Thesis Requirements

The thesis is your final product - the capstone of all of your work toward the International Degree while at OSU.

This thesis places your academic discipline in an international context, often in a comparative fashion, and allows you to explore what interests you most about your subject and its place in the world.

As part of your thesis requirement, you must take additional credits including

You will have a thesis advisor from your primary major department (exceptions made on a case-by-case basis).  This advisor will be the instructor of record for your thesis credits, and guide your overall thesis-writing experience.

There are thesis guidelines to give you a general idea of structure, contents, length, as well as example pages.

Your thesis is considered complete once you have



You can view examples of thesis titles. Or, we have also recently begun uploading digital theses to the Valley Library ScholarsArchive@OSU. Feel free to browse the collection!

*Biology students must enroll in 3-6 credits of 401 Research instead of 403 Thesis.

Format - learn about what the final product should include and how it should look
Examples - take a look at what other ID students have written
Class - find details on INTL 407: Introduction to Thesis
Presentation - find out what you need to do to prepare for your presentation
IRB/Human Subject Research - learn how to conduct interviews or surveys for your thesis
Joint Thesis Options - learn how you can combine your thesis requirements with other programs

Thesis Format and Content

There are limited requirements the International Degree places on the format and content of your thesis. Please see our Thesis Guildelines document for recommendations and suggestions.


The thesis should demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of global issues and of the international dimensions of your primary degree.  It can be considered international in one of three ways:


At minimum, your document should be 8 pages of formal writing outside of introductory pages, the table of contents, appendices and your bibliography.  Your thesis should include the following pages:

You can download the Thesis Template in either (.doc) or (.pdf) format.  These templates include standard spacing and formats expected to satisfy the ID thesis requirements.

Be sure to review the Thesis Guidelines for more information on timeline, content and formatting issues.


International Degree Theses Library

NEW! We've started a digital collection of full-text ID theses on the Valley Library's website!

You can see every International Degree thesis title on this page. Most of these were submitted before the digital archive was created, so digital copies aren't available. The original printed theses are available for checkout through the ID office, though.

The filtering tools below have been added for your convenience. Simply choose a College, Author/Advisor, or Keyword (or a combination of these items) and click the Apply button.

Our apologies, but we currently do not have any theses available that fit your criteria.

Human Subject Research

OSU's Institutional Review Board (IRB) has been mandated by the federal government to ensure that all research involving human subjects is conducted in a safe, respectful and ethical manner.

If you intend to conduct primary research (ie. interview, survey) for your thesis, you are required by law to gain IRB approval.

There are several things you need to do before you can submit your application to the IRB.

First, learn a bit more about the types of primary research that are available and decide which, if any, would be most appropriate to help you answer your research question. Primary research can be a wonderful tool, but depending on your topic, it may not make sense.

Second, review the IRB's handbook, particularly the sections on the types of projects that require IRB approval, student research and international research. These pages help explain what you need to do and why you need to do it.

Third, the IRB application will require that you and your "principal investigator" (ie. thesis advisor) have completed a free, online course in the protection of human subjects. This will take a couple of hours, but includes important information!

Fourth, begin formulating a plan for how you're going to conduct research. Use resources such as your thesis advisor, the ID office and the IRB office to make sure you're on the right track. Your plan should address the following questions:

  • who do you intend to study?
  • why do you want to study this particular group of people?
  • how will you recruit them to participate in your research?
  • what you will ask them? And how will you ask?
  • what language you will ask them in? Do you need an interpreter? Will you tape (audio/video) your conversations?
  • what risks might your subjects encounter by participating in your research? How will your research benefit them?

Fifth, when you're ready, begin preparing the IRB application. The application will consist of a form, along with attachments you've prepared on your rationale and protocol (including answers to all of the above questions). Translations must be included.

Be sure to leave at least two months in between the time of your application and the time you will begin interviewing/surveying your subjects. You MUST receive approval before you can move forward with your research.

For more information, see OSU's IRB website.

For guidance on completing the IRB application, contact IRB, talk to your thesis advisor and/or feel free to contact the International Degree Office.

INTL 407: Introduction to Thesis

INTL 407: Introduction to Thesis is required for all International Degree students.It is a one-credit, Pass/No-Pass class, usually offered in Fall and Winter terms.

By the end of the course, you will have a better understanding of your topic and the International Degree requirements, as well as a:

The course will assist you with understanding these requirements as well as meeting them.

Recent course syllabus

Thesis Guidelines

Honors College Students


A final oral presentation of your thesis is required. This is typically 20-40 minutes, with attendees including:

  • your thesis advisor/mentor (required) and committee members (if applicable)
  • a representative from the International Degree (required)
  • your primary department chair
  • college and/or department head advisor
  • other professors and/or advisors you'd like to invite
  • family/friends

You must include the ID office in the process of scheduling the presentation. The date/time should be finalized at least two weeks in advance. 

Sample outlines and tips

Deadline: Your presentation must take place by Friday of dead week in the term you plan to graduate.

Scheduling a Room: The International Degree Program Office can help you, or your thesis advisor can do this for you. Please allow at least 2 weeks notice.

Invitations: The International Degree Program Office will send invitations to your thesis advisor(s), department chair, department and/or college head advisor(s), staff in International Programs, the ID Committee Members and other ID students. You may request additional invitations to be sent to family, friends, and other professors/advisors on campus. Don't worry, not all of these people will come, but they do like to be informed about the great work that you have accomplished!

Two Weeks in Advance, inform the ID Office of the following:

1) thesis title,

2) thesis advisor name(s),

3) date, time and location of presentation, and

4) and additional people you would like to invite.

