Dissertation and Thesis Information

  • Guidelines for Preparing a Thesis or Dissertation

    Procedure for the Composition of Dissertation and Thesis Committees


    The thesis or dissertation committee is composed of three or more members of the graduate faculty. The committee is responsible for approving the quality of the scholarly work, adherence to the particular style manual, and the quality of grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation used in the thesis or dissertation. The student should seek departmental approval of the thesis, including its format, as early as possible to allow ample time for revision. Students whose manuscripts require editing are encouraged to seek professional editorial assistance.

    Committee Selection and Composition

    Graduate faculty members in each program in which a thesis or dissertation is part of the degree program will develop guidelines for the selection of a thesis or dissertation advisor and the composition of the thesis or dissertation committee for that program. The guidelines will be submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee for review. The results of advisor and committee selection for a given student will be reported to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies on the Intent to produce a Thesis or Dissertation form

    Dissertation and Thesis Procedure

    This document addresses general dissertation and thesis approval procedures.

    Please see below for the chronological procedure to have your dissertation/thesis approved and finalized:

    1. Approval of the dissertation/thesis topic by your committee.
    2. Submission of the Intent to Produce a Thesis/Dissertation Form
    3. Research using human or animal subjects requires prior approval by the appropriate committee (YSU Human Subjects Research Committee or YSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee). Please see the link for the IRB review: Assistance with the process of obtaining approval may be obtained from the Office of Research. 
    4. Submit title of thesis/dissertation when completing the online graduation application. If your title is subsequently changed, please notify Angie Urmson Jeffries (ajurmsonjeffries@ysu.edu ) in the College of Graduate Studies.
    5. The oral defense is a public presentation advertised within the college.
    6. Approval of the written thesis/dissertation by your committee following the successful defense at which time the committee members must sign in original ink (not red) all signature pages that will be needed for binding (e.g.: one copy for binding-- =one original signature page). Copies of the original signature pages are not acceptable.
    7. All theses and dissertations are required to be assessed for originality and proper citation of resources utilized. The Originality of Thesis/Dissertation Verification form must accompany the signature pages submitted to the College of Graduate Studies. Dissertation and Thesis advisors can request access to iThenticate by contacting Dinah McCamon (dmccamon@ysu.edu) in the Office of Research.
    8. Submit one copy on regular paper of the thesis/dissertation, all signature pages on acid- free cotton bond paper,  and the Originaly of Thesis/Dissertation Verification form for approval to the Dean of Graduate Studies by the deadline. 
    9. After review of the dissertation/thesis by the  Dean of Graduate Studies, you will be notified that approval has been granted so that you may pick up the document with comments, signature pages and a list of items required for final submission.  
    10. Final submission items should be received within 24-48 hours of completed review.  Below are the required submission items:
      1. Entire document printed on acid free cotton bond paper. (Acceptable paper is available at any office supply store.)  Document must be printed one-sided. Color ink should be used where necessary to understand data.
      2. Binding fee receipt from the Bursar in Meshel Hall. The Bursar window is open Monday –Friday from 10AM-2PM. (YSU requires one bound copy for thesis students and two bound copies for dissertation students).  Additional personal copies are up to you, but all must have an original signed signature page.  The binding fee is $25 copy.)
      3. ETD submission form from our website
      4. The list of Ohiolink controlled subject terms can be found here.
      5. Flash drive with the original (in most cases the word version) and pdf versions of your document.
      6. Place each copy of the document in a separate 10" x 13" manila envelope with clasp and leave unsealed. Include the following information on the front of each envelope:

        Youngstown State University
        College of Graduate Studies
        Student's Name
        Home address
        Title of dissertation/thesis
        Degree and Program (as shown on Title Page)
        Month, Year degree is to be conferred

        The College of Graduate Studies will forward all paper copies to Maag Library for binding. Maag Library will contact you via postcard (in approximately 10-12 weeks) when you can pick up the bound documents.

