Electronic Thesis and Dissertation

What is an Electronic Thesis or Dissertation?

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County has entered into an agreement with Proquest to accept Theses and Dissertations electronically via the World Wide Web. Students submit their documents directly to Proquest, and the Graduate School evaluates them online for formatting and legibility. If you need to make corrections, you'll receive an email from the Graduate School detailing what needs to be done. Once all corrections are made, the Graduate School accepts the document, and, provided you have passed all necessary departmental and university checks (see your department and the Graduate School for more info) for graduation, you are cleared to graduate. After this process is complete, the Graduate School "delivers" the documents officially to Proquest, who logs, indexes and publishes them on Digital Dissertations, a nationwide clearinghouse of theses and dissertations, to which the vast majority of U.S. theses and dissertations are submitted. After delivery, if you need to make corrections or changes, you will deal directly with Proquest, as administration of the documents shifts to them.



Graduate School deadlines for thesis and dissertation submission are listed here. These deadlines indicate the date by which your academically complete document must be submitted to the system. An academically complete document is one to which all examinining committee-ordered revisions have been made.

As long as your academically complete document is submitted by the deadline (even without correct Graduate School formatting), it is considered to have met the deadline. Any formatting changes requested by the Graduate School can be made after the ETD editors evaluate your document during the submission process.


Basic Graduate School Formatting Requirements

The Graduate School's requirements for all theses and dissertations are outlined in detail in the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide. Anyone submitting a Thesis or Dissertation document should consult this document prior to beginning the ETD process. The elements of style that the Graduate School is particularly concerned with are:

  • File Format: Students must submit a PDF file of their document to Proquest. Word files or RTF files can be converted to PDF using a utility on the Proquest site. A small utility called DoPDF (freeware) is available that enables users to print directly to PDF files from Word. Adobe.com also offers a free 30-day tryout of the Adobe Acrobat software, which offers similar functionality.
  • Fonts: The recommended font for Thesis and Dissertation documents is Times New Roman 12; fonts approximating Times New Roman 12 will be accepted. Footnotes, end-notes, captions, and table-text can be smaller than 12 point. Font sizes smaller than 10, however, tend to be difficult to read in a PDF document, and are thus not recommended. ANY FONT YOU USE SHOULD BE EMBEDDED INTO YOUR DOCUMENT TO ENSURE COMPATIBILITY WITH OTHER MACHINES.
  • Margins: 1.5" on the left hand side, 1" on all other sides, for all pages.
  • Page Numbering: The Graduate School has a specific page numbering system for Theses and Dissertations: No page numbering on the Abstract, Title Page, and Copyright Page; Roman Numerals, starting with "ii" on the other front matter; and Arabic Numerals, starting with "1" on the main body of the document. Instructions on page numbering schemes are included in the ETD Style Guide. Page number placement should be consistent throughout the document (i.e., consistently in the right hand bottom corner), but may be suppressed on landscape pages.
  • Front Matter: The document should include all required front matter elements, properly formatted: Abstract, Title Page, and Table of Contents. Formatting requirements are in the ETD Style Guide.
  • Back Matter: The document should include all required back matter elements, properly formatted: References / Bibliography. Formatting requirements differ from discipline to discipline.
Materials Available to Help You

Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide

The Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide outlines the electronic formatting required by the Graduate School and the ETD submission process. The Style Guide also includes a section on formatting your document with Microsoft Word.

Thesis and Dissertation Templates for MS Word

These are beta versions of documents intended to assist students in completing their Thesis or Dissertation at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The template comes pre-formatted to Graduate School standards; the Template Instructions offer detailed assistance on using the documents. If you would like to use the Template / Instructions, please download it and email any feedback to limorgan@umbc.edu. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged; the Graduate School wants to make the Thesis / Dissertation process as user-friendly as possible.

Instructions for Using the Dissertation and Thesis Templates
Full Template for Dissertations
Full Template for Theses

Thesis and Dissertation Template for LATEχ

This section is currently under development, and the LATEχ template is not yet complete

This document was created by the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics of the University of Maryland, College Park and edited by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Like the MS Word template, the document comes pre-formatted to the standards set forth in the Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide.


