For Spring 2016 Completion:

Forms required by Texas A&M College of Dentistry will be found on the College's Graduate Studies web page under Current Students/Forms.

Forms required by College of Dentistry Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) will be found on the OGAPS web pages under New & 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 form)

Other useful links for Spring 2016 completion

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 an advanced degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) 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 Advisory Committee and the Associate Dean.

The thesis or 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

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) publication Thesis/Dissertation 101 is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for students and mentors. The guide outlines what to do, in what time-frame, and what forms to use from inception of the research project to the final approval and electronic upload of the successfully defended thesis or dissertation.

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Funding Opportunities

Graduate students in the clinical track M.S. in Oral Biology 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 signed Thesis Proposal Approval form must be on file in the ORGS.
  • Thesis Research Grant Application form, 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.
  • Expenses incurred before receiving approval from the ORGS will not be paid by that office.
  • Contact the ORGS to verify allowability of items not listed below. Do not assume that because an item does not expressly appear on the list that it will be paid from ORGS funds.

Allowable Expenses

  • Animals drugs (must have IACUC approval)
  • Animal purchase and maintenance (must have IACUC approval)
  • Chemicals and gases
  • Computer consumables (paper, envelopes, toner cartridges, labels, etc. if directly related to the specific research project)
  • Computer Software (if specialty software directly related to the specific research project such as Survey Monkey)
  • Copying - research related materials such as patient surveys, questionnaires, etc. (sample must be attached to request for payment)
  • Core Facilities charges (e.g., Histology, SEM, uCT, Confocal Microscopy, ARU charges)
  • Educational books and films (approved on a case-by-case basis)
  • Laboratory supplies
  • Library charges
  • Media expenses related to data collection (sample must be attached to request for payment)
  • Patients/Research Subject* incentives cash payments (must be approved in IRB protocol)
  • Postage for surveys and/or questionnaires
  • Radiograph film
  • In-State travel (approved on a case-by-case basis)

Non-Allowable Expenses

  • Cameras
  • Camcorders/VCRs/Televisions, etc.
  • Computers & computer equipment
  • Computer Software (general use software such as MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, statistical analysis, etc.)
  • Copying of materials related to the production of Thesis/Dissertation
  • Data Processing Services
  • Express mail services
  • Food for meetings or as an incentive
  • Incentive gifts (to patients/research subjects, faculty, staff or students)
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Media expenses related to thesis production
  • Memberships or Educational training
  • Office furnishings & equipment (e.g., copiers, Fax machines, printers, scanners)
  • Salary for faculty, staff or student
  • All out of state travel expenses

*College of Dentistry employees may participate in studies but may not be paid, regardless of the source of funding, for such participation.

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Thesis or Dissertation Defense

Candidates in M.S. or Ph.D. 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 or dissertation Advisory Committee is the examining committee.  In these examinations, the candidate will be given an opportunity to show some 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 or dissertation. The research mentor as the chair of the 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 publication Thesis/Dissertation 101.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

The Texas A&M University Health Science Center and the College of Dentistry adhere to a continuous enrollment policy that requires all graduate students maintain a minimum of one semester hour enrollment at the College of Dentistry following completion of their degree plan defined course work until they complete the requirements for their Certificate and Degree and until the degree has been awarded.  Completion of requirements includes final clearance of the approved manuscript by the College of Dentistry Thesis Office.  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 Master's diploma will not be awarded until the Thesis Office has notified the Office of Research and Graduate Studies that the electronic submission process has been completed.  Students with financial aid should be aware they must be enrolled at least half time to continue to be eligible for deferral of student loans. A student who does not meet the published deadline for completion (including final clearance by the Thesis Office) will not be awarded a diploma until the next award date, and will be required to be continuously enrolled until the degree is awarded.


Larry L. Bellinger, Ph.D. 
Regents Professor
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

Richard Cardenas
Program Manager

Kim Luttman
Senior Administrative Coordinator
Graduate Studies and International Liaison

Jill Newsom
Administrative Assistant


Phone: 979.845.3631
Fax: 979.862.1693

Other OGAPS Contacts

Thesis and Dissertation Services

Graduate Records Processing Services

Degree Plan & Committee Submission


Office of the Registrar

Student Business Services

Other Resources

TAMU Graduate and Professional Catalog