Forms required by Texas A&M College of Dentistry are found on the College's Graduate Studies intranet page under Current Students - Forms.

Forms required by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) will be found on the OGAPS web pages under New and Current Students - Forms & Information.  Click on the types of forms to see lists of available forms. (Example: under Academic Process Forms will be the Request and Announcement for Final Examination.)

General Overview for Graduate Students

The following information is subject to change as directed by the College of Dentistry.

Students enrolled in the advanced education programs at the College of Dentistry are required to complete a research project as a part of their academic experience.  Those seeking a graduate degree (MS or PhD) 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 thesis/dissertation committee and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.

The thesis/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

Editorial Style of ETD

The process of completing a thesis, dissertation, or record of study can seem overwhelming. As part of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, Thesis and Dissertation Services is available to help students manage the process.

In addition to guiding students through the process of preparing theses and dissertations, Thesis and Dissertation Services receives, reviews, and approves the required electronic file of each thesis, dissertation, or record of study (ETD) when it is complete.

Texas A&M University requires that your name on your ETD matches your University records exactly. Please verify that the name on your manuscript reflects the spelling and form of your official name, including the use of middle names and/or abbreviations.

ETDs must follow accepted editorial styles. Style considerations affect such items as:

  • Margins and page numbering.
  • Organization.
  • Capitalization of headings and subheadings.
  • Figure captions and table title location and format.
  • Citation and reference format and content.

The Thesis Manual provides guidance regarding the traditional academic style that is generally applicable to ETDs. However, students are responsible for determining if their academic departments or disciplines call for a specific editorial style. For example, some ETDs follow the style of respected, scholarly journals well known in the relevant subject matter field. Standard editorial styles such as those detailed in the Modern Language Association HandbookChicago Manual of Style, or American Psychological Association Manual might be applicable in some fields. The Thesis Manual indicates formatting that is not allowed in an ETD, regardless of chosen style.

Funding Opportunities

Graduate students in the clinical track MS program at the 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 degree plan and thesis/dissertation committee must be entered into DPSS and have been approved by all committee members, the ORGS, and OGAPS.
  • The signed Thesis Proposal Approval form must be on file in the ORGS.
  • A Thesis Research Grant-in-Aid Application, 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. Contact the ORGS to verify allowability of items not listed. Do not assume that because an item does not expressly appear on the list that it will be paid from ORGS funds.
  • Expenses incurred before receiving approval from the ORGS will not be paid by that office.

Thesis or Dissertation Defense

Candidates in MS or PhD programs 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/dissertation committee is the examining committee.  In these examinations, the student will be given an opportunity to show 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/dissertation. The research mentor, chair of the thesis/dissertation 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 OGAPS Thesis Manual.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

The Texas A&M University College of Dentistry adheres to a continuous enrollment policy that requires all graduate students maintain a minimum of one semester credit hour enrollment at the College of Dentistry following completion of their degree plan course work until they complete the requirements for their Certificate and/or graduate degree.  Completion of requirements includes final clearance of the approved manuscript by Thesis and Dissertation Services.  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 graduate degree will not be awarded until Thesis and Dissertation Services has notified the Office of Research and Graduate Studies that the electronic submission process has been completed.  Students with financial aid or visa sponsorship questions should contact Financial Aid or International Services for guidance.

Research and Graduate Studies

Larry L. Bellinger, PhD
Regents Professor and Associate Dean

Kim Luttman
Graduate Studies Program Manager

Jill Newsom
Administrative Associate

OGAPS Main Contact

Phone: 979.845.3631
Fax: 979.862.1693

Other OGAPS Contacts

Thesis and Dissertation Services

Graduate Records Processing Services

Degree Plan & Committee Submission

Other TAMU Contacts

Office of the Registrar

Student Business Services

Other Resources

Graduate and Professional Catalog