Thesis & Dissertation

What is an Electronic Thesis or Dissertation?

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County has entered into an agreement with ProQuest to accept Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD). Students submit their documents directly to Proquest, and the Graduate School evaluates them online for formatting and legibility. If you need to make corrections, you’ll receive an email from the Graduate School detailing what needs to be done.

Once all corrections are made, the Graduate School accepts the document, and, provided you have passed all necessary departmental and university checks (see your department and the Graduate School for more info) for graduation, you are cleared to graduate. After this process is complete, the Graduate School “delivers” the documents officially to ProQuest, who logs, indexes and publishes them on Digital Dissertations, a nationwide clearinghouse of theses and dissertations, to which the vast majority of U.S. theses and dissertations are submitted. After delivery, if you need to make corrections or changes, you will deal directly with ProQuest, as administration of the documents shifts to them.

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Graduate School deadlines for thesis and dissertation submission are listed here. These deadlines indicate the date by which your academically complete document must be submitted to the system. An academically complete document is one to which all examining committee-ordered revisions have been made.

  • Fall: December 1
  • Summer: August 1
  • Spring: May 1

As long as your academically complete document is submitted by the deadline (even without correct Graduate School formatting), it is considered to have met the deadline. Any formatting changes requested by the Graduate School can be made after the ETD editors evaluate your document during the submission process.

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Materials Available to Help You

The Graduate School’s requirements for all theses and dissertations are outlined in detail in the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide. Anyone submitting a Thesis or Dissertation document should consult these requirements prior to beginning the ETD process.

In addition, thesis and dissertation templates for Word and LATEx are available. The documents come pre-formatted to the standards set forth in the Style Guide.

ProQuest also provides a guide for Preparing your Manuscript for Submission.

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Policy on the Remote Participation of Committee Members

All members of the Final Defense Committee must be physically or remotely present for Masters Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation defenses. Remote participation must occur in a synchronous form of communication that allows the Committee Members and the Degree Candidate to see and hear each other. This is considered a hybrid defense. In addition, the Candidate must ensure that the remote participant(s) has access to the thesis or dissertation and the presentation.  Doctoral Degree Candidates must provide the web address of hybrid or remote defenses to the Graduate School at the time that they submit their Announcement of Defense forms.

The Report of Examining Committee form will be sent to the committee via DocuSign prior to the start of the defense. All committee members, whether physically or remotely present, are responsible for signing the Report of Examining form within 48 hours of the conclusion of the defense. Once the DocuSign form is complete, it will automatically be sent to the appropriate Graduation Coordinator in the Graduate School.

The Graduate School strongly encourages using Webex for hybrid and remote defenses. Information on setting up a Webex defense can be found here:

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Serving On Committees After Leaving In Good Standing

The following are guidelines approved by the Graduate Council for serving on Thesis and Dissertation committees for Regular or Associate Graduate Faculty who have left the University in good standing.

At the discretion of the Dean or Associate Dean:

  • For committees that were formed before the faculty member left the University, faculty may retain their graduate faculty status to fulfill minimum number of associate or regular members on a committee. Faculty who leave the University cannot Chair an existing committee but may serve as co-Chair. The time limit for this rule shall be two (2) years with an option for the program to reconfirm for additional two-year periods.
  • Faculty who maintain an adjunct appointment may continue as an Associate member and thus can chair a thesis committee but not a dissertation committee.
  • For all committees formed after the faculty member has left, the former faculty member serves as an Outside Member and a CV is required. Special Graduate Faculty status is not required.
  • With prior approval by the department and/or program, faculty who have been granted emeritus status, and who are actively involved in research and their department, may retain their graduate faculty status, including chairing a committee.

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