You're here because you have made it to that long-awaited step, formatting and submitting your thesis. First and foremost, try not to panic. Formatting your thesis can be hard work, but rest assured, people before you have figured it out and graduated.


Pretext pages

Please email your pretext pages two weeks before your final defense to the Graduate School.

Download a template for your pretext pages.

Pretext pages template notes
  • Words in parenthesis require you to update and personalize. Please remove the parenthesis after you update the text.
  • Please keep all underlined words underlined.
  • Spell out the defense date – Month, date, year.
  • While bolding is permitted in the text body, it is not permitted in the pretext pages.
  • Pretext pages never require signatures, except for personal or departmental bound copies.
  • Copyright page, if adding a creative commons license replace All Rights Reserved with the license type.
  • If linking Table of Contents page numbers to actual page, then email entire thesis/dissertation to avoid error messages.

Formatting help

Everything you need to know about formatting is in the Thesis Guide PDF.

Final thesis and dissertation submission requirements

1. ETD submission approval form

The ETD is submitted to the Graduate School after the final thesis or dissertation is approved by your major professor and uploaded to ScholarsArchive.

ETD Submission Approval Form

2. ScholarsArchive

Submit one PDF copy of your thesis/dissertation, without signatures, electronically to ScholarsArchive. Please refer to the ScholarsArchive user guide for uploading instructions, the link to upload your thesis, and accessibility modifications. After uploading to ScholarsArchive your document undergoes a review process. Learn more about the document review process and actions you might have to perform.

Data sets can also be submitted to ScholarsArchive and linked to your thesis. Please refer to the library's website for instructions and considerations.

Survey of Earned Doctorate – Ph.D. students only

Complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorate. At the survey registration website you will be asked to provide your name, institution, department, graduate month and year, and an email address and then go directly into the survey. An email with the URL of the online survey, plus a PIN and password will be sent in case you suspend the survey and need to go back at a later time without losing previous responses. When complete, email the Certificate of Completion to the Graduate School.

Other details

The Graduate School no longer requires you to submit a paper copy of your thesis/dissertation. If you would like a personal or departmental copy bound, there are two places in downtown Corvallis: B & J Bookbinding and Cyrano’s.

Creative Commons License

Do NOT select Public Domain or CCO. You may add a Creative Commons License to your item that allows copyrighted works to be shared and re-used. Select License Type: Creative Commons or License Type: No Creative Commons License. DO NOT assign a Creative Commons license if you plan to place an embargo on your thesis or dissertation that allows only the OSU community access to your work.


You can request an embargo so your work will be accessible only to Oregon State University faculty, staff and students for up to two years. The document will not be accessible via the internet during this time. Learn more about an embargo and what your choices are on the library website.

Exit survey

All advanced degree recipients are given the opportunity to complete an exit survey that gathers information about the graduate school experience. You will receive a link to the survey approximately one month after the term ends and your degree is officially conferred. The results are completely confidential and are very important in helping us improve all aspects of graduate education at OSU. Thank you in advance for completing this important questionnaire.

To answer questions regarding copyright law, contact Michael Boock, Associate Professor, Valley Library, at 541-737-9155, or see the library's page on copyright, fair use, permissions, and authors’ rights.

You should assume that any material from other sources used in your thesis, including text, pictures, musical compositions, graphs, charts, cartoons, and so forth, is copyrighted (unless you know it to be in the public domain or under a Creative Commons license). To determine if you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner, fill out the Fair Use Documentation. If you determine that your use is fair, retain your completed documentation for reference. Although there is no formula for making a final fair use determination, the Visual Rights Association has created a best practices document, vetted by attorneys, that specifically addresses reproducing images in theses and dissertations on page 12:

The thesis or dissertation is a core degree-granting requirement, and such scholarship needs to be recorded and preserved and made broadly accessible to advance scholarly inquiry. Images incorporated into such dissertations or theses for the purpose of advancing or documenting a scholarly argument or point should be consistent with fair use, even when those theses or dissertations are then distributed through online repositories and databases. Just as printed material can be freely quoted with attributions, the inclusion of reference images (images of sufficient resolution to convey the author’s point) in academic dissertations or theses is critical to advancing our collective knowledge in the arts and sciences, and should be consistent with fair use. [emphasis added]

If you determine your use of copyrighted material does not constitute a fair use, you must obtain written permission. Send the copyright owner a concise letter specifying your intended use and allow ample time for a response. If you get no response or if you are denied permission, you must remove the copyrighted material from your document. A doctoral student should send out copyright permission requests at least four months before his or her defense date. You must submit a copy (keep the original in a safe place) of all letters granting the use of copyrighted material to the Graduate School.

In the US, if you have created an original document that is not a work for hire, it is automatically copyrighted for the period of your lifetime plus seventy years. Formal notice or registration is not necessary; nevertheless, you should include a copyright page (see figure 5) in your document to alert readers that you are the copyright owner and that you acknowledge your legal rights. You may wish to register your copyright, though this step is optional. Certificate of Registration establishes public record of your document, its copyright, and your name and address. Students who choose to register their copyright may do so online through the Copyright Office.


Ethical research practice requires you to avoid:

  • Plagiarism: failure to acknowledge the work of others by using proper citations and obtaining written permission to use copyrighted material.
  • Fabrication: the creation of fictitious research results.
  • Falsification: alteration of research results by misrepresentation or selective reporting of findings.

Thesis deadlines

At least 2 weeks Before Your Final Oral Examination

  • Use this online form to schedule your final oral examination.
  • Distribute a defendable copy of thesis to your committee.
  • Email your pretext pages to the Graduate School. Use the Thesis/Dissertation Template linked above for help with formatting.