Things to consider when thinking about timelines:
For students, interested in careers in extensive research institutions, you need to make sure you
have sufficient research and teaching experience
For students interested in careers in liberal arts colleges or universities, you will need fewer
publications and more teaching experience
For students interested in applied positions, you will need more practica experience
Year 1: Course work (fall and spring), thesis topic selection and hypothesis development (spring
Year 2: Course work (fall and spring), thesis proposal (fall), conduct thesis (spring and summer),
defend thesis (summer).
Year 3: Course work (fall and spring), comprehensive examination (spring). Make decision (with
mentor) to pursue 3-paper model or traditional dissertation format (spring-summer).
Year 4: Dissertation proposal development (fall). Dissertation proposal defense (spring).
Conduct dissertation (spring and summer).
Year 5: Conduct dissertation (fall and spring). Final defense (spring, summer)
Timeline last modified on 8.17.21
The completed final version of Master’s dissertation must be submitted early in August, December or May
(see http://www.umbc.edu/gradschool/programs/requirements.html for exact date) to be able to graduate
in summer, fall, or spring. It is the student’s responsibility to check the Graduate School website to make
sure the dates listed above have not been changed since this document was prepared.