Theses and Dissertations: Submission Deadline, Review and Public Disclosure (G)

Formatting the Thesis

A thesis, when required for a master’s program, must be written on a subject approved by the candidate’s advisory committee. The thesis must be the student’s own work and must demonstrate a capacity for research and independent thought. Refer to the Master’s Degreesection for details.

Thesis formatting guidelines may be found at Students must follow the style manual recommended by their academic program. All work must be properly cited and permission to use copyrighted materials must be obtained prior to submission.

Formatting the Dissertation

A dissertation is required for the PhD and EdD degrees and must be written on a subject approved by the candidate’s advisory committee. The dissertation must include the results of original and significant investigation, and it must be the candidate’s own work. Refer to the Doctoral Degree section for details.

Dissertation formatting guidelines may be found at Students must follow the style manual recommended by their academic program. All work must be properly cited and permission to use copyrighted materials must be obtained prior to submission.

About Third-Party Copyright

If your work contains material that has been copyrighted by another party, you may need to seek permission to use the material in your thesis or dissertation. Examples of materials for which you would need to seek copyright permission include but are not limited to: third-party software, images, graphics, large portions of text and maps. If copyright permission is needed, you must submit written approval for the use of the copyrighted material along with your thesis or dissertation.

Substituting for Copyrighted Materials in Theses and Dissertations

The  Office of Graduate Studies encourages students to seek permission to use copyrighted material in their theses and dissertations. Your work is published after it is submitted in approved form to the Office of Graduate Studies, and it will be available to audiences who wish to know more about the subject you investigate. The more full and complete the thesis or dissertation, the better the experience for your reader and therefore the better the response to the fruits of your hard work. However, if you are unable or unwilling to obtain copyright permission for some of the materials in your research, you may substitute for the copyrighted material as described below.

Acceptable substitutions include:

  • Redrawing or tracing of maps, images, graphics, etc
  • References to URLs, printed documents, or physical locations where the copyrighted material can be found

A student whose thesis or dissertation has had copyrighted material removed prior to submission must have his or her advisor sign a document reading:

[Student’s name] has removed copyrighted material from the copy of the thesis or dissertation submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for electronic publication. I certify that:

  • I approve the thesis or dissertation in this form;
  • The student has presented accurate information as to where the removed, copyrighted material can be found

Advisor's name (signature line) Date (date line)

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Submission Deadline for a Thesis or Dissertation Following Committee Approval

Each semester the Graduate School establishes semester deadlines for the Report of the Examining Committee (master’s & EdS students), Report Dissertation Defense (doctoral students), and submission of theses, dissertations and supplemental materials. Those deadlines may be found on the Office of Graduate Studies' page.

After successful defense of the thesis or dissertation, students must comply with their academic program’s and/or the International Center’s enrollment requirements.

Generally, based upon input from the thesis/dissertation committee, a student will make corrections to a thesis/dissertation. The student will  prepare the final document and supplemental materials in the required format and submit everything to the Graduate School by the semester deadline. In the event the student misses the current semester deadline, the student is required to submit the final dissertation or thesis by the end of the following semester after a successful defense. If an extension is needed, the student’s advisor and program’s DGS must submit a request for an extension letter to the associate vice chancellor for graduate studies.  

Submission Requirements and Forms

A thesis or dissertation must be presented before the deadline to the Office of Graduate Studies on a high-quality CD. The thesis or dissertation must be contained in a Portable Document Format (PDF) file, with the appropriate margins and formatting.  Additional electronic files must be included on the CD as PDF documents with the appropriate file name. If all files will not fit on one CD, a DVD or multiple CDs may be used, as long as no single file is split between CDs.

Additional Documents that Accompany the Electronic Submission

Several other documents must be submitted electronically or on CD, including the original signed Approval of the Committee page, paper copies of the Short Academic Abstract and Title Page, fees forms, release forms, and copyright agreement forms. Some forms are required on paper. See for more information.  

Review of Theses and Dissertations by the Graduate School

Before a manuscript can be accepted for publication in scholarly journals, it is examined by editorial board members, for conformance to specific format style guidelines in addition to validity of content. In much the same manner, MU Graduate Studies' staff, acting as an editorial board, reviews every submitted thesis and dissertation for conformance to University guidelines. Failure to meet the appropriate standards will result in the rejection of your work.

Copies of Theses and Dissertations

The MU library catalogs all thesis and dissertations in the Merlin system. To locate a thesis or dissertation go to the MOSpace repository. 

Specific Questions about MU Theses or Dissertations?

Specific questions should be directed to the academic advising staff of the Office of Graduate Studies, 210 Jesse Hall, (573) 882-9575 or (573) 882-3885 or 1-800-877-6312.

Thesis and Dissertation Research Must be Open to Public Disclosure

Students are prohibited from using research (data, results, methods or other content) in their theses or dissertations that could restrict subsequent publication or public disclosure of these documents.

Examples of restricted information include classified or proprietary materials. It is important to note that these restrictions do not apply to non-thesis or non-dissertation research that is approved by the student’s advisor and allowed by University of Missouri policies. Questions regarding the applicability of this policy to thesis or dissertation content should be referred to the Office of Graduate Studies.

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