes the committee member's signature line (name, title, address, etc.)
    • Completed GOODBYE form
    • Copy of your most current CV
    • E-mail verification that student webpage is disabled - webpage must be taken down (click here for instructions)
    • E-mail verification that the Biost Secretary has been contacted - keys and HSB ID cards must be turned in to the department
    • Copy of thesis - a hard-bound copy is required for the department's permanent collection. Note: You may submit a copy of the receipt showing that a hard-bound copy has been paid for and will be sent directly to: Curriculum Coordinator, Department of Biostatistics, Box 35-7232, HSB, Room H-655, Seattle, WA 98195-7232. Binding usually takes one month. Call 206-543-9630 for more information.
  7. IMPORTANT: The GPA/SSC cannot recommend you for graduation until these three items have been received.

  8. If you miss the end of the quarter deadline, you have two options:
    • a) Graduate Degree Late Fee: this option is intended for students who need to make only MINOR corrections. You must be sure to meet the Graduate School requirements and deadlines listed here:

      b) Students with SUBSTANTIAL changes, or those who do not feel four weeks is enough time to complete the thesis submission process, must register for the next quarter (two credits minimum, if self-supported or ten credits if supported by a 50% RA/TA).

      For either option: A new MS degree request form must be filed, and new email approvals must be obtained from members of your committee.

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