Health Science Center Thesis Transition: Spring 2014 Degree Candidates

As a result of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center (HSC) merger, all HSC students are expected to adhere to Texas A&M University standards, policies, timelines, and procedures although a period of transition has been required to put systems in place to manage HSC student records.

This guidance has been developed for HSC students graduating in Spring 2014 to address questions regarding requirements and processes during the transition period. HSC students should prepare documents using Texas A&M University format guidelines, outlined in the Texas A&M University Thesis Manual.  Policies, deadlines, procedures and guidelines for Texas A&M University HSC students preparing theses and dissertations will be applied consistently with other Texas A&M University graduate students.

Training and Resources

Templates, pre-submittal training, as well as other tools are accessible via http://thesis.tamu.edu to assist all students with successful preparation of the manuscript.  The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) Thesis Office holds weekly face-to-face sessions to provide guidance and training to all students on thesis preparation, submission, and approval. Dates and times for training sessions are available from the OGAPS Event Registration and Management System. Advance registration is requested. Students not able to attend in person are encouraged to use the online pre-submittal training tutorials available online. Students are encouraged to use these resources prior to the holding of the final defense.

Additional seminars and workshops are available in January and February to gain familiarity with Thesis Office resources and processes, as well as to ensure students have the knowledge and skills to prepare a high quality manuscript which adheres to the Thesis Office guidelines. Please see the OGAPS Event Registration and Management System for details.

Fees

Texas A&M University students currently pay a fee ($170 doctoral; $110 master’s) for Thesis Office services.  Thesis or Dissertation service fees will be assessed for HSC students who submit to the Thesis Office for Spring 2014 graduation. Until student records are in Compass, alternative mechanisms for assessing/receiving the fee will be put in place.

Deadlines

HSC students should adhere to the OGAPS dates and deadline calendar posted at http://ogaps.tamu.edu/current-students/dates-and-deadlines.

Forms

HSC students will need to complete Thesis Office required forms: 1) Approval Form of the Written Thesis/Dissertation/Record of Study, 2) Copyright and Availability Form, 3) Combined online Survey of Earned Doctorates and AAUDE Graduate Student Exit Survey (for research doctoral students only). A specific Approval Form of the Written Thesis/Dissertation/Record of Study has been prepared by OGAPS for HSC students to use. Forms are accessible from http://ogaps.tamu.edu/incoming-students/student-forms-and-information/#thesis. The original Approval Form and a copy of the other forms must be provided to the Thesis Office prior to clearance from the Thesis Office.

Submission

Once the student has successfully completed the final, oral exam, the student is eligible to submit the Texas A&M University Written Thesis/Dissertation/Record of Study Approval Form (designated for HSC students) and the committee approved electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD). Since the Thesis/Dissertation Services fee covers the cost of our services, HSC colleges will have the option to continue or omit the pre-reviews of ETD format in the HSC college offices. Please check with your college contacts to determine whether or not this pre-review is required. Regardless of which option is selected, the required Approval Form and the ETD must be submitted to the Thesis Office by the Texas A&M University posted thesis/dissertation submission deadline.

Review

Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) will be reviewed for uniformity and consistency in format and style, utilizing the guidelines posted in the Texas A&M University Thesis Manual.  Students should upload the committee approved ETD as a single pdf document to the ETD Submission and Management System: Vireo (etd.tamu.edu). Vireo submission should be completed no later than the Texas A&M University posted Thesis Office submission deadline. Students will have access to log into Vireo with existing HSC netid login credentials. Thesis Office staff will complete one or more reviews to verify standards for format have been met, as well as review submitted paperwork, prior to Thesis Office clearance. For any corrections needed, Vireo will be utilized as the mechanism for managing the review workflow. Any corrections requested by the Thesis Office will be uploaded to Vireo, where they can be retrieved by the student, and a notification will be sent to the student via email. The student, likewise, will upload revised manuscripts to Vireo for further review. Vireo will store the final, University approved document for each student.

Clearance

Thesis Office clearance must occur within one year of the final defense date. In order to clear the Thesis Office, the student must complete the following steps:

  1. Meet Thesis Office standards for format of the thesis/dissertation
  2. Complete and submit required forms
  3. Be registered for the semester of graduation
  4. Apply for graduation

Once clearance requirements are met, Thesis Office staff will notify the appropriate Registrar’s staff (until such time as HSC student records are in Compass), the student, faculty chair, and HSC college contact (until such time as HSC student records are in Compass) via email.

