Thesis and Dissertation Resources

Here you can find resources and guidelines on how to prepare and submit your Thesis/Dissertation.

The Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Guide

This Guide includes everything you need to know about what should be included in your final document, samples of specific sections, formatting guidelines, and a checklist for submitting your work.

Submit your thesis or dissertation

This link directs you to the ProQuest ETD Administrator site where you will set up an account and submit your completed electronic thesis or dissertation to The Graduate School.

The Graduate School Handbook

The Handbook provides additional information on master's thesis requirements or doctoral dissertation requirements.

Thesis and dissertation formatting workshops
Stages of the thesis or dissertation process

These guidelines and advice will be helpful as you consider your thesis or dissertation from preparation through final submission.

Stages of the Thesis or Dissertation Process

Although you won't submit your thesis or dissertation until your final semester of graduate study, it is recommended that you begin thinking about many aspects of your thesis or dissertation much sooner.

  • Use The Graduate School's Thesis and Dissertation Guide to aid in preparing and submitting your thesis or dissertation. Read through the guidelines early and refer back to them as often as needed throughout the process.
  • Begin discussions with your advisor and committee early, as they may have useful information to impart to you as you begin your research and writing.
  • Be sure to determine which style manual is appropriate for your discipline. Formatting is often easier when applied at the beginning of the writing process rather than at the end, especially when concerning citations.
  • Review and discuss how copyrighting may impact your research and writing, including decisions about publishing your own work. The University Libraries' Scholarly Communications Office is a campus resource on scholarly publishing practices.
  • Take advantage of campus resources such as workshops, University Libraries, and the Writing Center.
  • As you approach your defense, set up your student account in the ProQuest ETD Administrator. Review the site for useful information about the online submission process.
  • After your defense has occurred and all final edits are approved by your committee, plan to submit your thesis or dissertation. Follow the checklist and submission instructions in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide to prepare your document.
  • In addition to uploading a PDF of your thesis or dissertation, be prepared to provide added information (e.g., abstract, keywords, and subject headings) about your work for indexing and identification purposes. This information will help make your work more discoverable online.
  • After you have submitted your thesis or dissertation, check your email regularly for updates. Make any required revisions promptly.
  • You will receive a final email notifying you that your ETD has been accepted. Once your document has been approved, you cannot make any further changes. ProQuest will make the title and abstract of your thesis or dissertation available online shortly after graduation. The University Libraries will make your thesis or dissertation available within one semester.

Frequently asked questions about electronic theses and dissertations

When do I need to submit my thesis or dissertation to The Graduate School?

Follow the dates posted on The Graduate School's graduation deadlines website. Submit your thesis or dissertation after your defense has occurred and all final edits are approved by your advisor and committee. Your Committee Composition and Exam Report forms (with all approval signatures) must be submitted to The Graduate School before submitting your document.

I've uploaded my thesis or dissertation on the ETD Administrator Site and it says that my submission is “Ready for Checklist.” What does that mean?

The ETD Administrator uses statuses to help students and staff keep track of what step comes next during the ETD submission process. Some statuses require action on the part of the student while others indicate that staff are responsible for taking the next step. To help you understand what each status means, visit the ProQuest help page. You can also access this page from within the ETD Administrator by clicking on the “Help ?” link on the top right corner of most pages.

What kind of communication should I expect after I have submitted my ETD?

You should receive an email from the ETD Administrator immediately following submission of your thesis or dissertation. If you do not receive this email, please check your junk/spam folder and verify which email address you used when you set up your ETD Administrator account. You will continue to receive emails relating to time-sensitive required revisions, so it is important that you monitor the email account associated with your ETD Administrator account on a daily basis. You will receive a final email when The Graduate School has accepted the finalized document.

How do I check the status of my submitted thesis or dissertation and find the required revisions in the ETD Administrator?

While you should receive emails notifying you of necessary changes, required revisions can also be viewed directly within the ProQuest ETD Administrator. To view required revisions:

  • Login to your account
  • Go to the “My Dissertations/Theses List”
  • Click on the “View” button under the entry for your ETD
  • Under “Manage this ETD” on the left margin, select “View decisions”
  • A list of the decisions that have been made will be displayed in the middle of the page; on the far right of each decision is a link for “View Email”
  • Click the “View Email” link to display the entire contents of the email that was sent to you, including any required revisions
How do I disclose a conflict of interest in my thesis or dissertation?

Conflict of interest disclosures should be included in the Acknowledgements section of your document. Please contact for more information.

Who do I contact with additional questions about the Guide or online submission?

The Thesis and Dissertation Guide has been designed as a comprehensive resource to aid you in preparing your thesis or dissertation for final acceptance and approval. If you have read the Guide and still have questions about the guidelines or submission process, email your Graduate School enrolled students specialist. Please note that Graduate School staff cannot offer formatting assistance. For technical assistance relating to the ETD Administrator submission website, contact ProQuest Tech Support or review the ETD Administrator Help pages.

What is the campus publication policy on ETDs?

Receipt of a submitted and approved thesis or dissertation in The Graduate School results in the publication of the document by the University Library at UNC-Chapel Hill. As such, each student grants the University a limited, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce the student's work, in whole or in part, in electronic form to be posted in the University Library database and made available to the general public at no charge. As a public institution, UNC-Chapel Hill is committed to disseminating research widely and furthering the free exchange of intellectual information, including approved theses and dissertations completed by graduating students. See the Thesis and Dissertation Guide Copyrighting section for information about the campus copyright policy.

Do I need to embargo my work to delay its release online?

Most students will not need to request an embargo. In certain circumstances (e.g., pending patent application, publisher requirements) it may be advisable to request one. If you would like to delay release of your thesis or dissertation, please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an embargo with your advisor or academic program.

UNC-Chapel Hill only permits the request of a one or two year embargo – regardless of options and documentation displayed in ProQuest. If your request for an embargo is accepted by The Graduate School, online publishing of your thesis or dissertation will be delayed for one or two years. Please note that the title of your work, as well as your abstract, will be available through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses shortly after your work has been approved by The Graduate School and submitted to ProQuest. Please review the Thesis and Dissertation Guide Embargo section for more information.

I've graduated. Where is my thesis or dissertation located online?

The Open Access, full text of your thesis or dissertation will be available online through the UNC Libraries. There is an approximately one semester delay for processing and uploading electronic theses and dissertations to the Library's digital collections.

Shortly after graduation, your thesis or dissertation title and abstract will be available through several ProQuest databases that can be accessed through the UNC Libraries.

I've graduated. I ordered printed copies of my thesis or dissertation during the submission process. Who do I talk to about the status of my order?

If you chose to order optional printed copies of your thesis or dissertation in the ETD Administrator as part of the submission process, your order will be filled by ProQuest. Your order summary and manuscript ID are in your submission confirmation email. For questions about your order, you will need to contact ProQuest directly. Neither The Graduate School nor the University Libraries can offer information about past orders or requests for print copies.