The purpose of this site is to assist with the final steps of completing your thesis. Please consult the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation page for more details on creating and submitting your ETD.


  • All Theses must have a 1 ½ inch margin on the left side.  This is to accommodate any future binding of the thesis.
  • All Theses must follow the convention in the sample title page for the title page.  A thesis may have a second title page that follows the writing style used. 
  • 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:

American Psychological Association
Chicago Style Manual 
Modern Language Association (MLA)


Abstracts are required for all theses 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. 

Creative theses should include:

  • The type of work (i.e. novel, collection of poems)
  • Description of theme, genre, style, or plot 

Research theses should include:

  • The objective (research question)
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusion


Thesis Procedures:


1.  Appoint the Thesis Committee

Your thesis committee must be approved with the M2 form before you submit your thesis for review. 

2.  Submit Preliminary Copy to the Graduate School

  • A preliminary copy in paper form is due in the Graduate School two weeks before the oral defense.
  • Consult the Graduation Deadlines for the last possible dates each semester.
  • The M3 must accompany the thesis and all committee members must sign the M-3.

3.  Approval of Thesis by the Committee 

The thesis committee will complete the M-2 Committee Report (bottom portion).  A completed M-2 indicating “pass” must be on file in the graduate school before the thesis will be reviewed for final approval.

4.  Final Copy Submission

All master’s thesis must be converted to a PDF for final submission. Review the slides on how to convert a Microsoft Word document to a PDF at any UMSL student computer lab. If you need to edit the PDF to accomplish things such as inserting pages with tables or scans, please consult the Faculty Resource Center for assistance.

All master’s theses must be submitted to

Final Submission Options:

Option #1:  ETD Site
A copy of your thesis is made available through the ETD site.  This includes theses with short-term embargoes.  Please contact the Graduate School if your thesis needs to be withheld from the public for up to 60 months.

Option #2:  ETD Site for Archiving Only and Two Paper Copies
A copy of your thesis is archived in an electronic file and two paper copies are submitted and sent to the library for binding and dissemination.

Copies must be:

  • On good quality paper. 25% or greater cotton bond is recommended.
  • Have a 1 ½ inch margin on the left side
  • On loose paper.  No staples, binderclips, or binding accepted.  Most students submit a stack with the copies separated by colored paper.

Copyrighting Your Thesis

Copyrighting is optional. You can register your copyright directly with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Microfilming through Proquest/UMI

Microfilming through Proquest/UMI is optional for master’s theses.  The students are responsible for all fees and pay them at the time of submission.

Additional Paper Copies

Students may have paper copies of their thesis made for personal use.  The Graduate School does not accept additional copies for this purpose.  For information on how to get copies made locally, please contact the Graduate School.

If you need to mail documents, please mail to:

The Graduate School
Mary Ellen Heckel
421 Woods Hall
University of Missouri - St. Louis
One University Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63121

Please contact Mary Ellen Heckel in the Graduate School
(314) 516-5900