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Graduate School

Requirements and Guidelines for Electronic Theses, Dissertations, and Reports

ETDR Requirements

Graduation Procedures and Forms

ETDR Submission


ETDR Requirements


A dissertation is required of all candidates for the award of a doctorate degree. Its purpose is to demonstrate the candidate's ability to conduct significant original research of a type appropriate to the academic discipline, to analyze the information obtained from the research, and to present the results in a form acceptable to the supervisory committee. A dissertation must be written in a form appropriate to the discipline.

A master's thesis presents the results of an original investigation of a problem or topic approved by the candidate's supervisory committee. Its purpose is to demonstrate the candidate's ability to conduct original research of a type appropriate to the academic discipline, to analyze the information obtained from the research, and to present the results in a form acceptable to the supervisory committee.

A master's report is generally shorter than a thesis, and it may present the results of a more limited original investigation. Alternatively, it may review the state of a particular scholarly or scientific problem, or especially in the case of professional programs or applied disciplines it may describe a project appropriate to the discipline.

A thesis/dissertation/report should be sufficiently complete to allow an independent investigator or scholar to repeat or verify the work leading to the author's results and conclusions. In certain cases, when manuscripts prepared for publication are to be used, the terseness required by the page restrictions of professional journals may prevent authors from meeting this condition with their publishable manuscripts alone. In such cases, the thesis/dissertation/report must include additional materials (in appendices, if desired) that will ensure independent reproducibility; e.g., tables, descriptions of methods of unproductive or unsuccessful explorations, derivations, and so forth.

An abstract is a summary of the thesis/dissertation/report to inform prospective readers about its contents. As a brief summary of the candidate's principal research findings, the abstract should state the problem being investigated and outline the method of investigation, the results obtained, and the conclusions reached. In writing the abstract, candidates should keep in mind that it functions chiefly as a guide to students and scholars surveying research in their field. As such, it should provide a concise guide to the entire study it represents. The abstract should not include internal headings or parenthetical citations of items listed in the bibliography/list of references. Figures and tables should not appear in the abstract.

Remember accuracy and consistencies are important matters. These qualities make the thesis/dissertation/report a usable research tool for other readers.

Required Sections

ETDRs consist of required and optional sections. These sections must be arranged in the order shown below. The ETDR templates contain a framework of all sections arranged in the required order.

Doctoral students only:

  • Abstract title page - Title must be identical to title on title page.
  • Abstract – This page appears twice for doctoral students. This page should be no more than 350 words. Do not use any type of symbols on this page.
  • Continue as listed below

Master and doctoral students:

  • Title page – For doctoral students, title must be identical to title listed on the abstract title page.
  • Copyright page (Optional)
  • Abstract – This page should be no more than 350 words. Do not use any type of symbols on this page.
  • Table of Contents – All entries in the table of contents must match the text according to wording and page numbering.
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • List of Symbols
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Nomenclature
  • List of Supplemental Files (multimedia objects or files)
  • Acknowledgements (Optional)
  • Dedication (Optional)
  • Preface (Optional)
  • Introduction (Optional)
  • Text/Chapters –The text should be divided into parts and/or chapters.
  • Conclusion –Continue Arabic numbers.
  • References and/or bibliography
  • Appendix or Appendices, as needed
Page numbering

Page numbers must appear centered or right justified. Pages must be numbered according to the chart shown below

Table 1. ETDR page numbering requirements

ETDR Section

Page Number Displayed

Page Count

Preliminary pages (all pages before the Table of Contents)No. These pages are counted, but a page number is not displayed.Begins with the first page in your document.
From the first page of the Table of Contents up to but not including the first page of Chapter 1.Lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc.).Continues from Preliminary pages
From the first page of Chapter 1 to the end of the documentArabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.).Begins with "1" on first page of Chapter 1

NOTE: If your ETDR has an Introduction, page numbering should begin with Arabic number 1 on the first page of the Introduction.



Standard 12 or 10-point font size is preferred, but non-standard fonts and size may be used if they are fully legible and acceptable to the committee and the Graduate School. The font and size should be consistent throughout the document. The font and spacing should be sufficient for someone reading the document on a computer screen. If the document is printed, the reader needs to be able to see what is shown without difficulty.

Line spacing

Standard double spacing for the text is preferred, 1. 5 is acceptable. Long quotations, footnotes, multi-line captions, and bibliographic entries may be single-spaced. Double spacing should be used between footnotes and bibliographic entries.


All margins should be 1". To allow for binding a personal paper copy, the left margin may be set to 1.5".