        Failure to complete these processes will result in the student not graduating for said semester and the student will need to complete a graduation application for a later term.

        The upload to Ohiolink will likely take place after graduation. You will be notified via email when your document is ready for Ohiolink upload.

    Dissertation and Thesis Style Manual

    You should follow the style manual accepted by your department. Any questions regarding style will be forwarded to your thesis committee chair.

    Follow the style manual used by your field, as determined by your department, when writing a thesis.

    Title, Signature, and Abstract Pages
    The title page, the signature page, optional copyright page, and the one-page abstract must conform to the attached examples. If you would like to include a personal message, you may do so on a separate page, after these three/four pages and before the body of the thesis.

    Margins and Page Numbering
    Margins are 1" on the top, bottom, and right-hand side, and 1 1/2" on the left-hand side. The body of the thesis begins with page number 1. Pages prior to page 1 are numbered with Roman numerals. The first page numbered is the abstract (page iii); the title and signature pages are not numbered.

    Human Subjects/Animal Subjects
    If use of human/animal subjects was involved in your research, include documentation of approval or waiver received from the YSU Human Subjects Research Committee in the appendix of your document 



  • Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation

    Deadlines for Dissertation and Thesis Submission 

    It is the responsibility of the student and the student's advisor and committee to make arrangements to complete the dissertation/thesis, including the defense and edits, by the deadline. The student should seek departmental approval of the dissertation/thesis, including format, at an early date to allow ample time for revisions.

    Deadline for presenting one copy on regular paper and all signature pages on acid-free cotton bond paper and the Originality of Thesis/Dissertation Verification form for approval to the Dean of College of Graduate Studies is

    Fall and Spring semesters: Dissertations submitted by the Monday of 14th week of the term. Theses submitted by the Monday of the 15th week of term. 
    Summer semester: Dissertations submitted by the Monday of the 10th week of the full term. Theses submitted by the 11th week of the full term.

    Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) Submission Guidelines

    ETD Info Sessions:

    Recommended for all students submitting a thesis/dissertation

    Sessions are identical and begin at 1:00 PM in the Coffelt Hall Conference Room

    Wednesday, October 23, 2019
    Tuesday, October 29, 2019

    Introduction and Contacts:

    This document contains guidelines for formatting and submitting your thesis or dissertation to the OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Center. As a participant in OhioLINK’s ETD program, Youngstown State University releases all master’s theses and doctoral dissertations to the ETD Center for online access. The benefits of the ETD program include open access to your thesis or dissertation and open access to the knowledge produced by the YSU academic community. 

    Questions or concerns about ETD submission or any aspect of the ETD program should be addressed to: 
    Angie Urmson Jeffries 
    Senior Coordinator, Graduate Administrative Affairs 
    College of Graduate Studies 

    Kevin Whitfield
    Catalog Librarian
    Maag Library

    The ETD Process 

    The submission of your faculty approved ETD will take place after you have successfully defended your thesis or dissertation and likely after graduation.  

    Release of your ETD to the OhioLINK ETD Center can be considered as prior publication. If you are using the content of your thesis or dissertation toward another pending publication or patent, you may request a publication delay. The Publication Delay Request form should be submitted with the required submission items.

    Steps of the ETD process 

    Step 1 - After the Dean of the Graduate College reviews your thesis/dissertation, please make any revisions necessary.

    Check the formatting of your faculty approved original document so that it is in compliance with the examples and guidelines of the Thesis Procedure or Dissertation Procedure documents. For example: 

    • Title page is formatted as per the example 
    • Signature page is included without student and faculty signatures 
    • Copyright page is formatted as per the example 
    • Pages are appropriately numbered 
    • Margins are properly formatted and consistent throughout 
    • Fonts are consistent throughout 
    • If applicable, the IRB letter is included-without signature.

    Once revisions required by the Dean of the Graduate College have been made and proper formatting of the original document has been confirmed, convert your file to PDF format. 

