Thesis Formatting and Completion Guidelines
Dissertation Formatting Guidelines and Miscellaneous Completion Information
Contact the department's Graduate Program Administrator (Vicki Finney) for questions on this information.
I. Defense announcement posting (required)
College rules state that a Notice of Final Public Oral Examination must be posted no less than two weeks before a defense takes place. Students are required to complete the template found on the EPP Doctoral Studies Blackboard site and submit it electronically to Vicki Finney (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Debbie Kuntz (email@example.com) for posting.
II. Formatting your dissertation
Students will need to strictly adhere to the formatting guidelines posted on the College of Engineering website (here).
The College guidelines provide templates for the Thesis Title page, the Thesis Signature page, the Thesis Committee (Signature) page, and a Submission checklist. You are responsible for preparing your Thesis Title page exactly as indicated in the guidelines, and completing the Submission checklist when you ready to submit your final thesis. Vicki will prepare the Signature page and Committee page before your defense and email a copy to you and your thesis chair. To prepare the Thesis Signature page, you will need to provide her with your final thesis title and indicate how you would like your name to appear.
Some key items when formatting your thesis (all noted in the College guidelines):
- Acknowledge your financial support on the Acknowledgements page.
- Do not list your thesis committee anywhere except on the Acknowledgements page.
- If copywriting your thesis, include a separate page with the copyright information. A copyright template is provided in the College guidelines. If you do not wish to copyright, you must indicate this on the Submission checklist. Information on copyright and publishing options is provided in Item IV below and also in the College guidelines.
- On your Title page use only the date (date = month & year) that your PhD will be officially conferred. For example, December 2017 graduates will use “December, 2017” even if the final thesis was submitted much earlier. To put it another way, the only official months that Carnegie Mellon confers degrees are May, August, and December, therefore only these months can be used on the Title page.
- Once you have formatted your thesis according to the College guidelines, it is recommended that you email it (or the first few pages) to Vicki to review the formatting.
III. Submittal of your final dissertation to the department and required documentation
After successful completion of the thesis defense, the following documentation must be submitted electronically on or before the thesis submission due date to the EPP Graduate Program Administrator (Vicki), and as indicated, to ProQuest.
- A pdf of the final thesis emailed to Vicki. The email should note that this is the final version as approved by the thesis chair, and the thesis chair/s should be cc’d on the email.
- the pdf file title should be as follows: LastNameDepartmentYear (e.g., SmithEPP2017)
- the dissertation should begin with your title page
- A pdf of the final thesis must also be submitted directly, by the student, to ProQuest ETD (link provided in the College guidelines). When you click on the ProQuest link, follow the instructions and complete the information as requested. Bound copies of your thesis may be ordered through ProQuest as well. (Refer to Item VII Copying and Binding for more information on thesis copies.)
- The College of Engineering Thesis Submission Checklist
- The Survey of Earned Doctorates Completion Certificate
Students receiving a doctorate the United States are required to complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorates.
The survey is coordinated through the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel of the National Research Council in Washington, DC. Survey responses become part of a national data bank dating from 1920 to present, and are used to serve policymakers at federal, state, and university levels.
You will receive a completion certificate once you have finished the survey. Email a copy of the certificate to Vicki.
IV. Information on Copyrighting, What to Do with a Disseratation, and Explanation of ProQuest Publishing Options
The CMU Libraries provide guidance on copyrighting your thesis (determining copyright ownership, copyright permissions, registering copyright). Information is also provided in the College guidelines.
V. Students in joint degree programs whose home department is not EPP
Students pursuing a joint degree with EPP whose home department is not EPP should follow their home department’s completion guidelines and deadlines. However, EPP requires the following: a) two unbound, double-sided copies of your final thesis; b) a copy of your Signature page; and c) a pdf of your final thesis emailed to Vicki.
VI. Dissertation Submission Dates
Final dissertation submission deadlines are as follows:
May graduation: The final (electronic) dissertation, Thesis Checklist, and Survey of Earned Doctorates Completion Certificate, must be submitted to the department's graduate coordinator 10 business days before the final grade deadline; and to the Dean's Office on the final grade deadline.
August and December graduation: The documents noted above must be submitted to the department coordinator two (2) days before the final grade deadline; and to the Dean's Office on the final grade deadline.
VII. Dissertation Copies & Binding
Once the Dean’s Office has approved your final thesis, Vicki will inform you via email and provide you with a copy of the dean-signed Committee page and Signature page. You will then need to provide the department with three (3) unbound, double-sided copies of your thesis. So that there is no expense, you are encouraged to make the copies here in the department using any of the department printers or copy machines. See Vicki to obtain the high-quality paper for printing.
The copies will be sent for binding and will be distributed as follows: one will be given to you, one will be given to the Department Head, and one will be retained in the department. The department does not provide copies for advisors. If you wish to order advisor or additional copies, you can do so through ProQuest ETD.