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Thesis And Dissertation

As a current Master's or Ph.D. student, it is your responsibility to comply with all policies, procedures and applicable program requirements that govern your individual program of study. 

Defense Announcements
Format approval process

As of Summer 2022, those seeking approval for their theses and dissertations are no longer required to have a scheduled appointment with a member of the format review team. We are now reviewing most theses and dissertations via email. To have your document reviewed, please send it to [email protected].

When submitting your document for review be sure to include your:

  • full name
  • the degree you are seeking and
  • the name of your advisor

If you have questions after reviewing the guidelines and would prefer to meet with someone on the format review team you can still request an appointment via email at [email protected]. Someone from the format review team will reach out to you to schedule a time.

When requesting an appointment, please include your: 

  • full name
  • the degree you are seeking and 
  • the name of your advisor
Guidelines & helpful resources
  • Thesis and dissertation format guide  
  • Microsoft word formatting tutorials - Microsoft word formatting tutorials
    • This document includes step-by-step how-to for formatting a thesis or dissertation in Microsoft Word.  
  • Chapter headings - example only  
    • This document shows you how to format and space section and subsection headings according to the 6th edition of the American Psychological Association style guide.  
  • Cover page
    • Use this template to create the cover page for your thesis and dissertation. Do not include this cover page in your thesis or dissertation.
  • List of tables 
    • This document shows an example of how to format and space the list tables in a dissertation and thesis.
  • Avoiding white space 
    • This document shows you how to avoid white spaces in your text near images or tables. Make sure to scroll through all of the pages.  
  • Oakland University Writing Center
    • The Graduate School does not provide technical assistance with MS Word or Latex. Students who are having difficulty working with Microsoft Word (page numbers, margins, section breaks, ruler usage, etc.) should contact the OU Writing Center for one-on-one tutoring. 
    • The Graduate School only reviews your document for its adherence to our formatting guidelines. Students who are having difficulty with grammar and prose should consult with the Writing Center. You can schedule an appointment with them by visiting the appointment website
    • The Writing Center does not put your document into the appropriate style and format for you. Consult with your advisor to determine which formatting style you should use. The entire document should adhere to that style, EXCEPT for those elements that are noted in our guidelines. It is your responsibility as the author of the document to ensure you follow the guidelines and the responsibility of your advisor to affirm that you have done so.

Thesis only

  •  Thesis preliminary pages
    • If you are writing a thesis you may use this template to assist in formatting the preliminary pages. This includes everything from the cover page to the beginning of chapter one. The template is only offered as a guide. Defer to your department's publishing and style guidelines when necessary. 

Dissertations only

  • Dissertation preliminary pages
    • If you are writing a dissertation you may use this template to assist in formatting the preliminary pages. This includes everything from the cover page to the beginning of chapter one. The template is only offered as a guide. Defer to your department's publishing and style guidelines when necessary.
Dissertation defense

There are three phases to a dissertation defense:

  1. Public presentation of the dissertation and defense
  2. The dissertation committee's meeting with the candidate
  3. Evaluation of the Candidate's Performance

To learn more about each phase and see an example, visit the defense announcements page. 

Publishing dissertations with ProQuest

Oakland University requires all dissertations to be published through ProQuest dissertation publishing. 

Before you upload your dissertation to ProQuest, you should have a few things at hand:

  • PDF copy of your dissertation
  • your abstract
  • the names of your committee members
  • any optional images or data that aren't part of the text but are necessary to your dissertation and
  • one to three subject categories that describe your dissertation 

The subject category list can be found on the ProQuest website. ProQuest offers two types of digital publication for your dissertation. You can also choose to let your work appear in major search engine results (ie. Google or Yahoo). 

  1. Traditional publishing: The first is a traditional option, where ProQuest makes your work widely available, you are eligible for royalties from the sale of your work, and there is no fee. 
  2. Open access publishing: The second is an open access publishing option. Publishing this way makes your work available via free global access. You will not receive royalties with this option, and ProQuest will charge you a $95 fee to publish your dissertation this way. 

Finally, you can choose to delay the availability of your work once it's published through ProQuest. If you have patents pending or other reasons you may want to delay the release of your work, you can choose to delay its publication in ProQuest for 6 months, 1 year or custom date. Students may only embargo their publication for up to 1 year. 

Once you have chosen the type of publication, ProQuest will prompt you to complete and sign a Publishing Agreement. The Agreement grants ProQuest a non-exclusive license to duplicate and distribute the dissertation and publish the abstract. You will retain the copyright to your dissertation. You also keep the right to publish the dissertation elsewhere, in book form or as separate articles. ProQuest takes care of the arrangements for (a) publishing the abstract in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global; (b) preparing a digital copy of the dissertation; and (c) depositing digital copies in various databases.

ProQuest also offers the option of acting as your agent to register the copyright, and deposit the required copies with the Copyright Office. The fee for this service is $55. Although registration is not required to preserve the author’s copyright, most copyright specialists feel that it is advisable.

Please note that if you decide not to register the copyright through ProQuest, you can register the copyright on your own at some later date.

ProQuest Dissertation Publishing has been publishing dissertations and theses since 1938. During that time, more than two million graduate works have been published from graduate schools around the world. ProQuest Dissertation Publishing has more than 700 active university publishing partners, and publishes more than 70,000 new graduate works each year.

  • One PDF copy of your dissertation.
  • Any supplemental files that are necessary to your dissertation but not included in the body of it. This may include audio or video files. 
  • ProQuest abstract (350 word maximum) that matches the abstract in your dissertation.
  • Completed and signed ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Agreement form. ProQuest will prompt you to fill out this form online while you are submitting your work. You must include the year your manuscript was completed, the degree you were awarded and the date, your department, the primary subject category, the name of your adviser or committee chair, and the names of your committee members.
  • ProQuest service fee (required for all students) = $65
  • ProQuest will submit your application to the United States Copyright Office on your behalf and then provide you with the certificate the Library of Congress will issue. If you choose to have ProQuest act as your agent in the copyright process, ProQuest will assess you an additional $55 fee. 

OU faculty, staff and students can access graduate works online through ProQuest and the Kresge Library’s Dissertations & Thesis @ OU database. When accessing from off campus, you may be prompted for a name and ID number by the library database access system. Learn how to view OU dissertations published through ProQuest. 

Ph.D. survey

The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is a federal agency survey conducted by NORC for the National Science Foundation which gathers information annually from 45,000 new U.S. research doctorate graduates.

As part of the dissertation submission process, OU Ph.D. candidates ONLY must complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorates.

Once your approved dissertation has been submitted to the thesis/dissertation coordinator, you will be asked to visit the Survey of Earned Doctorates site and register to complete the NORC survey online. Access information to NORC, including your PIN and password, will be confirmed immediately via the email address you provided as part of the online registration process.

Completion of the survey takes approximately 10 minutes. After completing the survey, please print the certificate and submit it to the thesis/dissertation coordinator to indicate the SED was completed.

Graduate School

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