Thesis and Dissertation Template For LaTex


What You Need To Start the ETD Process

The following materials are necessary to begin the ETD Process:

  • A valid, current email address that you will plan to use 6 months after leaving the university.
  • Your dissertation or thesis abstract. This is limited to 250 words for a master's thesis, 350 words for a doctoral dissertation. The process will prompt you to enter the text of your abstract, so you'll need a copy aside from the copy included in the body of your text.
  • Subject categories that fit your dissertation or thesis. Example: "American Literature," "Molecular Genetics," "Philosophy," etc.
  • 6 keywords for your dissertation or thesis; this will be words researchers will use to find your document on Digital Dissertations.
  • Your adviser's full name.
  • The full text of your dissertation or thesis, in PDF format. The Proquest site has a utility for converting Microsoft Word and RTF (rich text format) files into PDF, and also hosts a tutorial on using Adobe Acrobat PDF creation software.
  • Any supplementary files that are NOT embedded already into your document (i.e., images and other graphics). This includes music / sound files, video clips, computer programs, etc.)
  • A standard fee of $55 for the archiving of the dissertation, or $45 for a thesis, is applied to all submissions. (Proquest collects this fee via credit card upon submission.)
  • A $65.00 registration of copyright fee (optional). If you would like Proquest to register your copyright with the Library of Congress, you will have the option to arrange this during the ETD submission process. (Proquest collects this fee via credit card upon submission.)

Introduction to http://dissertations.umi.com/umbc/ & Overview of Submission Process

dissertations.umi.com/umbc is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Electronic Thesis and Dissertation submission site. This site is run by Proquest, and will be the site to which you submit your dissertation / thesis.

Step 1: Create an Account. On the left side of the site's home page, click on "My Account." You will be prompted to enter an email address and some other information. After you enter this information, a password will be emailed to the account you specify.

Step 2: Log In. Once you have created your account, you can log in and begin the submission process.

Step 3: Word to PDF conversion. If you have not already created a PDF document, you can use Proquest's Word to PDF conversion tool to create one. This is located on the left side of the site.

Step 4: Click "Submit Your Dissertation." This begins the submission process. You will be asked for some information on a number of subsequent pages.

  • Submission Agreement. This grants the University and Proquest the non-exclusive right to archive, release, and reprint your work. This is a NON-EXCLUSIVE agreement; you retain all rights to publish and re-use your work, and can put restrictions on the release of your materials (this happens during the submission process). To continue with the process, you must click "Accept."
  • Contact Information. Enter current and future contact information in the spaces provided. It is imperative that this information be as accurate as possible, as the Graduate School may need to contact you in regard to your document after you leave the University. When you have entered all requisite information, click "Continue"
  • Submission Page. Enter here the information regarding your thesis or dissertation, which you should have prepared beforehand. Here you can specify sales restrictions on your document, if you so choose.
  • Copyright Application. If you so wish, Proquest can register the copyright for your thesis or dissertation on your behalf. 95% of all doctoral dissertations are registered for copyright; a smaller (yet growing) percentage of master's theses are. If you elect that Proquest will file your copyright for you, you will be required to submit a fee of $45.00, payable via credit card to Proquest. You may elect to file your own copyright with the Library of Congress, (http://www.loc.gov) or you may elect not to register copyright at all.
  • Once you have completed the submission process, click "Continue."
  • Supplementary Files. On this page you can attach any supplementary files (music, sound, video, computer programs, etc.) that accompany your dissertation. Images embedded into the body of your dissertation need not be attached in this way.
  • Order Bound Copies. This is where you can order bound copies (of varying sizes) of your thesis or dissertation, paid via credit card.
Publishing Your Document: ProQuest and Special Collections at the AOK library

When you submit your document to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's ETD site (http://dissertations.umi.com/umbc), you grant the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and ProQuest Information and Learning Services certain rights concerning the distribution and publication of your work. Please click here to see Publishing Your ETD, a document designed to assist you in making an informed decision regarding the electronic distribution of your work.