Thesis & Dissertation

Many Master’s programs at NC A&T require a formal thesis and all Ph.D. programs require a dissertation. The main purpose of writing a thesis or dissertation is to develop original research and scholarship into a well-crafted document that can be shared with peers and colleagues. The Graduate College is responsible for ensuring that theses and dissertations written by our graduates adhere to consistent formatting and quality guidelines. Following graduation, the final thesis/dissertation document will be published electronically to the ProQuest/UMI Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Database.

At the bottom of this page, you will find numerous resources to help you successfully write and format your document, including the Thesis/Dissertation Handbook, Word and LaTeX Templates, and several web-based guides.

**Check out our new FORMATTING GUIDELINES page for formatting details and video tutorials**

Thesis/Dissertation Deadlines (Click Buttons Below to Expand)

Fall 2017

Friday, September 1: Last day to apply for Fall 2017 graduation
Friday, October 20: DEFENSE DEADLINE (Last day to defend Thesis/Dissertation) **WARNING** This deadline is only three days before the critical SUBMISSION DEADLINE. It is recommended that you defend earlier than this.
Monday, October 23: SUBMISSION DEADLINE (Last day to submit Thesis/Dissertation to the Graduate College for review--see section “How to Submit . . .” below for details. At this point, the document must be finalized, defended, committee-approved, and properly formatted)
Monday, November 20: SIGNATURE PAGE DUE (Last day to submit final copy of Signature Page complete with original signatures of major professor, committee members, and department chairperson. The Signature Page must be submitted to the Graduate College's main office--120 Gibbs Hall).

How to Submit Thesis/Dissertation to the Graduate College (Click Buttons Below to Expand)

PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS BELOW CAREFULLY. (You may also wish to view our Video Guide for the Submission Process.)

[NEW POLICY] Report of Thesis/Dissertation Committee Composition

All thesis and dissertation students must have the "Report of Thesis/Dissertation Committee Composition" filled out and submitted to the Graduate College as early as possible (ideally, just after the committee members are determined). For both thesis and dissertation students, the Graduate College will confirm whether or not the chosen committee members  are acceptable. For dissertation students ONLY, the Graduate College will also assign an additional committee member, the "Graduate Faculty Representative," who will offer dissertation feedback and participate in the Oral Defense.

Registration & Application for Graduation

You must be registered for the semester in which you intend to graduate (there is a one-credit thesis/dissertation option if this is your only remaining requirement). You must also apply for graduation--please see the Graduation Application Information Page for details.

Oral Defense Form

Following a successful thesis/dissertation defense, all committee members as well as the department chair must sign the “Oral Defense Form”. A SCANNED COPY OF THE SIGNED ORAL DEFENSE FORM MUST BE SENT TO DR. SHEA BIGSBY ( DIRECTLY FROM EITHER THE DEPARTMENT CHAIR OR THE MAJOR PROFESSOR (COMMITTEE CHAIR). PAPER COPIES OF THIS FORM ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTED BY THE GRADUATE COLLEGE. The form should be sent no more than 48 hours after the Defense. The email to Dr. Bigsby should use the subject line “Student Name Thesis (or Dissertation) Oral Defense Form" (e.g. John Johnson Thesis Oral Defense Form).

Research Compliance Clearance

All theses and dissertations must receive formal research compliance clearance from the Office of Research Compliance & Ethics. To obtain research compliance clearance, the student should go to the Research Compliance Page, read the instructions, and submit the form as directed. Please allow at least three business days for a response. The Office of Research Compliance & Ethics will send the Research Clearance Letter to the student’s email. The Research Clearance Letter must be sent as part of the DOCUMENT SUBMISSION (see next step below).

Submission of Documents to Graduate College

When the document is ready to be submitted to the Graduate College for review, the following items must be sent directly to DR. SHEA BIGSBY ( as email attachments (all three attachments must be sent together in one email). THE EMAIL MUST COME DIRECTLY FROM THE MAJOR PROFESSOR (COMMITTEE CHAIR) BY THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE. The email subject line should read "Student Name Thesis (or Dissertation) Submission (e.g. John Johnson Thesis Submission).
1. A PDF copy of the approved version of the thesis/dissertation.
2. The Research Clearance Letter (see "Research Compliance Clearance" above)
3. A scanned copy of the completed and signed Thesis/Dissertation Checklist (available HERE or under “Resources” below). The Checklist form must be signed by the student, the major professor, and the department chair.

ETD Submission

After the "Submission of Documents to Graduate College" is completed, the student will receive a message requesting that the PDF document now be uploaded to the ProQuest ETD (Electronic Thesis and Dissertation) Database, where it will be reviewed by the Graduate School. Note that the PDF file uploaded to ProQuest must be IDENTICAL to the advisor-approved PDF file emailed to Dr. Bigsby. For help with ETD submission, see the guide below (“How to Submit Electronic Thesis/Dissertation”) or see this Video Guide to ETD Submission. Once the ProQuest ETD submission has been completed, the Graduate College will review the document and request formatting changes as needed. The student will have ONE OPPORTUNITY to make the required changes and upload the revised, final PDF to their ProQuest account.

Signature Page

The final step is to submit a signed hard copy of the CORRECTLY-FORMATTED Signature Page (the second page of the thesis or dissertation). See the template and handbook below for formatting requirements. This page must be signed by the Major Professor, the Committee Members, and the Department Chair and then submitted to the Graduate College Office (120 Gibbs Hall). We will secure the signature of the Graduate Dean.


If you have additional questions, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Writing Services, Dr. Shea Bigsby, at