Graduate Thesis and Dissertation Handbook

I. Procedures

This handbook sets forth minimum requirements to be followed in all master's theses and doctoral dissertations submitted to OhioLINK or to the Graduate School. For purposes of brevity and clarity, in this handbook the terms "thesis" and "theses" will be used to discuss both master's theses and doctoral dissertations. This handbook is basically a guide to format, not an exhaustive guide to style or to the process of developing and writing a thesis. Individual departments or programs may stipulate additional requirements, and, in matters of format, style, and procedure not specified in this handbook, students should seek the advice of their thesis directors. For matters not specified by this handbook, or by departments, you should consult the latest edition of A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian. It should be followed when departments do not specify a style manual. Other manuals can also be used, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual, The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, the Chicago Manual of Style, etc. All of these manuals are available as library reference materials or they may be purchased at most bookstores. Also, the University Writing Center (031 Dunbar Library) sells reasonably priced mini-manuals, which provide basic format and citation information for APA and MLA styles. The important point to remember is that the thesis must be consistent in both the style employed and the format selected. If you have any questions or concerns about style and/or format, you should contact the Graduate School, E344 Student Union, telephone (937) 775-2976, or e-mail

Format Check

At your request, the Graduate School will make a format check of any thesis, or portion thereof, prior to final deposit. The format check should be submitted electronically to This review will evaluate the thesis for format and style as established in this handbook. This review is intended to minimize the likelihood of thesis rejection after the deposit deadline. However, it in no way guarantees the acceptability of the final copy. To allow ample time for completing the final deposit copy, you are advised to arrange for a format check well in advance of the deposit deadline. Format checks will be done as soon as possible, but please allow at least two (2) days for completion.

Final Deposit

OhioLINK requires that the ETD must be submitted in PDF format. One copy of the PDF thesis must be deposited at the OhioLINK ETD Center by going to not later than 30 days after the end of the semester in which the degree will be granted (due dates are published by the Graduate School and distributed to the departments and program offices). This final copy should follow the form prescribed in this handbook and should be carefully produced, free of errors in style, mechanics, and format 

Instructions for submitting your ETD are on the OhioLINK Web site.  You will be asked to create a user account and then provide identifying information about yourself, your department, and your ETD, and then you will be permitted to upload your pdf thesis to the OhioLINK site. If you have technical questions about putting your ETD together, converting it to a pdf document, or submitting it to OhioLINK, you should visit the Student Technology Assistance Center (STAC), 240 Paul Laurence Dunbar Library, Web:, telephone: (937) 775-2656 for help and assistance.  STAC’s facilities are modern and up-to-date, its staff is helpful and professional, its hours of operation offer much flexibility, and its services are free. 

The Graduate School is notified by OhioLINK when an ETD is deposited, and final approval is the Graduate School’s responsibility, not OhioLINK’s. Final copies will not be approved at OhioLINK if errors in format require corrections.

* The PDF file must include the typed thesis approval page, but without signatures.

* One (1) copy of the typed thesis approval page with signatures must be submitted to the Graduate School for filing. The ETD cannot be approved until the Graduate School receives the signed thesis approval page.

You should check with your advisor to determine if your department or program requires additional electronic or paper copies.

In cases where a thesis cannot be prepared as an ETD (e.g., some creative theses, etc.), the student may request a waiver to the ETD requirement by submitting an academic petition to the Graduate School in advance of the due date.