    Step 2 - Converting your MS Word file to PDF Format 

    For assistance with PDF conversion, call an ETD Program representative.

    Some students create their theses and dissertations in multiple files for later assembly as a print document. If you choose to assemble files with different page numbering in MS Word, retaining correct formatting of page numbering can be difficult. In order to preserve the original page numbering format, it is advisable that you convert each file to PDF separately and assemble the document in Adobe Acrobat Professional following conversion.

    Following conversion, perform an overview of each page of your PDF document for possible corruption of data, paying particular attention to:

    • Formulae 
    • Data in statistical tables 

    Re-convert the original document to PDF if errors in the conversion appear.

    Submit the word document and the converted PDF on a flash drive with the required submission items.

    The College of Graduate Studies will perform an examination of the submitted PDF document to ensure compliance with the formatting guidelines of the Thesis or Dissertation Procedure documents in addition to establishing a match with your print copy.

    Be advised that the responsibility of checking the thesis or dissertation upon conversion to PDF format rests primarily with the student.

    Upon approval of the submitted PDF file, the College of Graduate Studies will apply an electronic signature to your document identifying it as approved. You will receive by e-mail:

    • Your electronically signed PDF document 
    • The link to the OhioLINK ETD Center’s submission tool. 

    In rare cases where the file is too large for e-mail attachment, you will be asked to come to the College of Graduate Studies to retrieve the file. Bring a flash drive to carry the approved file.

    Step 3 - Uploading your Document to the OhioLINK ETD Center (After you receive the email instructing you to do so)

    • Go to the OhioLINK website for electronic submission, and follow the steps to submit the “complete, finalized ETD.” https://etdadmin.ohiolink.edu/
    • Select the option for: “I am submitting: My paper’s bibliographic information, abstract, and full text.”
    • Read the terms and click on the box to agree and continue.
    • Select the school: Youngstown State University. Then click on the button “Paper Information.”
    • Complete “Information about your Paper” and click on the box to save and continue.
    • Enter name using last name then first name. Do not use all caps.
    • Enter your title. Do not use all caps.
    • Enter all of the information on this page before continuing.  Note: OhioLINK allows you to select subject headings and keywords relating to your document. The Graduate College highly recommends that you utilize these options. Entering keywords will allow people to find your document via search engines without requiring that they know your complete title.  
    • Complete “Degree Information” and click on the box to save and continue. Note: Complete the section for “Your Advisors/Committee Members”.
    • Enter as last name, first name of members.  Confirm each members terminal degree for the suffix field
    • Complete “Publication Information” and click on the box to save and continue.
    • OhioLINK Permissions: we recommend keeping the default of “Copyright, all rights reserved.” You may select one of the other options, but please read the links carefully before selecting one of those options.
    • Publication Delay: May be selected if previously approved via the Publication Delay Form.
    • UMI Publication: UMI Publication is mandatory for doctoral dissertations.  UMI Publication is option for thesis students.
    • Complete “Upload Documents” by clicking the “Browse” button, selecting your pdf file, and clicking the “Upload Now” button.
    • “Review and Complete Submission” and select “NO - Return to Editing” if there are errors or “YES – Submit My ETD Now” if everything is correct. Note: Your paper is not submitted until you click on the “YES – Submit My ETD Now” button.
    • A page will appear stating, “Submission Complete.”
    • Students will be sent an email confirmation from OhioLINK that the document was received and another once the Graduate College has approved.
  • Three Minute Thesis Competition 
Additional Information
Forms Templates General
ETD Submission  

The ETD Process

OhioLINK Subject Terms

Thesis/Dissertation Template
Thesis/Dissertation Template WITHOUT Copyright Page Template

OhioLINK ETD Center
Fees Payment   Filing for copyright
Publication delay request (optional)   Creative Commons

Intent to produce a Thesis or Dissertation


Originality of Thesis/Dissertation Verification form