Research Project & Degree Completion


Research Project (Degree Requirement)

Students typically enroll in the Research Project course at or near the end of their coursework.

Enrollment in this course signifies that the student has been actively pursuing a specific research question/project during the preceding 2+ years. Research must be data-driven and of publishable quality. Clinical case studies or IRB submissions are not acceptable.
Please note that submitting your research for publication is a degree requirement.

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment requirements include:
  • One or more manuscripts
  • A grant application
  • Abstract(s)/presentation(s) at regional or national meetings
  • A one-page research proposal with a couple of paragraphs of background & significance followed by what the aims of your research are. 
  • Identify a research mentor

Upon providing evidence of the requirements above and sending them to the MSCI Program Administrator (, the student will also be required to briefly meet with Matthew Smith, PhD to discuss their research and obtain a permission number.

Accommodations for meeting research project requirements can be made for international students visiting NU on an individual basis.


Degree Completion

In order to successfully complete the program, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. For guidelines, please review the information here.


Degree Students

Students who have completed the degree requirements must complete two forms prior to the end of the term they intend to graduate. 
Application for Degree
  1. Log into CAESAR with your net ID and password
  2. On the main menu, you should see "TGS Forms-Application For Degree"
  3. Enter your information 
Masters Degree Completion (MDC) Form
  1. Log into CAESAR -> For Students -> TGS Forms 
  2. Use the name of your submitted research paper as your thesis title. 
  3. For "Examination Date" which is a required field, use a date prior to the MDC deadline ( for the quarter in which you wish to graduate.
    1. If your committee chair is not included in the drop-down menu, please use Dr. Michael Fleming and list your advisor as co-chair.
    2. If your advisor is not TGS faculty and is not included in the drop-down list, identify Lewis Smith as committee co-chair and list your advisor as a committee member.
  4. In order for you to receive the degree, all courses must be graded so check and make sure that has been done. Visit the transcripts page regarding where to view your grades.
    1. If one of the courses has not received a grade, contact either the instructor for the course or Adam White
Please note that proof that research has been submitted to a journal must be presented before one can graduate
Receipt of Diploma
Diplomas are mailed 6-8 weeks following degree conferment.
  • Students who require proof of degree completion before that time can either:
    • Request an official transcript from the registrar's office, which will display degree awarding information around the end of June or,
    • Request a Certificate of Completion from The Graduate School, which states that all degree requirements have been completed.

Please see The Graduate School's Masters Degree Completion web page and TGS graduation and diploma web page for more information.

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Certificate Students

Students graduating with an MSCI Certificate must complete the Application for Graduate Certificate form and submit it to the MSCI Program Administrator.
The form may be submitted at any time, but must be done prior to the end of the term they intend to graduate. Certificates will be issued and noted on the student’s transcript.