Publication

All theses and dissertations will be published in the Texas A&M University institutional repository and through ProQuest (doctoral students only). Availability will be subject to the policies stated in the Copyright and Availability Form, including the option to temporarily delay access for publication, patent, or proprietary purposes. Manuscripts with an immediate release or journal hold will be submitted to Texas A&M University Libraries (and ProQuest, for doctoral works) once all degree candidates for the semester have been certified by the University. Document metadata, including abstracts, will be available through these entities for the duration of the embargo. Patent holds will be held in Vireo until such time as an embargo is no longer necessary.

The Thesis Office is committed to make this transition process as smooth as possible, ensuring that student graduation is not impacted. We have every confidence that HSC students will be able to meet all requirements for Thesis Office clearance in time for Spring 2014 graduation, as long as they meet stated deadlines for submission and stay in communication with their respective HSC college and the Thesis Office, as appropriate, to address identified format issues and other Thesis Office requirements for clearance.

Thesis/Dissertation Update for Fall 2012

Thesis/Dissertation format requirements, as well as other services and processes, are changing for students who will graduate in December 2012.  This announcement will summarize the major changes. For resources and other guidance please visit the Thesis/Dissertation pages on the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website.

Format Changes

Style Guide

Students will no longer submit a sample journal article from a selected journal model to the Thesis Office. See the chart below, and consult with your committee and/or department, for allowable style choices in the thesis/dissertation.

College or Campus

Allowable Format/Style Options

Agriculture and Life Sciences Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.
Architecture Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.
Education and Human Development Students will utilize the appropriate style guide, as noted below, based on their departmental affiliation.EAHR:  American Psychological Association (APA)TLAC:  American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or Chicago Style (the most recent)

EPSY:   American Psychological Association (APA)

HLKN:  American Psychological Association (APA), American Physiological Society (APS), or American Medical Association (AMA)

Engineering Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.
Geosciences Students may utilize Harvard or Chicago styles.
Liberal Arts Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.
Mays Business School Except for Accounting, each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.Accounting students should consult with the department regarding the style to be selected.
Science Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.
Texas A&M University at Galveston Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.
Texas A&M University at Qatar Each student, in consultation with the committee, will follow the style of a single, scholarly journal, well known in the major field.

Page Numbering

The location of the page number has shifted to the bottom center of the page. Students are no longer required to rotate the page number placement for pages in the landscape orientation.

Preliminary Pages

  • Copyright and Approval Pages have been eliminated. The unique information these pages (committee listing and copyright notice) have been moved to the Title Page
  • Preliminary lines have been eliminated from the Abstract Page.
  • The Abstract Page is the first numbered page (using the lowercase Roman numeral ii)

Body

A journal model sentence will no longer be included on page 1 of the thesis/dissertation.

Back Matter

The Vita has been eliminated. The last page of the thesis/dissertation should consist of reference or appendix material.

Review and Service Changes

In addition to format changes, the Thesis Office has also made the following adjustments to review processes and services:

  • The pre-submittal conference will be offered in a face-to-face, group format approximately once per week. Students who cannot attend in person should consult the online pre-submittal conference tutorials.
  • The Thesis Office will no longer provide copy-edit feedback on the Abstract, Dedication and Acknowledgments; however, if content therein does not meet standards, revisions will be requested.
  • Corrections feedback will be more generalized, pointing to patterns of problems in the document with reference to examples, as needed. Students will need to review the entire document to address all iterations of an identified problem.
  • Students requiring extended rounds of review (more than 3) will lose priority in the review queue in order to ensure fixed resource are able to serve all students equitably. Feedback times may be extended for these students, while deadlines to clear Thesis Office in order to graduate in a given semester will remain in effect.

 

A Community of Scholars Event — Firoozeh Dumas

Ms. Firoozeh Dumas is a lecturer and critically acclaimed author of Funny in Farsi and Laughing   Without an Accent. Born in Abadan, Iran, she grew up there and in California.  She attended U.C. Berkely where she met and married a Frenchman.