Title page

You must use the form of your name as it is recorded officially at Kansas State University. Author and title will appear in upper case. Greek letters, chemical names, and other unusual characters must be spelled out.


Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) or author/year may be used to indicate an in-text citation. Citations may be numbered consecutively throughout the entire manuscript or consecutively within each chapter. References or notes can be placed at the bottom of the page (footnotes), at the end of a chapter, or at the end of the document (endnotes). Numbering and placement must be consistent throughout the document.

A thesis/dissertation/report should be written in a style appropriate to the discipline represented. The faculties of individual departments or programs may establish policies regarding style for their students. In the absence of detailed specifications, the student's committee is responsible for defining the style used. Form, organization, and bibliographical style may be that of pertinent professional publications.

Published manuscripts

If approved by the student's committee, previously published manuscripts in the author's name may be incorporated, if it meets the general requirements for permanence, copying, and binding. Such printed material may be incorporated with supplementary typed or reproduced copy as needed. Any tables or figures in the previously published materials must be numbered in accordance with the rest of the dissertation. It must be paginated consistently with the rest of the document. Only one page number may appear on each page and that is the page number within the final document. Documents must not include material restricted from publication.


For a thorough overview of copyright issues, see the excellent manual, Copyright Law & Graduate Research, written by Kenneth D. Crews. Dr. Crews is a professor in the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis and director of the Copyright Management Center at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He has written extensively on copyright policies and fair use at U.S. research universities.

See the copyright section of the ETDR site for details on including a copyright page in your ETDR, options for registering your ETDR for copyright, and using copyrighted material in your ETDR.


The purpose of sequestration is to delay for a limited time public dissemination of patentable or otherwise proprietary or sensitive materials. The student and his/her major professor may request that the University act to protect the student's rights concerning the dissertation, thesis, or report by temporarily sequestering the work. Approval must be obtained from the Dean of the Graduate School at least 30 days prior to graduation. To request possible sequestration, please complete the required Request to Sequester an Electronic Thesis, Dissertation, or Report (PDF).

If the dissertation, thesis, or report does not contain material believed to be patentable, the student's major professor must send a Request to Sequester (PDF) an ETDR form directly to the Graduate School. If the dissertation, thesis, or report does contain material believed to be patentable, the student's major professor notifies the University Patent Advisory Committee. The chairperson of the University Patent Advisory Committee notifies the major professor of the committee's decision. The major professor must send a Request to Sequester (PDF) an ETDR form directly to the Graduate School.

If approved by the Dean of the Graduate School, the Graduate School defers electronic submission of the dissertation, thesis, or report. In place of electronic submission, a disk or CD of the PDF file(s) is submitted to the Graduate School. The disk or CD is stored in a secure location in the Graduate School during the period of sequestration. However, this procedure involves no delay in the conferral of the degree. The student whose dissertation, thesis, or report has been approved for sequestration still deposits with the Graduate School the normal fees for graduation.

Sequestration is normally limited to four years. Nevertheless, under compelling circumstances that require continued protection, the Dean of the Graduate School may approve further sequestration at the student's or major professor's request on a year-by-year basis for an additional three years.

If the request for sequestration is approved, the Graduate School provides the student a preliminary receipt for the required disk or CD after it is submitted. After the sequestering period, Graduate School provides the student and major professor a receipt indicating the ETDR file(s) have been made available through K-State Research Exchange and submitted to UMI/ProQuest.

As long as the disks or CD remain in the secure location within the Graduate School, access to them may be obtained only with the student's and major professor's written permission authorizing the type of access. On each occasion when the document is reviewed, it will not leave the Graduate School and the user must sign a form on the same day on which he or she uses them indicating he/she had access to the document.

At the end of the sequestration period, the University has the right to disseminate information from the dissertation, thesis, or report as an original contribution to knowledge. For the dissertations, publication normally will be accomplished by electronically submitting the work to UMI/ProQuest for microfilming.


The patent system in the United States, as elsewhere, has as its purpose "to promote the progress of science and useful arts." This is certainly a goal of higher education as well and in no way conflicts with the purposes of Kansas State University. The filing of a patent application opens the door to commercial use, whereas the simple act of disclosing the invention to the public frequently acts as a bar to commercialization. The interests of the public are best served in many cases by the act of obtaining patent protection so that the invention may be developed for public use.

The policies of the Kansas Board of Regents provide that all inventions developed under university auspices belong to the university, except as reserved through agreements with outside sponsors. To handle such matters the Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) was established, and it retains counsel for patent prosecution, executes licenses for production, and distributes royalties to inventors. Those who may have questions about the potential patentability of their work should consult with the KSURF, KEC Building, 1500 Hayes Dr., Manhattan, KS 66502-5068. The phone number is (785) 532-5720.

