Submission and Formatting 101: Master the Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Process

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion!  Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend.  Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 2 – 4pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: Virtual and in-person (Admin 404 – limit for room is 40); (register to attend online and receive participation instructions)
  • Registration: Please register to receive handouts via email or attend online. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Submission 101
    Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Formatting 101-103
    Learn about templates, checking your document with Adobe Acrobat, and how to use copyrighted materials. You’ll also learn where resources are on the web page so you can learn more about the topics that interest you.
  • 4:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Questions
    Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you have

Spring 2024 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for Spring 2024 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm on October 18, 2023 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination (“defense”) prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

Spring 2024 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Applications for Spring 2024 PHF Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, October 17, 2023 to the Graduate School. Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student conducting a research or outreach project that will promote and/or improve the overall health of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Ontonagon communities.
  2. Must be a PhD candidate at the time of application.
  3. Must be 2 years after starting the graduate program at the time of application.
  4. Must not be a prior recipient of a PHF Graduate Assistantship.
  5. Preference will be given to applicants with long-standing local connections to Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, or Ontonagon county.

Priority will be given to students originally from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, or Ontonagon counties. Non-resident students and international students are encouraged to apply if their health research is applicable to health needs and job shortages of our local community (obesity research, rural health, medical informatics, drug delivery and lab testing, physical therapy, etc.).

These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas. Applicants should be a catalyst for promoting and improving the overall health of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Ontonagon communities through one of the following:

  • health research and technology development
  • health education or preventive and wellness initiatives
  • rural healthcare access, informatics, and assessment of care

Students who receive full support through a PHF Graduate Assistantship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a PHF Graduate Assistantship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2023 Recipient – Soheil Sepahyar

I began my PhD journey in the spring semester of 2019, focusing on the subject of distance perception in virtual reality under the supervision of Dr. Scott Kuhl. My research investigates how people perceive distance in VR, an increasingly popular technology due to its widespread availability and recent advancements. I’ve always been interested in the Virtual Reality and Computer Graphics world since I was 12 years old.

Despite its growing popularity, numerous questions remain about how human perception interacts with virtual reality (VR). Many VR applications either require or benefit from users perceiving and interacting in virtual environments that closely resemble the real world. One of the primary challenges my research addresses is the tendency for people to underestimate distances in VR, as opposed to accurately perceiving them in real-world settings. Distances in VR are often reported as being underestimated by 20-30%, a discrepancy that is significant for many everyday tasks. These issues can lead to serious complications in various applications. For example, homebuyers using VR to virtually tour properties may struggle to accurately assess room sizes. People might also face difficulties in navigating and engaging with virtual worlds effectively. Furthermore, accurate distance perception is crucial for training and education programs involving students and even essential workers, such as astronauts. As a result, my research aims to examine how some of the procedural details might impact the results of previous VR studies regarding distance perception. One detail involves giving participants practice in blindfolded walking prior to the study to gain trust in the experimenter and experience walking while blindfolded. Additionally, to better understand this phenomenon, I have developed a program compatible with modern head-mounted displays (HMDs) that accurately tracks users’ locations and provides valuable data on participant behavior. This enables in-depth analysis of their walking behavior and perception during experiments.

I am extremely grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for granting me the finishing fellowship. I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to my incredible advisor, Dr. Scott Kuhl, for his unwavering guidance, support, and encouragement throughout my PhD program. Finally, I extend my appreciation to the Computer Science Department and the College of Computing for their exceptional programs and the opportunities they have provided for us.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2023 Recipient – Roya Bagheri

Growing up as a teenager, I always wanted to become a person who could help people around the world. I got the opportunity to start my academic life in health research, which brought me closer to what I have always wanted. As a mechanical engineer with a background in biomedical engineering and biomaterials, helping people and sharing the multidimensional point of view of these fields would be a fantastic opportunity to develop solutions for health-related problems worldwide.

I started my PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the Spring of 2020 at Michigan Technological University. Being part of the MTU family has been an exceptional experience for me. I am very fortunate to work in Dr. Abadi’s lab, who has guided me through research and several aspects of life. My research includes four different projects related to cardiovascular diseases and disorders (i.e., those related to the heart and blood vessels). Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Nanomaterials, with their unique morphologies and properties, have great potential for advancing cardiovascular engineering to treat diseases and disorders. My research is in three main categories, ranging from tissue engineering to robotics and medical devices.

