Graduate School

O'Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2700
gradinfo@oakland.edu

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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. You are encouraged to plan ahead and submit your thesis/dissertation as early as possible to ensure ample time for necessary revisions. Appointments fill quickly, so please reserve an appointment time early.

Defense Announcements
Format approval process

When submitting a thesis or dissertation, you must meet with the thesis and dissertation team two times. Once for format review prior to defense and once for a review following defense and the document is completed. Students whose documents include few tables and figures may only need one appointment.

Meetings are by appointment only and held virtually via Zoom. With permission the Zoom appointments will be recorded for the student to play back at a later date. It is important you review the guide for the preparation of theses and dissertations prior to your appointment.

Scheduling appointments

Students schedule their own appointments from an online calendar. Please consider the following when making an appointment:

  1. Only one appointment per day per student
  2. Same day appointments will not be scheduled. Appointments should be scheduled by 4:55 PM the day before at the latest.
  3. Students receive a pre and post-defense review. Any additional meetings are at the discretion of the reviewer and need to be coordinated with the document reviewer prior to scheduling.

To schedule an appointment find an available time slot and click on it (be sure you are logged into your OU gmail account when you do so). When you save the appointment it will be placed on your OU calendar. Please read the description as it has important information related to your appointment.

Appointment times fill up fast, especially near deadline periods. Schedule your appointment for enough in advance.

If you run into a problem scheduling an appointment please contact us at gradformatting@oakland.edu.

First appointment - pre-defense review

Your first appointment is for an initial format review prior to your defense. Before your review appointment, you should thoroughly examine your thesis or dissertation for format compliance with the guide for the preparation of theses and dissertations and make sure any formatting errors have been resolved.

During your format review appointment, the thesis and dissertation coordinator will review all sections of your thesis or dissertation (preliminary pages, chapters, appendices and references) and identify any formatting revisions that need to be made prior to your second appointment.

You will be asked to submit a copy of your thesis or dissertation as either a PDF or Word document at least 3 days before your first appointment. This is so we have time to review it prior to your appointment.


Second appointment - post-defense review

Your second appointment is for a final review after your defense is complete and all changes have been made to the document. Your committee chair must submit an approval memo confirming the document is complete prior to this appointment. This appointment should take place before the posted approval deadline.

If the document conforms with the format guidelines at the completion of the meeting the Graduate School's thesis and dissertation coordinator will be asked to review it for final format approval (this may take a day or two). When your document obtains format approval you will receive instructions via email outlining how to complete the final submission requirements (e.g. printing and binding). All submission requirements must be completed by the posted deadline (Master's student deadlines, PhD student deadlines). You may not submit your thesis or dissertation for printing until you receive format approval.


Follow-Up appointments and reviews

We recognize some thesis and dissertations are more complex than others or changes can happen at the last minute. Some students may require more than two appointments. Students can request additional appointments if necessary, however, scheduling priority, especially near submission deadlines, will be given to students who have yet to have their first or second appointment. If we are unable to schedule a time, we will review your changes and provide feedback via email. However, this can take 2-3  business days, so please be sure to give yourself enough time leading up to deadlines if additional guidance is needed.

Submit all materials electronically to:

Documents & templates
  • Guide for the preparation of theses and dissertations 
  • Microsoft word formatting tutorials
    • This document includes step-by-step how-to for formatting a thesis or dissertation in Microsoft Word. 
  • Most common format errors found in theses or dissertations
    • This document lays out the most common errors the Thesis and Dissertation Coordinator finds in theses and dissertations. Once you've finished formatting your thesis or dissertation, look over this document and check for these errors. 
  • Table of contents - BIO
    • If you are earning a PhD or MS in Biology, all of your preliminary pages will follow the STEM template for your degree level. However, your Table of Contents will look slightly different. Refer to this template when creating your Table of Contents.
  • Avoid 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. 
  • Appendices 
    • This document shows you how to space and format appendix cover pages. 
  • Chapter headings - Non-STEM 
    • 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. 
  • Chapter headings - STEM
    • This document shows you how to format and space section and subsection headings in STEM fields dissertations and thesis. 

Thesis only

  • Thesis process flow 
  • Thesis cover page template
    • Use this template to create the cover page for your thesis. You need to submit 2 copies of this cover page to the Thesis and Dissertation Coordinator at your format approval appointment. Do not include this cover page in your thesis or dissertation.
  • Thesis preliminary pages - STEM
    • If you are writing a thesis in a STEM area, use this template to format your preliminary pages, including your title page, table of contents, acknowledgements, and list of figures. You can begin typing your thesis into this template at the end of the preliminary pages. 
  • Thesis preliminary pages - Non-STEM
    • If you are writing a thesis in a Non-STEM area, use this template to format your preliminary pages, including your title page, table of contents, acknowledgements, and list of figures. You can begin typing your thesis into this template at the end of the preliminary pages. 

Dissertations only

  • Dissertation process flow 
  • Dissertation cover page template 
    • Use this template to create the cover page for your dissertation. You need to submit 2 copies of this cover page to the Thesis and Dissertation Coordinator at your format approval appointment. Do not include this cover page in your thesis or dissertation. 
  • Dissertation preliminary pages - STEM
    • If you are writing a dissertation in a STEM area, use this template to format your preliminary pages, including your title page, table of contents, acknowledgements, and list of figures. You can begin typing your dissertation into this template at the end of the preliminary pages. 
  • Dissertation preliminary pages - Non-STEM
    • If you are writing a dissertation in a Non-STEM area, use this template to format your preliminary pages, including your title page, table of contents, acknowledgements, and list of figures. You can begin typing your dissertation into this template at the end of the preliminary pages. 
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 2 years. 

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.

ProQuest SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS 
  • 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
OPTIONAL ProQuest PUBLISHING SERVICES
  • 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. 
ACCESS TO OU DISSERTATIONS PUBLISHED WITH ProQuest

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
O’Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4482
(248) 370-2700
gradstudy@oakland.edu