Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Electronic Theses and Dissertations
The ETD is an electronic version of your written thesis or dissertation in a PDF format. You prepare the ETD with a word processor or some other approved document preparation software and convert that to PDF format for submission. We do not require paper copies. Submitting your work in electronic format makes your work widely available around the world.

Your ETD will be made available for public use, unless you restrict access, through the Marshall University Digital Scholar site (http://mds.marshall.edu/etd/) and through the international Proquest/UMI network of information services. Your work is the end result of your own substantial research and original thinking. The content and style of your ETD will reflect on you, on the faculty members who have guided your work, and on Marshall University.

IRB approval is required for all theses/dissertations–no exceptions!


Before you begin work on your thesis or dissertation, whether you believe your study will involve human/animal subject research or not, you must send the abstract to Bruce Day, MU Director of the Office of Research Integrity. If the thesis/dissertation requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, then you will be directed to the appropriate IRB coordinator for assistance. If the thesis/dissertation is deemed by Mr. Day not to be human/animal subject research, then you will be provided a letter stating that determination. Every ETD must include a letter from the IRB indicating that your project is not human/animal subject research or indicating that it is and you are approved to proceed with the research. You must include a copy of one or the other IRB letters as an appendix item in your work.

We cannot accept a thesis/dissertation without a copy of the IRB letter.

  • Every thesis or dissertation MUST include a copy of the IRB letter as an appendix item.
  • Do not assume that because of the nature of your work or because you started the study a long time ago that you would not need an IRB review.
  • Please note that we have encountered past situations in which an entire thesis was lost because an assumption was made that it did not involve human/animal subject research when it did.
  • Please understand that all MU theses/dissertations are subject to federal audit and the absence of a documented IRB review, whether your study involves human/animal subjects or not, jeopardizes the ability of the institution to receive federal funding.


  1. Select a thesis topic in conjunction with your committee and send Bruce Day in the ORI a copy of the abstract.
  2. Be sure to obtain a letter (and include it in the thesis appendix) from the Institutional Review Board whether your work involves human/animal subject research or not.
  3. Write your thesis.
  4. Pass the oral defense
  5. When your work is complete, approved by the committee, and ready to upload, submit the ETD Final Submission form to the Graduate College, OM 113.
  6. Upload the final, approved draft of your thesis (ETD) to the ETD Administrator site.
  7. Graduate College reader reads your ETD and returns to you the ETD with notes for any corrections to be made.
  8. You resubmit the corrected ETD for a final check.
  9. Your ETD is published and you have met all requirements for graduation!

WHERE TO START?   Download and read carefully our Guide for Preparation and Submission of Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Style Guide 2017-18


Make sure you are familiar with all due dates: Graduation and Commencement Timetable


Top 10 Issues with ETD submission:

  1. Title page displays page number, incorrect format
  2. References and citations do not follow departmental style guide (APA, MLA, CSE etc.)
  3. Works cited in text are missing from the Reference section or Bibliography
  4. Chapter headings, table titles, and figure titles do not match table of contents
  5. Page numbers do not correlate with the table of contents
  6. Use “since” as a measurement of time. Use “because” for causality.
  7. Use “while” as a measurement of time. Use “although” as an exception or difference.
  8. The word “data” is plural as in “data were.”
  9. A letter from the MU Institutional Review Board is missing.
  10. Do NOT begin a sentence with “This”. Instead state what “this” is.


FAQs from ETD Administrator site

Technical Help
Mr. Doug Nichols
Web/Online Systems Director
Center or Teaching and Learning
OM 200
South Charleston campus
Dr. Teresa Eagle, Dean, CEPD
GC 203
Marshall University Graduate College
Old Main 113