The purpose of this site is to assist with the final steps of completing your dissertation. Please consult the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation page for more details on creating and submitting your ETD.
Prepare the Correct Formatting
- All Dissertations must have a 1 ½ inch margin on the left side. This is to accommodate any future binding of the thesis.
- All Dissertations title pages need to contain the information in the sample title page. A dissertation may have a second title page that follows the writing style used or academic unit convention.
- Signatures may not be on the title pages submitted to the Graduate School. You may include signature pages in copies you bind personally.
- In matters of style and documentation, the custom of the discipline shall be followed.
The three most commonly used at UMSL are:
Abstracts are required for all dissertations submitted to the Graduate School. The abstract for the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation site must be no longer than 350 words. The abstract in the body of the thesis has no word limit.
1. Schedule the Oral Defense
Work with your committee to choose a date that is at least 3 weeks away. Schedule a room that is appropriate for the defense. Your committee chair, department secretary or academic unit dean’s office should be able to assist you. Consult the Graduation Deadlines to determine your graduating semester and the timeline for submitting final documents.
Submit the Preliminary Copy and Oral Defense Announcement
The following items are due in the Graduate School 3 weeks before the oral defense:
- A D-6 form with all committee signatures
- A D-9 form in Microsoft Word emailed to Mary Ellen Heckel (firstname.lastname@example.org). You must use the format in the D-9. Please do not copy the format on the website. **Note: Abstracts must be 350 words or less.
- A copy of your dissertation. This may be submitted in paper form with your D-6 or via email with your D-9.
The Oral Defense Announcement will be posted on the Graduate School Website. You, your dissertation advisor, graduate program director, department chair, and dean will be notified when it is posted.
2. Go to your Oral Defense
- Bring a copy of the D7 to your oral defense.
- Obtain the decisions and signatures of your committee on the D7
- Submit the D7 to your department chair or the graduate program director.
- The form should be forwarded to the Graduate School.
3. Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates
Students earning a Ph.D. are required to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates. Students completing an Ed.D. or a D.N.P. should not complete the survey. Please note that the survey year ends in June. If you are a Summer graduate, please check with the Graduate School to make sure that the survey for your graduating class is available.
Students may complete:
- A paper copy
- A web-based survey
If you complete the web-based survey, a copy of your certificate of completion should be forwarded to the Graduate School by the Survey. Please keep a copy in case we do not get it.
If you complete the paper version of the survey, submit it to the Graduate School.
4. Submit a Copy of Your Dissertation to Proquest/UMI
All doctoral students are required to microfilm their dissertations with Proquest/UMI. Students are responsible for all fees associated with microfilming. The University has no restrictions on the options offered by Proquest/UMI. In order to submit your dissertation to UMI/Proquest, you will need to convert the document to a PDF. You can convert a Microsoft Word document to a PDF at any UMSL student computer lab. If you need to edit the PDF to accomplish such as inserting pages with tables or scans, please go to the Faculty Resource Center for assistance. The Proquest/UMI site also has conversion software if your dissertation is in one document. Once you have a PDF ready or if you would like Proquest/UMI to convert the document for you, go to Proquest/UMI’s ETD Administrator to complete the submission process.
If you need to delay availability in the UMSL library, please send a separate request to the Graduate School. Choosing a publishing restriction will not delay the shelving of your dissertation in the UMSL library or availability on the web.
5. Submit the Final Dissertation to the Graduate School
The Graduate School will accept the final version in one of two ways:
Option #1: ETD Website (Preferred)
A copy of your dissertation is made available through etd.umsl.edu. Go to https://apps.umsl.edu/webapps/weboffice/ETD/search.cfm. The dissertation must be submitted as a pdf saved as: YOURLASTNAME.pdf. This includes dissertations with short-term embargoes. Please contact the Graduate School if your dissertation needs to be withheld from the public for up to 60 months. Please note: The “archiving option” is only for master’s thesis students.
Option #2: Paper Submission
Two unbound copies of your dissertation may be submitted to the Graduate School
- Copies may not be secured with clips, staples or rubber bands.
- Original Copies must be typewritten and on good quality paper, 25% or greater cotton bond is recommended.
- A D8 form with your committee chair’s signature must accompany the copies.
If you need to mail the paper copies, please mail to:
The Graduate School
c/o Mary Ellen Heckel
421 Woods Hall
University of Missouri - St. Louis
One University Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63121
Checklist for Final Approval from Graduate School
The Graduate School will give final approval on the D7 when:
- We have proof of completion of the Survey of Earned Doctorates (Ph.D. only)
- We have approved your submission to Proquest/UMI
- Your advisor has approved the electronic copy submitted to http://etd.umsl.edu or you have submitted two paper copies and a D8.
- You have a zero balance on your student account. Charges for future coursework do not apply.
The Graduate School will not accept any materials intended for personal copies or gift copies for the committee. Students may order from Proquest/UMI or inquire through The Graduate School about other resources for obtaining extra copies.
Copyrighting is optional. You can register your copyright directly with the U.S. government at http://copyright.gov or Proquest/UMI offers to file the registration for you. You would complete the information at the time of submission.
Please contact Mary Ellen Heckel in the Graduate School