In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Firoozeh decided to write her stories as a gift for her children. Random House published these stories in 2003. Funny in Farsi was on the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists, and was a finalist for the PEN/USA award in 2004 and a finalist in 2005 for an Audie Award for best audio book. She lost to Bob Dylan. She was also a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor, the first Middle Eastern woman ever to receive this honor.  Jimmy Carter called Funny in Farsi, “A humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love—of family, country, and heritage.”

 

 

Firoozeh Dumas’ father (second from right) attended Texas A&M University in 1953 as a Fulbright Scholar from Iran.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding TAMU’s English Language Proficiency Requirements

*Previous GRE verbal score of 400 = Revised GRE verbal score of 146.*

1. What are the two levels of English Proficiency Status for graduate students?

  •  English Proficiency Verification (Verification is the minimum English language proficiency required to graduate, to complete the preliminary examination (if doctoral student), or to hold the final examination or thesis defense. Students who are verified may not teach.)
  •  English Proficiency Certification (Certification is required, by the State of Texas, and Texas A&M University, before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a graduate assistant-teaching, or any other position considered to be a teaching position (e.g., instructor, lab instructor, lecturer, etc.).

2. How does a graduate student meet the verification requirements?

English Proficiency Verification can be achieved by presenting:

  • an official TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based)/TOFLC 213 (computer-based)/TOFI 80 (Internet-based) and no more than two years old.
  • an official GRE Verbal score of at least 400 (previous) or 146 (revised), or
  • an official GMAT Verbal score of at least 22, or,
  • an official IELTS score of 6.0, or
  • confirmation of  a 2-year Master’s degree from an accredited US institution (if the department/program is willing to support this verification).

Individual colleges may choose to establish minimum TOEFL standards that exceed the University minimum.

3. How does a graduate student meet the certification requirements?

English Proficiency Certification can be achieved by:

  • scoring at least 80 on each of the four sections (Composition, Reading, Listening, Oral) of the English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE).
  • obtaining grades of A or B in English Language Institute (ELI) courses at the 300-level or higher, or
  • alternative certification is granted only if students have received a baccalaureate degree following four years of study at an accredited U. S. institution. The request must be made by the departmental graduate advisor in writing to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The official transcripts for the four-year degree must show in Compass. 

4. When are graduate students required to take the English Language Proficiency Examination?

Graduate students must take the English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE) if the

  • TOEFL is below University requirement of 550 (paper-based)/213 (computer-based)/80 (Internet-based), or
  • TOEFL scores are not official or more than 2 years old, or
  • GRE Verbal (400 (previous) or 146 (revised)) /GMAT Verbal (22) below minimum University requirement, or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score is below University requirement of 6.0.

5. Are graduate students allowed to postpone required English Language Institute coursework?

Graduate students are automatically allowed to postpone taking English Language classes the first semester they are enrolled at Texas A&M University.  If students fail to pass the four sections (Composition, Reading, Listening, Oral) of the ELPE, they are required to begin ELI course work no later than the second semester if they are not verified by the TOEFL/TOFLC, IELTS, GMAT or GRE verbal.

Graduate students may take a combination of Texas A&M University and ELI courses up to a total of 15 hours in fall or spring semesters and up to a total of 12 hours for a 10-week summer semester. English Language courses do not count for university credit nor can they be used to satisfy registration requirements if a student holds an assistantship (GANT, GAT, GAR).

6. Are graduate students allowed to retest on the English Language Proficiency Examination?

Graduate students may not take the ELPE within three months of their most recent attempt without permission from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.  Departments may request a retest if the student is needed to TA for the upcoming semester but has taken the test within the last three months. Departments will need to write a letter to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies with the student name and UIN requesting the student(s) be allowed to test. This request should be made NO later than NINE days prior to the date of the first examination.

The departmental graduate advisor may request a retest for these students only if:

  • The department needs the student to TA;
  • The student has passed all areas of the ELPE but two; and
  • The two areas lacking has a minimum score of 75 in each.

If the student meets ALL of the above 3 criteria, the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies will approve the request and fax it to the department and to Measurement and Research Services. Departments will be responsible for notifying students of their approval or denial for a retest.  The student will receive the testing information by email.  Departments should contact Dr. Kathy Clark with the English Language Institute directly in order to enroll students in ELI course.