Old Dominion University requires a dissertation from all doctoral candidates and a thesis from all thesis option master's candidates. The thesis/dissertation should be presented in a scholarly, well-integrated, properly documented manner, which reports the original work done by the student under the supervision of the advisory committee.
This Guide for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations has been authorized by the Graduate Administrators Council of Old Dominion University to assist graduate students and their committee members in the preparation of theses and dissertations. The primary purpose of this manual is to provide uniform standards regarding style and format while allowing enough flexibility to satisfy the acceptable practices of each academic discipline. The word "thesis" will be used in reference to general instructions equally applicable to all theses and dissertations. "Journal model" will be used in reference to general style instructions.
Procedures - Submission of Theses or Dissertations
The below content is organized in order for the standard process of submitting theses or dissertations. Please consult with the appropriate GPD for more specific procedures.
The student and committee ensure quality of content and correctness of form of the thesis. The student may be given ongoing evaluations by the committee, but final approval may be given only on the completed document. The student must apply for graduation prior to the semester of graduation and be enrolled in the University.
The finalized document must be submitted to the thesis or dissertation director a minimum of two weeks prior to the oral defense. If the director, committee, and graduate program director agree that the document is in acceptable form for presentation at an oral defense, announcements will be published and distributed.
Theses/dissertations must be defended in front of designated examining committees. The decision as to whether a student has passed or failed the examination rests with the committee, but it shall take into account the opinions of other participating faculty members. A majority of the committee, including a majority of those from the student's major department, must approve the thesis or dissertation. A unanimous decision is not necessary.
Immediately following the examination, the chair of the committee shall communicate the results to the student. In some cases, further revision of the document may be required. The Thesis/Dissertation Acceptance form and the thesis or dissertation should be transmitted to the graduate program director for review and approval.
The student is advised to begin the ProQuest ETD (Electronic Thesis & Dissertation) process but should not upload the pdf version of the thesis/dissertation. The student may create the ProQuest account and familiarize her/himself with ProQuest publishing options and complete contact information and graduate work details sections.
The Dean's Office shall review the thesis/dissertation for compliance with this guide and return it for correction if necessary. The manuscript must be corrected and resubmitted as a new document, and the Dean's Office review process begins anew. All original submission deadlines must be met during the re-submission process in order to graduate that semester. The student should not submit the thesis/dissertation to ProQuest until it has been approved by the Dean's Office. Note: Graduation will be postponed if corrections are not made on time.
The student must submit a final, error-free pdf version of the document to Proquest. Do not submit the pdf until all previous steps have been completed.
The student's department must email the Thesis/Dissertation Acceptance and Processing form (M3 or D5) and the Result of the Master's/Doctoral Examination (M2 or D3) form to the ETD Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org). Forms emailed by students will not be accepted. Once forms have been submitted, the ETD Manager will approve and send the submitted thesis to ProQuest Dissertation Publishing, and the student will receive an email confirmation.
Please Note for Capstone and Paper Submissions: Do not submit your work to ProQuest unless it is an official thesis or dissertation. Capstone projects and paper submissions should be sent to Karen Vaughan for inclusion in the ODU Digital Commons. Contact your GPD with any questions.
Human Subjects Research and Research Involving Animals, Hazardous Chemicals, Biohazard Materials, Radioactive Materials.
Any proposal for research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved according to the ODU Procedures for Review of Human Subjects Research. The process and approval must be cited in the text of the thesis.
All research involving human subjects, and certain human cultured cell lines, must conform to federal, state, and university policies providing for the protection of human subjects. While some forms of research may be classified by federal and state regulations as being exempt (i.e., survey research involving standard educational testing materials), all student research must first be reviewed and approved.
The student's thesis/dissertation director, acting as lead investigator, determines whether or not the project should qualify as exempt from Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. If the investigator believes it to be exempt and the study does not have a federal funding source, it can be submitted to the College Human Subjects Review Committee (HSRC) for review. If the College committee approves the project, the process stops there. If the College committee believes the project to be non-exempt, the project is forwarded to the IRB for review. The exception to this process is that federally funded exempt research needs to be reviewed by the IRB. These projects bypass college committees.
The student will receive an approval number that must be cited in the thesis or dissertation.
Any proposal for thesis or dissertation research involving vertebrate animal subjects, hazardous chemicals, biohazardous materials, or radioactive materials and/or radiation producing machines must be reviewed and approved according to the guidelines established by the appropriate committee. The process and approval must be cited in the text of the thesis or dissertation.
ETD (Electronic Thesis & Dissertation) Submission to ProQuest - General Specifications
All theses and dissertations must be submitted electronically to ProQuest. Fees for registering with the U.S. Copyright Office and ordering bound copies of the thesis or dissertation are payable directly to ProQuest. Click here to read through our ProQuest guide for submitting electronically.
Digitized reproductions of photographs or other materials are acceptable if there is enough resolution and contrast for viewing. The recommended minimum resolution for digitized images and/or photographs is 300dpi.
The following tabs provide guidelines for proper manuscript details.
The first tab provides the list of contents in the proper order of presentation. The following tabs provide guidelines for each section.
Dean's Office Checklist
Theses and dissertations submitted to the Dean's Office will be reviewed for acceptable execution of the following requirements: