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Dissertations & Theses: Getting Started

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Dissertations & Theses

Dissertations and theses are graduate-level writing projects the describe graduate students' research. The subject of the dissertation/thesis is chosen by the student and their graduate advisor.

  • Thesis: Typically submitted in a master's program; allows students to showcase their knowledge and expertise in the field they've been studying.
  • Dissertation: Typically submitted in a PhD or higher graduate program; lengthier piece of writing with original research that contributes new knowledge to the field.

Dissertation and theses differences

Electronic dissertations and theses (ETDs) are openly accessible electronic versions of students' dissertations/theses. Providing open access provides students with:

  • Greater visibility.
  • Easier contribution to scholarship in your field.
  • More ownership over your work; easier citation ability.