Length: normally the oral presentation is 20-40 minutes including time for questions

Visual Aids: You should include visual aids in your presentation. Many students choose to do a PowerPoint presentation. However, this is not a requirement. Feel free to be creative.

Introductions: Your thesis advisor should introduce you and your presentation.

Tips on Giving a Good Presentation

Sample Outline
1. Title and introduction of the presentation (what you are going to talk about)
2. Goals or hypothesis of your research
3. Rationale for your study and background information
4. Methods, Approach, Resources (How you undertook the study)
5. Results of your study (overview of the key findings)
6. Your analysis and the conclusions of your research
7. Conclusion of the presentation (summary of what you just said)
8. Acknowledgements (optional)

Successful seminars/presentations have three elements:
a. You tell the audience what you plan to say (Introduction)
b. You say it (Main Body)
c. You tell the audience what you said (Conclusion)

Successful seminars have the following structural elements:

  • Introduction. This provides the audience with enough background to understand the significance of the questions being asked and of the topic in general. It should include a statement of the goals. If this is a scientific investigation, it should include a statement of the hypothesis.
  • Methods, Approach and Resources. This is an overview of how the study (analysis) was conducted. If it was a survey, a list of the types of questions asked and of the survey methods should be included. Sources of information should be mentioned.
  • Good visual aids. Are letters and figures readable and are colors used to make them interesting? Did the presenter make use of novel audio or visual materials?
  • Results (overview of the key findings). Tabular data in a well-organized fashion is appreciated. Axes and tables should be clearly labeled. This section may also include discussions of the significance of the work and its implications.
  • Conclusions. (A list of the key findings in point-by-point form) A discussion of whether a hypothesis was accepted (if appropriate) and suggestions for future work could also be included here. This shows you are thinking beyond the limits of your own work.
  • Acknowledgments. It is common (but not required) to add a list of acknowledgments of others who assisted in the study at the end of a presentation.

Other tips:

  • Use good visual aids (include color, simplicity is desired, writing needs to be large enough to read from the back of a room).
  • Use dramatic pauses: give the audience time to think about what you are saying.
  • Do not stand in front of the screen.
  • Use animation: move around and modulate your voice.
  • Show your excitement and interest; don't be afraid to show emotion.
  • Leave time for questions (don't speak too long).
  • Avoid distracting mannerisms like jingling coins in a pocket, excessive drinking of water to cure a dry throat, excessive waving of a pointer etc.
  • Avoid colloquialisms and slang.
  • Dress appropriately. Arriving in cut-offs or blue jeans will reflect poorly on you!
  • Respect the audience for giving their time.
  • Be organized. You should know how to adjust lights, find the pointer and turn on Power Point slide systems prior to starting. Also, shades should be drawn before the seminar if necessary. You should arrive 15 minutes early to organize the room and yourself.
  • Respond to questions in one minute or less! Remember, only one person in the audience (the person who asked the question) may be interested in your response to the question.

Let the audience leave having learned one new thing. Emphasize this point! What is it that you want the audience to remember about your work?

Joint Thesis Options

University Honors College
Bioresource Research

University Honors College

Check out the new advising sheet for Honors/ID Students!

Students interested in internationalizing their UHC program are encouraged to do so by participating in the ID program. Upon successfully completing both programs, you will receive an Honors Baccalaureate degree from the UHC and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the ID Program. The UHC and ID Program both require a mentored thesis. A single thesis is acceptable, provided it meets all the requirements of both programs. Here are some guidelines to help you meet the combined thesis requirement. Please review UHC and ID thesis guidelines and meet with both UHC and ID staff to discuss your specific thesis project.

The UHC and ID Programs have one-credit thesis classes to guide you through the thesis experience. You are required to enroll in one of these classes (but not both). Additional information on how you may prepare for the combined UHC/ID thesis will be provided in both the UHC and ID thesis classes. If in doubt, check with either UHC or ID prior to registration.

The UHC requires that you establish a committee of three faculty members to serve as a thesis committee. Two of these faculty must be at a rank of Senior Instructor or higher, and one must serve as your thesis advisor (mentor). The third may be anyone acceptable to the advisor, including experts not affiliated with OSU. The ID Program does not require a thesis committee. Instead, you must select one faculty member (tenure-track or fixed-term teaching faculty approved by your department) to serve as your advisor. The advisor for the ID is likely to be your mentor for the UHC thesis committee. It is your responsibility to identify members of your committee, to make them aware that you are working towards both UHC and ID degrees, and to work closely with them in conducting your research and in preparing your thesis.

Both the ID and the UHC require that a signed thesis proposal be kept on file. You must obtain an original signature on your proposal and you may file a photocopy of with the other program. The proposal must meet the stipulations outlined by both the UHC and the ID program if it is to be used for both purposes.

Summary of UHC thesis requirements (please see UHC staff for more details):

For more information, please contact:

Dan Arp
University Honors College
229 Strand Hall
Nick Fleury
International Degree
444 Snell Hall







Bioresources Research (BRR)/International Degree Combined Thesis

Students interested in internationalizing their BRR program are encouraged to do so by participating in the ID program. Upon successfully completing both programs, you will receive a degree in your area of specialization within the BRR Program and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the ID Program. The BRR and ID Programs both require a mentored thesis. Each thesis will be unique and will be dealt with individually. Students should arrange for a joint meeting of BRR and ID staff and their thesis advisors.

The joint BRR/ID thesis may fall into one of the following general categories:

Please see BRR staff for more details on Program Requirements

Summary of ID program thesis requirements (please see ID program staff for more details):

For more information, please contact:

Kate Field
BioResources Research
4105 Ag Life Sciences

Wanda Crannell
BioResources Research
4006 Ag Life Sciences

Nick Fleury
International Degree
444 Snell Hall

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