M.A. Thesis Committee and Graduation

Thesis Committee

Unlike the large committee that was present for your thesis colloquium, only two people are on the thesis committee: the supervisor and the second reader

The supervisor is a member of the Art History Graduate Studies Committee (tenured or tenure-track faculty) who is knowledgeable about the thesis topic and will provide guidance on research and progress on the thesis.  The thesis supervisor should be selected no later than the end of the Spring semester of the first year in the program.

The second reader provides additional contact and assistance.  The second reader may be from Art History or a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in another department at UT Austin who is knowledgeable about the thesis topic. Select your second reader in consultation with the supervisor of the thesis. Rarely, someone from outside UT Austin may be considered as a second reader.

Register for ARH 698B Thesis (3 hours) in the fourth semester in the program.  Early in that semester, apply for Master’s Degree Candidacy and formally set the Thesis committee with the Graduate School.

  • Information on this process is always listed at the top of the Graduate School’s Deadlines and Forms  page under Deadlines and Submission Instructions for Graduation.
  • If you do not graduate, you must register for ARH 698B Thesis again and apply to graduate again.

Read this information carefully and completely at the beginning of your final semester and enter all relevant dates on your calendar.


Setting a Schedule to Complete the Thesis

  • At the beginning of the final semester, check the Registrar’s calendar and note the date of the last class day.  The thesis must be uploaded and the signature sheet and other required paperwork may be submitted to the Graduate School no later than 5 pm on the last class day.  This is a hard deadline, so decide that the Friday before the last class day is your functional  deadline to upload your thesis and submit paperwork to the Graduate School.
  • Meet with your supervisor the first week of the final semester and set up a schedule for submitting thesis chapters to the supervisor and second reader for review.  Set the dates to submit a completed rough  draft and a final draft for review.
  • The final draft must be submitted with ample time for your supervisor  and second reader to review it, and for you to implement any suggested rewrites or edits prior to the submission deadline.

Note: The supervisor and second reader sign the signature sheet when the thesis is final approved. No proxy signatures allowed!

According to UT’s Format Guidelines for Dissertations, Treatises, Thesis, and Reports (June 2018) the university will allow scanned or electronic signatures “as long as they are legible and dark enough to be imaged. Typed names as a signature are not allowed. Electronic and digitally authorized signatures may be accepted in any font format so long as they include the insignia or logo of the e-signature software used showing authorization”






  • The only graduation ceremony for graduate students (Convocation) is held at the end of the Spring semester.  If you are  unable to complete and upload your thesis, you cannot walk at this graduation ceremony. Read about  graduation and the Convocation ceremony here.  Academic regalia may be ordered from the University Co-op.
  • You must be enrolled in ARH 698B Thesis in the semester that you graduate; students who are unable to complete the thesis may register for ARH 698B Thesis in the Summer Session or the following Fall semester.  If you take an additional semester to complete the thesis, you must reapply to graduate.
  • An extension is allowed for students  registered in the Summer Session who are unable to submit the thesis by the last class day.  This option is called  in absentia registration.  This is an option only at the end of the Summer Session and is not offered at any other time.   Prior to requesting in absentia registration, you must upload your thesis and submit required thesis  paperwork to the Graduate School.


General information, forms, guides, and news for current Art History graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin.