3.7 Theses and Dissertations

A. Theses
B. Dissertations
C. Submission Procedures for Theses and Dissertations
D. Thesis and Dissertation Workshops
E. Publication in Compliance with Nondisclosure Provisions

A. Theses
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 Graduate Programs (DGP). Information on form and organization of the thesis, in addition to other regulations, is presented in the University's on-line Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Guide.

B. Dissertations
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. All doctoral students are required to submit a dissertation in accordance with the ETD Guide. Publication is expected and encouraged.

C. Submission Procedures for Theses and Dissertations

  1. Members of the advisory committee must give their approval or the thesis/dissertation prior to submission to the library for publication. The thesis or dissertation must be formatted according to NC State required and optional formatting guidelines as provided in the ETD Guide;
  2. After receiving an unconditional pass on the final oral exam, the student must submit the thesis/dissertation electronically to the Graduate School following procedures as outlined on the ETD website.
  3. Submission of a thesis/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.

    There is an additional deadline each semester as follows:

    Deadline to graduate but not to register for a semester. Student must pass the final oral exam unconditionally, or pass conditionally and clear the conditions, and also have the thesis review with the Thesis Editor by the last working day before the first day of class for that semester. If he/she does so, the student avoids registering for that semester or paying tuition for that semester.
  4. International students should reconfirm their visa status with the Office of International Services.
  5. 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.
  6. Students CANNOT submit their thesis/dissertation until they have unconditionally passed the defense. Submission is electronic and follows a detailed process. It is IMPERATIVE that all students be advised to view the ETD Guide and review all the information on the ETD website to avoid any misunderstandings or delays in processing their submissions.
  7. At the time that the doctoral student submits their dissertation to the Graduate School, the student is also required to submit the required forms and fee as outlined on the ETD website.
  8. 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 and fee have been completed and returned to the Graduate School.
  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. A microfiche copy is available in the library.

D. Thesis and Dissertation Workshops
The ETD website hosts the online ETD workshop videos. The Thesis Editor also holds in-person ETD workshops for Master's and doctoral students to assist them in following the numerous administrative regulations in completing and submitting their theses and dissertations and to receive step-by-step instructions on ETD submission. The in-person workshop schedule is available on the ETD website, and students may reserve a slot in one of the Workshops by following the directions outlined therein. It is highly recommended that students review the ETD Guide and view/attend the workshop.

E. Publication in Compliance with Nondisclosure Provisions
Theses and dissertations containing disclosures of patentable discoveries may be held by the Graduate School 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.