Binding personal copies

See Personal Bound Copies for options on how to purchase a bound paper copy of your ETDR.

Graduation Procedures and Forms

 KSIS Graduation Application

All candidates for master and doctorate degrees must submit the "graduation application" via the student center in iSIS. In order to submit the "graduation application" log into iSIS, go to "Academics" in the "Student Center". Open "Other Academic" list box and click "Apply for Graduation". Step by step instructions are also available in iSIS Help.

Approval to Schedule Final Examination form

The Approval to Schedule Final Examination form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School at least ten working days prior to the scheduled final examination date. After receipt of the form, the Graduate School will send an email to the student and major professor verifying whether degree requirements have been satisfied. Problems noted in the email must be resolved before the final examination ballot is issued.
Masters Approval to Schedule Final Examination form
Doctoral Approval to Schedule Final Examination form

Final examination ballot

Prior to the final examination the final examination ballot is sent as an email attachment to the major professor for master students and to the assigned outside chairperson for doctorate students. The ballot will need to be printed and taken to the final examination. Signatures will need to be applied once the final examination is completed. Submit the final examination ballot to the Graduate School immediately following the final examination.

ETDR ballot

For students completing an ETDR, the ETDR Ballot is sent as an e-mail attachment to your major professor prior to your final examination. The ballot will need to be printed and signatures of the supervisory committeewill need to be obtained once all requested ETDR revisions have been completed and approved. Submit the ETDR ballot to the Graduate School prior to the ETDR submission.

Diploma information

Complete the diploma information via the student center in iSIS. List the name to appear on diploma and a mailing address for the diploma. Diplomas are mailed eight weeks after graduation. To receive diploma via express mail please go to eShipGlobal, a University Express Mail Service now available through the K-State Graduate School for mailing of international diplomas. Diplomas can now be mailed to an international address much faster and more reliably. Students must first register and pay delivery fees to eShipGlobal if they wish to use this service. To have the diploma mailed internationally with eShipGlobal, please review the service.

Survey of Earned Doctorates

For doctoral students only. Doctoral students must complete the survey as part of their degree requirements. The survey gathers data from all research doctorate graduates each year on their educational history, sources of support, and post graduation plans. The profiles of doctorate recipients that emerge from these data serve policymakers at the federal, state, local, and university levels. To complete the survey, register at the Survey of Earned Doctorates site. Provide your name, institution, department, graduation month and year, and an e-mail address. The URL, PIN, and password needed to complete the survey will be sent to you by e-mail.

Graduation/Commencement deadlines

The University establishes dates that are considered official graduation dates for students completing all requirements for either the Master's degree or the Doctoral degree. Official diplomas issued by the Graduate School for the degree earned reflect the appropriate date of graduation.

The Graduate School recognizes graduates at one of two semi-annual University Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May and December. Formal participation in a University Commencement ceremony is reserved for those students who have satisfied all requirements for the degree. They must have submitted all materials, including their ETDR and notification of intent to participate in the ceremony, to the Graduate School by the specified deadline dates. See the Degree Completion & Commencement Information page for details on deadlines for specific semesters.

ETDR Submission

Submission checklist

The ETDR Submission Checklist is available to lead students through each step of the submission process. The checklist provides detailed instructions on how to submit your ETDR to K-REx and UMI.

K-State Research Exchange (K-REx)

All graduate students completing the thesis, dissertation, report option must submit their ETDRs through an online submission system within the K-State Research Exchange (K-REx). Detailed instructions on the K-REx submission process are available.

ETDRs must be submitted in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). In addition to the PDF, students may also submit additional files (audio, video, data sets, etc.).


After their K-REx submission has been approved, doctoral students must submit their dissertations to UMI/ProQuest. Detailed instructions on the UMI/ProQuest submission process are available.


After your ETDR has been submitted and approved, there are additional steps to complete.


Students pay a $100 ETDR submission fee. Other fees for UMI/ProQuest copyright registration may apply. See the Pay Appropriate Fees page for details.

ETDR Survey

Students who have submitted an ETDR are encouraged to complete this survey. The ETDR Survey provides valuable feedback and helps us to improve the ETDR program.

Exit Survey

The Exit Survey provides an assessment of your advanced studies at K-State and assists the Graduate School in improving graduate education.

Alumni Association

Update your contact information with the K-State Alumni Association.