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Academics & Research

The University of West Florida graduate programs host a vibrant community of faculty and student scholars from a variety of disciplines who are dedicated to innovative and substantive research. 
 
As a UWF graduate student, you will work closely with our distinguished faculty to conduct substantive research and expand the body of knowledge in your field. In some master’s degree programs, graduate studies and research will culminate in a thesis. In the doctoral degree programs, your graduate studies and research will culminate in a dissertation. For information about thesis and dissertation deadlines, resources, and grants, follow the links in the right-hand sidebar.

 

Conference of Florida Graduate Schools

The University of West Florida Graduate School invites graduate students (masters and doctoral) to participate in the annual Conference of Florida Graduate Schools, typically held in the Spring. The conference includes a Statewide Graduate Research Symposium and Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. The Graduate School will solicit nominations from departments/programs and then select the participants to represent the University of West Florida. For more information contact your thesis or dissertation advisor or Graduate School Assistant Dean, Dr. Melissa Webb.


 

Frequently Asked Questions:

A: While your committee and professors are the best resource for content questions, UWF has an excellent Writing Lab located in building 51 for the more technical aspects of writing your thesis or dissertation. The "Labbies" are well-trained students who can help you with sentence structure, general grammar, and mechanics, documentation, and format. They schedule 2-hour sessions or chapter-by-chapter readings for UWF graduate students. These sessions can be conducted in person or virtually. For more information, check out their Thesis/Dissertation Readings page.

A: The UWF Graduate School has developed a UWF Thesis and Dissertation Guide that should answer most of your questions about the format of your document and content. Different academic disciplines, however, might have some slight different demands, especially when it comes to documentation of your sources. The Thesis and Dissertation Guide will give you what the Graduate School requires for overall format, but the best source for your documentation style requirements  is your committee chairperson or advisor. *Ed.D. students have a template available to them through the Canvas dissertation course. 

A: Absolutely. However, even if you choose to submit your document early, it should be in pristine condition, with minimal errors in the writing and formatting. The Thesis and Dissertation Coordinator is not a copyeditor. If the first 10%-15% of your paper has significant errors in grammar, format, structure, etc., the reading will be suspended and the document returned for revision. This will put your resubmission at the back of the line and could delay the approval process further.

A: No. Because the defense might reveal areas for revision, you should not submit your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School until you have completed all departmental steps, including the defense of your thesis or dissertation. When your defense is complete, your committee chairperson will initiate the proper verification via dynamic forms in MyUWF.

A: The most common reason a thesis or dissertation is returned to a student without approval is inaccurate, missing, or incorrectly formatted documentation. Both in-text citations and bibliographic entries (References, Works Cited, etc.) must be in conversation with each other as well as formatted correctly. If the dates, authors or titles don't match or if sources appear in the body of the document and not on the references list (or vice versa), that inconsistency can reflect poorly on the credibility of the study.

A second reason documents are returned to the student for revision is excessive errors in grammar and mechanics. Students are encouraged to seek the help of the UWF Writing Lab or a Professional editor before they submit their document for final approval from the Graduate School.

Documents are sometimes returned without approval if there are general formatting issues, but these are often quick and easy to fix. Be sure you follow the guidelines presented in the UWF Thesis and Dissertation Guide.

A: In a standard sentence, the Oxford comma appears after the second-to-last item in a list, before "and." It is also known as a "serial" comma. Yes, you must use it to eliminate any confusion over the elements of your list.

For example:

With the Oxford comma: Today, I had lunch with my roommates, John, and Marcia. (In this sentence, the speaker had lunch with several people - multiple roommates and John and Marcia.)

Without the Oxford comma: Today, I had lunch with my roommates, John and Marcia. (In this sentence, the speaker had lunch with only two people and they happened to be his roommates.)

A: If you add a photograph or figure (graph, chart, etc.) that is published somewhere else, you must get permission to reprint that item. Usually, you can reach out the the publisher of the original item and request permission via email. Start early. Don't wait until the last minute to request permission. it can take some time for publishers to respond. Include your confirmation/permission email as an appendix in your thesis or dissertation.

A: The similarity score in iThenticate means that a certain percentage of your document is similar to other documents found in iThenticate's search databases. Often, the language of research is similar because most thesis or dissertations follow a similar format.  iThenticate might flag items like "significance of the study" or "methods" because they appear in almost every research document.

If, however, less formula-oriented text has been flagged, make sure you have not borrowed language from source without indicating that with quotation marks and a parenthetical citation. Read through your report to rule out any potential accidental plagiarism. Make an corrections and resubmit your document to iThenticate before you share it with the thesis coordinator. Do not wait for the thesis coordinator to find such errors for you.