Graduate School

Exceptional scholars, big thinkers, bright minds

Important Warning:

In the past, students have failed to graduate on schedule because of these discrepancies in the preparation of their theses and dissertations:  

  • The Approval Page is a legal document.  It must be signed by the core committee, the Dean of the Graduate School, and no one else.  The following errors will invalidate the Approval Page and prevent graduation:
    • Extra signatures, missing signatures, or extra blank lines
    • Extraneous text (instructions, headers, etc…)
    • White-out or other corrections.
    • Only signed originals are accepted.
  • Your document must be formatted online at, and the format must be “accepted” online before the final copies are printed.  If you plan to work on your document up to the deadline, be warned that you may have to interact with the formatter online for a few days to complete the formatting.
  • Make sure you monitor the email account you give to the etdadmin site.  Also monitor all email and phone contacts listed on eCampus.

Thesis/Dissertation Preparation

For the oral defense, a sufficient number of completed copies of the thesis or dissertation, acceptable in form and substance to each member of the examining committee, is required along with a fully signed Request to Schedule an Oral Defense form and yellow binding receipt obtained from Enrollment Services. At least 20 calendar days prior to the proposed defense, the form, defense copies and yellow receipt must be submitted to the Graduate School for scheduling of the examination.

Formatting guidelines are summarized in a Brochure.

The document may be formatted prior to defense. This way, if there are any obvious problems, the formatter will catch them before your committee sees your work. To begin the formatting process, the document must be converted to pdf and uploaded to After the format of the post-defense final version has been approved online, two paper copies with at least one signed Approval Page should be submitted to the Graduate School along with other documents described in the Checklist for Final Submissions.

The paper and online versions differ in only 2 ways: The paper version will have a signed Library rights statement and an Approval Page signed by the committee members plus the Dean of the Graduate School. The online version will have no Library Rights Statement, and the Approval Page will have the typed names of the committee and the Dean (instead of signatures).

The student’s department may require additional copies. It is the student’s responsibility to provide these copies. The Dean of the Graduate School will sign additional Approval Pages for these copies.

Student should contact the formatter at for further information.

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