RUL 02.25.09 – Theses and Dissertations

Authority: Dean of the Graduate School

History: First Issued: June 1, 2002. Last Revised: November 29, 2011.

Additional References:
Graduate School Calendar
Thesis and Dissertation Guide
Completion of Graduate Course of Study
Electronic Theses and Dissertation
Office of International Services

Contact Info: Dean of the Graduate School (919-515-7956)


In degree programs requiring preparation of a thesis, master’s students must undertake an original investigation into a subject that has been approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Director of the Graduate Program.


The doctoral dissertation must present the results of the student’s original investigation in the field of primary interest.  It must represent a contribution to knowledge, adequately supported by data, and be written in a manner consistent with the highest standards of scholarship.


3.1  All members of the advisory committee review the thesis/dissertation and must give their approval prior to submissions to the Graduate School by signing the cover page.

3.2  After obtaining approval from his/her advisory committee, the student must submit the dissertation electronically to the Graduate School following procedures on the Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD) website.

3.3  Submission of a thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School must take place at least four weeks prior to the last day of classes in the semester or summer session in which the degree is to be conferred.  Specific deadline dates are published at least one year in advance in the Graduate School Calendar.

3.4  All theses and dissertations must be submitted through the ETD system.  The rules and regulations in the ETD Guide and the deadlines in the Graduate School Calendar are applicable for electronic submissions.

3.5  At the time the thesis/dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School, the student is also required to submit the required forms and fee as outlined on the ETD web site.

3.6  The Graduate school will not authorize the release of the diploma to the student or inclusion of the statement of award of the degree on the permanent records from which transcripts are made until these forms have been completed and returned to the Graduate School.

3.7  Students who will graduate the semester following final submittal of their thesis or dissertation will not have to register for that semester  IF in the preceding semester:

3.7.1  They pass the final oral exam unconditionally, or pass conditionally and clear all conditions, and

3.7.2  They have their thesis review with the Thesis Editor by the last working day before the first day of class for that semester.

3.8  International students should  reconfirm their visa status with the Office of International Services.

3.9  The University also requires that all doctoral dissertations be microfilmed by University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, MI, including the publication of the abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International.  The student pays the cost of this service.


Theses and dissertations containing disclosures of patentable discoveries may be held for a maximum period of one year after disclosure.  Holding a thesis or dissertation until a patent application is filed will not prevent a student from graduating on time.