MS Student

When scheduling their final oral examinations, master’s students are required to submit the pretext pages of their thesis to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination. Pretext pages include the abstract, copyright (optional), title page, approval page, acknowledgment page, contribution of authors, table of contents, list of figures, tables, appendices, dedication (optional), and preface (optional). It is expected that students will distribute examination copies to all their committee members, including the Graduate Council Representative, sufficiently early to permit thorough review of the thesis prior to the student’s final oral examination.

Within six weeks after the final oral examination, one printed and one electronic final copy of the thesis, including copies of the abstract, must be submitted to the Graduate School office. If these copies are submitted after the initial six-week period, the student may be subject to re-examination. Please refer to the Graduate School's Web site for complete details.

The student must obtain on the thesis approval page the original signatures of the major professor and the head of the major department. The required Graduate School signature will be obtained by the Graduate School. The thesis will not be accepted for graduation requirements until it has received approval by the graduate dean.

Full information concerning the prescribed style for theses is given in the booklet, Preparing a Thesis or Dissertation at OSU: A Graduate Student Guide.

PhD Student

Every candidate for the degree of PhD degree must submit a thesis embodying the results of research and giving evidence of originality and ability in independent investigation. The dissertation must be a real contribution to knowledge, based on the candidate's own investigation. It must show a mastery of the literature of the subject and be written in creditable literary form. The preparation of an acceptable dissertation will require at least one full-time academic year. If thesis material is to be published prior to the final oral examination, the student should request permission from the Graduate School to do so in order to protect his or her rights to the originality of the material.

Regulations concerning the doctoral dissertation are the same as those for the master's degree thesis with the following exceptions: An examination copy of the dissertation must be presented to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination. Within six weeks of the final oral examination, one printed and one electronic final copy of the dissertation and one extra copy of the abstract and title page must be submitted to the Graduate School.

A doctoral dissertation abstract will be published by ProQuest Information and Learning. Candidates for the doctor of philosophy and doctor of education degrees pay a minimum fee of $65 for archiving of the thesis in its entirety by ProQuest and publication of the abstract in Dissertation Abstracts. The student, upon completing the doctorate, is asked to fill out the form for survey of earned doctorates. Students must prepare an outline of their thesis for the approval of their major professor no later than six months before the student intends to complete degree requirements. This outline must be comprehensive but as simple as possible, consistent with the presentation and analysis of the results.

There is no requirement regarding the number of pages in a dissertation. The dissertation should be no longer than is consistent with adequate presentation and thorough analysis of the results.

The responsibility for approving the format of the dissertation and for checking bibliography rests with the major professor and the committee. In the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife the primary guide for reference form and style will be the latest edition of the Council of Biology Editors Style Manual or the style of the anticipated journal of publication, at the discretion of the student's committee.

For requirements unique to the dissertation, students should also consult the manual "Thesis Guide". Student should pay particular attention to the accuracy of citations in the bibliography, as this section has accounted for considerable work on the part of librarians previously assigned the task of checking format of the dissertation.


It is highly recommended to submit a dissertation draft to the graduate student's committee for comment by the third week of the term in which the student intends to defend to ensure ample time for comment and edits prior to the defense.


Pretext Pages

Please submit your pretext pages two weeks before your final defense to the Graduate School. You can deliver them to the Graduate School office or email them.

Download a template for your pretext pages from the Graduate School website.

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 can be found on the Graduate School thesis guide page.

Final Thesis and Dissertation Submission Requirements

1. ETD Submission Approval Form

Submit the ETD Submission Approval Form signed by your Major Professor, Head/Chair/Director/Dean of your Department of School, and yourself. Upon final review, we will get the Dean of the Graduate School’s signature for you. Submit the ETD to the Graduate School.

2. Title Page

Submit a title page to the Graduate School for the thesis/dissertation certification process. Please format the title page according to the Pretext Pages Template (see above for a template download link.) You can deliver it to the Graduate School office or email it.

3. 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 – PhD 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 or print a copy and submit 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.

Publication of Thesis and Dissertation Research

Publication of the results of thesis research is important to science, to the student, and to the Department. Adequate and continual publication of results of research frequently determines whether or not funds supporting the research will be continued, and consequently, whether graduate students in the future can be financially supported. Students are strongly urged to publish results of their research at the earliest possible date.

Such publication is facilitated if the thesis is prepared in a form as near to publication form as possible. Tabular material, or detail inappropriate to a publication but determined by the major professor to be required for the thesis, should be placed in appendix that can be deleted when the manuscript is submitted for publication.

Encouragement of publication inevitably raises the question of authorship. Rarely does this become a problem if the topic is discussed early in the research program. Seldom is work of publishable quality wholly the result of the efforts of a single individual. Recognition of the need to acknowledge contributions of others, either as a joint author or as a formal acknowledgment, is an important part of professional maturity. Graduate students are urged to discuss this option with their major professor at an early stage in the student's research program. Appropriate recognition of author affiliation and departmental contribution to publications resulting from graduate studies aids in maintaining the prestige of the department.