Despite being far from my hometown, I feel at home in Michigan Tech. I have had several opportunities to participate in different organizations and competitions. This incredible journey will always hold a special place in my heart. I am so glad that I am close to my dream of obtaining a PhD and being able to help people around the world on a small scale in health.

I am grateful to the Graduate School for awarding me this doctoral finishing fellowship; this fellowship means a lot to me and motivates me to work harder to finish my PhD journey! I am thankful to the people who have supported me on my journey.

Distinguished Dissertation Award – Summer 2023 – Marina Choy

I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Toulouse Jean Jaures, in France, before joining the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture doctoral program at Michigan Tech in 2017. During the last stages of my dissertation in Fall 2022, I began working as a full-time faculty member and Writing Center manager at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology near Albuquerque, NM. I am now in the midst of moving to Baltimore, MD to start a new position at Johns Hopkins University in Fall 2023.

My dissertation, “Articulating Nationalism through the “Problem of Immigration:” the Case of Foreign Unaccompanied Minors in France” examines how far-right nationalist logics and discourses permeate and articulate the system of protection of foreign unaccompanied minors in France, in the recent context of the so-called European “migrant crisis.” In-depth interviews with child welfare social workers revealed that the very structure and design of the system of protection of foreign minors, articulated through cultural and political perspectives hostile to (im)migration, compromises the protection and chances of integration of this group from the get-go. This case study illustrates national institutional responses to contemporary migration events, and explores the articulation of the question of immigration as a driving force of contemporary nationalism.

I am deeply grateful for my dissertation advisor, Dr. Patricia Sotirin, who has mentored and supported me through my PhD journey and beyond. I would also like to thank my co-advisor Dr. Jennifer Slack, whose feedback was always immensely helpful and critical to my progress, and Dr. Andy Fiss, for his endorsement and support with several professional projects. Thank you all for your support and for endorsing this nomination.

The King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship Program – Summer 2023 – J.D. Brandewie

I never imagined myself reaching this point. Having given up on college in 2011, I found myself working my way through different management positions across retail. Eternal grateful for the opportunity these jobs had presented for me, they had allowed me to survive well enough. By 2016, I had found the lack of empathy, and cerebral engagement to be a bit too much. In what may have been an impulsive decision, I quit my job and returned to college. I knew I wanted to explore more of what the world had to offer, and to see how I might be able to give back.

I entered a community college and was able to secure my associate degrees by 2017. This enabled me to transfer to the University of Louisville (UofL) and begin pursuing my bachelor’s. I wasn’t certain what direction to go; and initially was determined to go for an engineering degree of some sort. In my first semester at UofL, I took a physics course with a wonderful professor; Dr. David Brown. The manner in which he approached teaching instantly drew my attention. This was what I thought education should have been my first go around. I then decided to major in Physics. That following summer, I was given my first opportunity to be a Teacher’s Assistant; And I was hooked.

I then spent the remainder of my time as an undergraduate being a Teacher’s Assistant of some form. Whether it was instructing a lab or being a resource within the classroom, I found it to be one of the most fulfilling experiences. It was through this process I learned that to teach at the collegiate I would have to go to Graduate school; This had terrified me. I had always struggled with formalized education, and certainly did not believe myself capable of the highest levels of it. I was fortunate though to have mentors to guide me. If it were not for these amazing educators, I would not be here now.

In the spirit of what they taught me, I now continue my education further. Having been accepted into Michigan Tech has been one of the proudest moments in my life. Only to be surpassed by the honor and privilege I feel to have been accepted as a KCP Fellow. With this support, I will be able to accomplish something I only had ever dreamt of as a child. In return, it is only right to give that experience back. As I complete my PhD, I hope to help cultivate a diverse culture at MTU, using my unique experiences to build our community. Afterwards, I hope to become a faculty member and work towards a more comprehensive foundational curriculum; Integrating computation, physics, and mathematics together. In my late career, I’d hope to take an administrative position to further build a more representative student body of the diversity we have in the world.

Sponsored by the King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship from the State of Michigan

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2023 Recipient – Nazar Gora

I joined a PhD program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan Technological University in the fall of 2020. My passion lies in the field of chemical biology, which involves using chemical tools to gain insights into the complex interactions between biological molecules. It is fascinating for me to explore the ways in which chemistry can be applied to understand and manipulate biological systems.

