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Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Submission Process

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Starting on August 1, 2012 all thesis and dissertations must be submitted, approved and accessed electronically. Electronic formatting provides several benefits including: improved access to research, expense to authors, better presentation of research, and environmental sustainability. In accordance with this process, all students completing thesis and dissertations must submit the paper in the Microsoft Word format. After thesis and dissertations receive final approval from the Dean of the Office of Graduate Studies, they are transmitted to the Library for cataloging.

Submission of The ETD
As indicated above effective August 1, 2012 the Graduate School accepts only electronic searchable MS Word versions of thesis and dissertation papers. However, specific degree programs may also require hard copies for internal purposes (all students must check with their respective program to determine if hard copies of the thesis and dissertation are required).

The School of Graduate Studies will present a series of ETD Information/Submission Workshops in September which will include a demonstration on submitting a thesis or dissertation; and will also provide an overview on the ETD system and procedures. The process of submission, policies and procedures will be facilitated via the web. Workshop is a requirement before submission process can begin.

Submission Steps:
  1. Submit an electronic draft of your Thesis or Dissertation to your advisor and committee in MS Word format. It is recommended that all students submitting thesis or dissertations seek professional assistance with editing and formatting.

  2. After review and approval by the advisor and thesis/dissertation committee the student must email an approved electronic draft, in MS Word format, using their bulldog email account, to Students must also submit, to the Graduate School, as a hard copy, a signed copy of the Thesis/Dissertation Format Sanction Form (this form confirms that the advisor and the thesis/dissertation committee have reviewed the paper and ensure that the paper meets the specifications outlined in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide) signed by their thesis/dissertation advisor and submitted to the Graduate School.

  3. Upon receipt of the electronic thesis/dissertation and the supporting Thesis/Dissertation Format Sanction Form the Graduate School will submit the papers to the Alabama A&M University Writing Review Center for review of grammar and punctuation (Please note this review is not comprehensive and will only indicate notable problems that are found in the paper). As mentioned previously, it is recommended that all students submitting thesis or dissertations seek professional assistance with editing and formatting. Students who submit papers that exhibit notable problems a second time during a given semester must wait until the next academic semester before resubmitting.

  4. After review by the Writing Review Center, the Graduate School will send a copy of the paper to the thesis or dissertation advisor for distribution to the student (It is advised that, at this point, advisors should meet with student, if needed, to develop a plan of action and a time-line for correcting grammatical and stylistic issues) .

  5. After review by advisor, students must email copies of the thesis or dissertation in searchable MS Word format to (students with papers which have notable grammatical and style problems as indicated above must repeat steps 1-3)

  6. At this point, thesis and dissertation papers are checked to ensure that they comply with the relevant format specifications outlined in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide and conform to the style in which their paper is written. Student papers which exhibit problems at this stage are sent back to the thesis and dissertation advisor for distribution to the student. It is advised that at this point advisors should meet with student to develop a plan of action and a time-line for correcting formatting issues. Upon making the necessary corrections students must repeat steps 5-6. However under no circumstance, will a paper be reviewed more than twice in a semester.

  7. Assuming the oral defense is successful, the student should make any changes or corrections requested by the committee and convert final copy into a searchable PDF format. The student should then goto,, click on the “Submit my dissertation/thesis” link and as instructed, create an account. After the student has activated the account, the student can log in and follow the instructions to upload the PDF Thesis/Dissertation. (Graduate School will automatically be notified of the Thesis/Dissertation submission). One hardcopy title page, on plain paper, is required and should contain the signatures of all members of the thesis or dissertation committee. The title page of the electronic thesis does not need to be signed but should have the names of the committee typed in the appropriate underlined spaces and a blank underlined space should be left for the Dean’s electronic signature.

  8. At the conclusion of this process the Graduate School will forward an electronic copy of the thesis or dissertation to the Cataloger Librarian in The Drake Learning Resources Center where it is catalogued and archived.

Contact Information

School of Graduate Studies
300 Patton Building
P: 256.372.5277
F: 256.372.5269

Mailing Address:
School of Graduate Studies
Alabama A&M University
P.O. Box 998
Normal, AL 35762