Skip to content

 Thesis Timeline

  • The semester before you begin your thesis

    Meet with your adviser and program director to informally discuss your thesis topic. Once you have informal approval, complete the Thesis Proposal Form. This form must be turned into and signed by the program director before you can register for thesis hours. Normally you should not register for any other courses during the semester(s) in which you take your thesis hours. You may take all six thesis hours in one semester, or take three hours for two semesters.

  • During semesters you are registered for thesis

    Weekly emails: you are required to submit a weekly email to the program director and your adviser documenting your thesis progress.

    Continuous enrollment: Once you have completed your thesis/project credits, you are required to register for one credit of continuous enrollment IDIA 798 every fall or spring semester until graduation. You should continue to send a weekly email about your progress to the program director.

  • During your final semester of thesis

    You must apply for graduation with the registrar early in the semester you plan to graduate. The final day to apply for graduation can be found on the academic calendar . Check with the registrar’s office for more details.

Process for Writing and Submitting Your Thesis

  • 1. Literature Review

    A literature review forms an essential element of most thesis and dissertation work because it allows the author to complete two essential rhetorical tasks:

    1. to establish what is already known in a specialized field (and also to establish your credibility)
    2. to provide the basis for a new hypothesis or area to be researched.

    Along the way, you should also:

    • see what has and has not been investigated by others
    • develop general explanations for observed variations in a behavior or phenomenon
    • identify potential relationships between concepts and between researchable hypotheses
    • learn how others have defined and measured key concepts
    • identify data sources that other researchers have used
    • discover how a research project is related to the work of others.

    Pull your sources from Google, Google Scholar, the ACM Digital Library, the ASIS&T digital library, ERIC, DAAI and PsycINFO. Other databases may also be useful.

    The ability to find, understand and evaluate best practices from industry and academic research is one of the abilities that can set you apart from other practitioners, so this is an important skill. The idea is to harness the best of what others have learned and done in support of your own interaction and information design.

    Structure of Literature Review

    Like all essays, a literature review should have an introduction and a conclusion. The material should be organized around subtopics that explore a field’s structure. In other words, try to avoid organizing the lit review as a string of summaries of each article. Instead, try to find overall themes that will help you and your reader understand the field of inquiry better. You are summarizing, synthesizing and providing critical analysis of the information you have collected.

  • 2. Institutional Review Board Approval

    With the literature review complete, you must request approval from the Institutional Review Board before conducting the user research piece of your thesis project. Your thesis advisor must sign your request for approval. You can find the latest information UB’s Institutional Review Board website .

  • 3. Research

    With the literature review complete and with International Review Board approval, you should perform the user research portion of your project. Ideally your user research will be completed by Oct.1 for a fall graduation or March 1 for a spring graduation. This will give you time to write up your results and conclusions.
  • 4. Draft

    A complete draft of the thesis must be turned in to the program director by Nov. 1 for fall graduation and April 1 for spring graduation. This draft must be submitted through Sakai. The program director will use the complete draft to make a decision whether or not to approve participation in the graduation ceremony. Required revisions should normally be completed by the graduation ceremony.

  • 5. Submitting Your Thesis

    Your thesis must include a properly formatted title page and meet the library’s requirements for binding. Our thesis template can help you properly format your thesis.

    The final thesis must be approved by the program director, signed and submitted to the library for binding less than 60 days from the date of graduation. The library must sign a thesis verification form to confirm submission.

    Your thesis must be turned in with both the Thesis/Dissertation Binding Request Form and the Thesis Verification Formfrom the library. Always review the Library Submission Guidelines for the most up to date information.

  • 6. Finalizing Graduation

    Return a copy of the signed verification form to the program director. Once the signed form is turned in, the CS grade for the thesis will be removed and your degree will become final.