While working in Tanasova Lab, I have had the opportunity to develop a diverse set of skills. Starting with organic synthesis to produce molecular probes, I then progressed to performing bioassays and molecular modeling. The multidisciplinary nature of my work allowed me to gain valuable experience in various fields of study. My research focused on small molecule targeting of fructose transport in cancer. Facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs) play a crucial role in delivering sugars to cells, and their dysregulation is linked to various disorders. In my work, I designed fluorescently labeled sugars to explore the involvement of different transporters in live mammalian cells. By implementing novel small molecules specific to fructose transport, we can develop better targeting strategies for metabolically deprived cancers. My research has the potential to advance our understanding of cancer sugar metabolism and improve our ability to employ sugar transport to undermine cancer.

I am grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me Finishing Fellowship, which provides me with the opportunity to complete my studies for the final research projects and focus on writing my thesis. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my advisor, Dr. Marina Tanasova, and the Department of Chemistry at Michigan Tech for their support during my PhD journey.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2023 Recipient – Manpreet Boora

I am honored to receive the finishing fellowship in my PhD from Michigan Tech University, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my personal statement with the university’s blog. My fascination with the “why” and “how” behind everything led me to pursue Physics from an early age, and I have been fortunate to receive unwavering support from my family and friends throughout my academic journey. Being the first in my family to obtain a college degree is a milestone that I am proud of, and I am grateful for the opportunities that it has afforded me. As a Master’s student in Professor Jae Yong Suh’s lab, I developed an interest in studying chiral metamaterials using angle-resolved optical dispersions. This experience led me to pursue a PhD in the field of materials, particularly the synthesis, stacking, characterization, and study of the optical properties of 2D materials. During my doctoral studies, I had the privilege of acquiring advanced skills in cutting-edge tools and techniques, such as microfabrication, chemical vapor transport, and transfer of films with controlled twist angles. These experiences have been invaluable in shaping my research and personal growth. As an NSF-funded Resident Scholar Visitor at Penn State University’s Materials Research Institute, I was able to broaden my horizons by conducting high-end research in the field of 2D materials and forming collaborations with researchers from different backgrounds. This experience has enriched my research, provided me with diverse perspectives, and prepared me for a successful research career.

I am grateful to the graduate dean awards advisory panel for awarding me the finishing fellowship and to my department chair Dr. Ravindra Pandey for his unfailing support throughout my doctoral studies. I would also like to thank my advisor Dr. Jae Yong Suh for believing in me and fostering my personal and professional growth. Receiving the finishing fellowship is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion that I have poured into my research. It is a token of honor and I am excited to see where this journey takes me next.

Housing options for 2023-24

Michigan Tech has both on-campus and off-campus options for student housing.  The demand for housing both on campus and off is high in our region, and so we strongly recommend prospective students to begin exploring their options as soon as possible.  

On-campus housing is handled by our Residence Education and Housing Services. They provide affordable apartments in Daniell Heights and university-owned houses. Apartments and University-owned houses are on a first-come, first-served basis, so we highly encourage students to start looking at their options as soon as possible and apply for what meets your needs. 

Please know that the demand for Daniell Heights apartments is very high and outpaces supply, so make preparations early and apply for the waitlist.  It is typical for students to be on the waitlist for a year before receiving an offer of an apartment. You must be included on the waitlist for on-campus housing if you would like to be considered for any openings once they are full.  While we acknowledge many prefer to live on campus in Daniell Heights, we strongly encourage students to explore off campus options to ensure they have their housing secure.  Please contact the Residence Education and Housing Services if you have questions regarding on-campus housing at

You can also check out the Daniell Heights Residents group on Facebook.  This is a place where current Daniell Heights contract holders who have an apartment look for a roommate. 

While Daniell Heights on campus apartments cannot accommodate all students, many graduates find success living in off campus housing in the region.  We have a large range of off-campus housing options for students in the Houghton and Hancock area.  These spaces are independent of MTU and managed by landlords in the community. If you are interested in off-campus housing you will need to reach out to the individual listed in the advertisement for the rental unit. Each listing has an address, we highly encourage you to map how far the place is from campus, especially if you will not have a vehicle.  We also encourage you to be persistent looking for spaces in the area as housing comes available frequently throughout the year.  Additional privately managed rental units are listed below:

You can also check out the Michigan Tech Marketplace on Facebook, MTU Discord, or MTU Reddit for available subleases or openings for a roommate.