Thesis Option

Important Note About Program Exit Options

At mid-course in the program (15 credits) the student must meet with the Program Director or Graduate Director who will determine whether the student is recommended for Option A: Thesis, Option B: Non-Thesis Master's Essay, or Option C: Non-Thesis Research Essay plus Self-Study. No exceptions.

If the Thesis Option is recommended, the student must take responsibility to find an advisor who will form the advisory committee and make a recommendation to the Program Director and Graduate Director.

Students must take responsibility to ensure the completion of all requirements. To set up an appointment for advising, please contact Asian Studies by phone at 305-348-1914 or by e-mail:

Thesis Deadlines

Here are Thesis Deadlines for the University Graduate School, School of International and Public Affairs, and Asian Studies.

The FIU Graduate School (UGS) website offers up-to-date information on Thesis deadlines; however, students should be aware that there can be discrepancies with when these forms are due and where (it is very important to check with an Asian Studies advisor and the Asian Studies Graduate Director, Dr. Yoshio, before taking any steps in the process). Also, please be aware that the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) needs these forms due two weeks in advance of the dates listed on the FIU Graduate School website. Asian Studies will require a deadline one week in advance of the CAS deadline. Failure to submit any of the documents by the appointed deadlines can result in delayed graduation.

Thesis Option Information

Students planning to start the thesis process should keep in mind that YOU NEED TO START ONE YEAR BEFORE YOUR ANTICIPATED GRADUATION DATE. Please plan ahead with appropriate time allocation for your thesis preparation and submission process.

Please download a copy of the Graduate Thesis Packet. It contains the details of the following requirements:

  • Information on Forms M1 through M3 and ETD Final Approval Form
  • Sample of Thesis Defense Announcement to be used when announcing oral defense of Thesis (attach to form M3)
  • Information on the binding of the Thesis for personal use or for distribution to committee members, etc.

The student's work is to be carried out under the direction and supervision of a major professor and committee members who will supervise it for the intellectual content. Before beginning work on a thesis, candidates must present a proposal for the approval of their major professor and committee members (Information on how to format the proposal). The major professor and committee members MUST BE members of the GRADUATE FACULTY. Below is a list of approved faculty:

  • Tom Breslin, International Relations Department
  • Steven Heine, Asian Studies
  • Matthew Marr, Sociology/Anthropology Department
  • Amy Marshall, Asian Studies
  • Bin Xu, Sociology, Asian Studies
  • Lidu Yi, Asian Studies
  • Julie Zeng, International Relations Department

The Regulation for Thesis Preparation Manual is available online at the Graduate School website. It is the candidate's responsibility to follow all the requirements when writing a thesis.

In addition to these forms, you must submit an application for graduation to the Registrar's Office (Graduation Department, University Park Campus, PC 130).

Instructions on Filing Forms

  • Form M1: To be completed at the time your committee is formed but no later than 2 semesters before the anticipated graduation semester. The following must be submitted with the M1 form:
    • Thesis Topic
    • 2-Page Proposal (single-spaced and submitted to the department)
    • 3-Member Committee Agreement (Eligible faculty include: Dr. Breslin, Dr. Heine, Dr. Katz, Dr. Marr, Dr. Marshall, Dr. Xu, Dr. Zeng)
  • Form M2: Attach a copy of the correctly formatted proposal not exceeding five pages and submit at least 1 semester before the anticipated graduation semester.
    • Students must also take the RCR Training and present the completion certificate to the College of Arts and Sciences along with the M-2
  • Form M3: Announcement of Defense, and copy of thesis MUST be submitted to the University Graduate School 3 WEEKS BEFORE THE DATE OF DEFENSE or by the deadline, whichever date is earlier. Attach a copy of the thesis with form M3 and email the announcement to
  • Form M4: To be filed in the University Graduate School no later than two weeks after the defense.
  • Form M5: To be filed in the University Graduate School after final copy of thesis is approved. MASTER’S STUDENTS MUST BRING TWO (2) COPIES OF THE THESIS in a sturdy box. Tape a copy of the title page to the cover of the box. THESES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNLESS BROUGHT IN A STURDY BOX WITH A COVER.

Forms are available online here.