MS Thesis Option

Students in the on-campus MS programs may choose to complete a thesis. The requirements to do so are in addition to degree requirements. For students in the thesis option, an oral defense of the MS thesis is required.  


Students who choose to complete their degree with a master's thesis must form a committee of two to four members. At minimum, the committee must include a committee chair (thesis advisor) and at least one other graduate faculty member. The advisor must hold an appointment in the Department of Applied Mathematics. (Adjunct appointments are sufficient.) Students must register for at least 9 credits of AMATH 700 Master’s Thesis with the thesis advisor.


  • Students must give a presentation (defense) that includes time for questions and answers. The presentation and questions/answers period is typically 45-60 minutes.
  • We recommend the student provide a draft of the thesis to their committee at least one week in advance of the defense date. 
  • The committee chair and at least one other committee member must be in attendance for the defense to proceed.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to defend well before the last day of instruction, allowing time for edits and revisions before the complete thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • Once a student has confirmed a date and time for their defense they must notify the graduate program advisor. Defenses are announced to the department and open to the public.

Thesis Submission & Graduation

  • The student must file a Master’s Degree Request by the posted quarterly deadline.
  • The student and committee members must sign the Master's Supervisory Committee Approval Form. The student must submit the original, signed form to the UW Graduate Schoolby the posted quarterly deadline.
  • The student must also submit an electronic copy of her/his final thesis through the Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) Administrator Site by the posted quarterly deadline.
  • Refer to the UW Graduate School website for additional details regarding Master's Thesis policies and requirements, as well as helpful guides for formatting the thesis. 
  • To view published theses, visit the ProQuest  site.  Enter Applied Mathematics for Department and University of Washington for institute, then check the box for Master's Theses before clicking Search.  (For those without a UW NetID, please try this site to view past dissertations and theses-- note that it does not distinguish between PhD and MS.)