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Thesis and Dissertation Information

All graduate students who are doing a formal thesis or dissertation must follow PSU policies regarding committee appointments, defense procedures, formatting requirements, and submission procedures.  

These pages are intended to guide students through these various processes.  Please review them carefully and feel free to contact us with questions at grad@pdx.edu or 503-725-8410.  You can also contact the processor in OGS who is working with a specific file:

  • Brenda Fugate, fugateb@pdx.edu or 5-5230 - master's students with PSU ID numbers ending 00-49
  • Andrea Haack, ahaack@pdx.edu or 5-8460 - master's students with PSU ID numbers ending 50-99
  • Roxanne Treece, treece@pdx.edu or 5-5241 - all doctoral students

ETD Formatting Requirements

ETD Submission Instructions

ETD FAQs

Committee Appointments

The timing for the appointment of master’s and doctoral committees is quite different.  Doctoral committees are appointed early in the process, shortly before the proposal defense.  Master’s committees are appointed much later, approximately one term before the final defense.

A student’s thesis or dissertation committee is appointed with the GO-16M or GO-16D form.  The GO-16 forms provide full information about eligibility requirements for faculty serving on committees.

For doctoral students, the GO-16D should be submitted to OGS a minimum of six weeks before the anticipated date of the proposal defense.  For master’s students, the GO-16M submission deadlines are based on the intended term of graduation and are available here.

If an already appointed committee needs to be revised, contact OGS for assistance.


Defense Procedures and Deadlines

PSU policies regarding thesis and dissertation defenses apply to:

  • A master’s student’s final defense
  • A doctoral student’s proposal defense (sometimes called a prospectus or colloquium) and final defense 
Students must deliver a final draft of their document to their entire committee no fewer than 14 days before the defense date.

A defense may only be scheduled during the regular academic terms; for summer, this is the eight-week Summer Session.  Final defense deadlines for the current academic year are available here.  A final defense after these deadlines will result in graduation in a subsequent term.

IMPORTANT:  A thesis or dissertation defense must take place in a meeting with the student and the entire, appointed committee present.  (One regular committee member – not the student, Chair, or GO Rep [for doctoral committees only] – may participate via speakerphone or videoconference.)  If the entire, appointed committee is not present, the defense is invalid and will have to be repeated with the appropriate personnel.

We never want a student to have an invalid defense!  It is incumbent on students and faculty to know that the committee has actually been approved by OGS and who the appointed members are.  If there are questions about whether a committee has been approved or who the appointed members are, contact OGS.

 

Formatting Requirements

All theses and dissertations must meet OGS formatting requirements.  We encourage students to review the formatting requirements early in the thesis or dissertation process; it is much easier to properly format the document to these specifications from the beginning as opposed to changing all the formatting when preparing for submission. The ETD Formatting Checklist is designed to help avoid the most common formatting errors, but it is not a substitute for carefully reviewing the formatting requirements.

 

Submission Procedures and Deadlines

All theses and dissertations are submitted electronically to OGS.  For electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) submissions, PSU uses the UMI ETD Administrator provided by ProQuest.  Students will need to create an account through this system to submit their ETDs.  We have created submission instructions for using the UMI ETD Administrator that guide you through the steps of creating an account and submitting your ETD.

ETD submission deadlines for the current academic year are available here; all ETDs are due by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the applicable due date.  A submission after these deadlines will result in graduation in a subsequent term.

There are two paper forms that students are required to submit to accompany their ETDs.  Neither of these forms have specific due dates, but you should aim to submit them to OGS at approximately the same time you submit your ETD through the UMI ETD Administrator. You cannot be certified for graduation without OGS receipt of these completed forms.  

  • The Thesis Signature Page (for master's students) and Dissertation Signature Page (for doctoral students) are used for your committee to formally approve the final, post-defense copy of your ETD.
  • The ETD Access Form is used to grant the PSU Library the non-exclusive right to make your ETD available through our the Digital Repository.
PhD students must also complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorates (EdD students do not complete the Survey). Please register and complete the survey at:  https://sed.norc.org/survey.  The registration process will ensure that you fill out the correct survey based on the graduation month and year you provide during the registration process. When you register for the survey, your pin and password will be emailed to you with a direct link to the survey so that you can return to the survey if you are not able to complete it all at one time.  Once you have started the online survey, you can stop by pressing the "Save & Exit" button.  This will save the data entered up to that point so that when you return to the survey it will resume at the screen where you left off.  Once you have completed the survey, a confirmation email will be sent to OGS.

OGS will contact you after we have performed a formal audit of your ETD. Any required formatting revisions must be completed (and resubmitted through the UMI ETD Administrator) before you can be certified for graduation.

Doctoral students only: Please note that you cannot participate in the Spring PSU Commencement ceremony unless you have been certified for graduation by OGS. Again, we will be in touch.