ETD Deadlines

Fall: November 26, 2018

Spring One-credit Extension: January 9, 2019

Spring: April 16, 2019

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Formatting Advisor

Whether you are just starting to write your thesis or it is your final semester of Graduate School, it is never too soon to reach out to the Formatting Advisor! Communication between the Formatting Advisor and students is often through email; however, students are welcome to stop by the office to discuss formatting! If you plan to stop by, an appointment is recommended. Drop-in Office Hours are Tuesdays from 2 – 4 pm and Wednesdays from 1 – 4 pm. If these times do not work for you, email the formatting advisor to make an appointment.



All theses and dissertations are submitted to The Graduate School electronically, which is why they are called ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations). The Graduate School does not require a bound paper copy of your thesis or dissertation.

Your thesis or dissertation represents the culmination of your research, scholarly, or creative endeavors while at Montana State University. A well-prepared document speaks highly of your abilities as a scholar and The Graduate School wants to ensure your thesis or dissertation formatting is of the highest quality. 

When you reach your final semester, please reach out to the Formatting Advisor. A final PDF of your ETD must be approved by the Formatting Advisor by 5:00 pm on the published deadline, which is typically 14 working days before the end of the semester in which you plan to graduate. Please check The Graduate School Dates & Deadlines page for the exact date for each semester.

After your ETD has been given final approval by The Graduate School and the degree granting department, your ETD will be published on ScholarWorks, the Montana State University open-access repository for theses and dissertations. Scholars from around the world visit MSU's ScholarWorks page to view ETDs written by graduate students. Students may choose to have their ETDs available worldwide or hold their work for a period of up to one year. After one year, all ETDs will be available online through ScholarWorks. 

Along with your final PDF, you must also submit a signed Certificate of Approval (COA).

ETD Approval Process

ETD Subway Map to Success

“A thesis or dissertation topic is a mystery to be solved.  Develop the skills to look at it from all angles, use a process of elimination to narrow the focus. If you’re stuck, ask for help, step back a bit and new ideas will find you. When the intimidating task of writing your thesis or dissertation arrives, write it a line at a time.  Ideally, you’ll have a fascinating story to tell.  Write several hours a day and at the end of each day you’ll have solved something that had seemed like a big challenge.”
Wayne H. Dickinson, Ph.D., Chemistry, 1996