Thesis and Dissertations
A thesis is required under Plan I for the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Food and Nutrition, Master of Public Administration, Master of Science, and Master of Science in Criminal Justice or Master of Technology Management. A thesis may be required for the degree of Master of Music, depending on the field.
The thesis topic should arise out of the student’s personal exploration in the field of study. The formal petition for approval of the thesis topic must clearly set forth the problem, the intended organization, and the methods of development of the thesis. After approval by the student's committee and graduate coordinator, the thesis topic must be filed with the student’s department and the petition of topic approval submitted to the Graduate College.
A preliminary draft of the completed thesis (defined as a manuscript that answers the stated problem) should be submitted to the thesis committee by the time a student files the application for graduation.The final draft of the thesis (defined as the thesis manuscript with content embodying all corrections requested by the committee) should be submitted to the thesis committee sufficiently prior to the date set for the final examination to allow for a rigorous and careful reading of the manuscript by the committee.
Doctoral students must submit a request for dissertation topic approval to the Graduate College on the Thesis/Dissertation Topic Approval form. Approval of the topic by the Graduate College admits the student to doctoral candidacy. To be eligible for candidacy, the student must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher, have completed any foreign language requirements, where required, and have passed the preliminary examinations.
The results of the final examination (e.g., dissertation defense) for the doctoral degree must be received in the Graduate College by the published deadlines each semester. The Graduate College expects that the official University copy of the submitted manuscript will be error-free and ready for publication on the World Wide Web.
The Graduate Council approved the implementation of electronic submission of theses and dissertations beginning with Fall 2005 for all graduate programs. With the exception of theses written in the MFA program in Creative Writing, paper copies are no longer accepted by the Graduate College.
Advantages of electronic submissions:
- Accessibility of research. More researchers will read them - up until Fall 2005, BGSU theses were only available as one bound paper copy on the library shelves. It can take six months for a thesis to reach the library shelves after approval. While that one copy is checked out, no one else can use it.
- Expanding the horizon of research possibilities through use of video, audio and other multi-media tools.
- Development of electronic publishing skills.
- Recognition for authors, departments, faculty members and the university as works are made widely available.
- Reduction of cost to the student, the Graduate College, the Library and the researcher.
- Decrease in academic dishonesty based upon the ease of detection through electronic term and phrase search capability.
This web site contains a resource for master's and doctoral students who are preparing electronic theses and dissertations for submission to the BGSU Graduate College and OhioLINK.
What is an ETD?
An ETD is an electronic version of your thesis or dissertation. A document that explains the research or scholarship of a graduate student. It is expressed in a form simultaneously suitable for machine archives and worldwide retrieval. The ETD is similar to its paper predecessor. It has figures, tables, footnotes, and references. It has a title page with the author's name, the official name of the university, the degree sought, and the names of the committee members. It documents the author's years of academic commitment. It describes why the work was done, how the research relates to previous work as recorded in the literature, the research methods used, the results, and the interpretation and discussion of the results, and a summary with conclusions.
The ETD is different, however. It provides a technologically advanced medium for expressing your ideas. You prepare your ETD using nearly any word processor or document preparation system, incorporating relevant multimedia objects, without the requirement to submit a hard copy to the Graduate College. Consequently, ETDs are less expensive to prepare, consume virtually no library shelf space, and never collect dust. They will be available to anyone that can browse the World Wide Web.
The thesis/dissertation is a public display of the quality of work acceptable to the student's department and to the university for meeting graduate degree requirements.
It is the responsibility of the student's thesis or dissertation committee to judge the acceptability of the thesis/dissertation from all standpoints, including writing quality, neatness, mechanical considerations, and technical and professional competency. Committee members attest to acceptability when they sign the ETD Approval Form. Therefore, it is important that they be provided with a view of the thesis or dissertation before the student's defense.
Students are strongly encouraged to publish their research results and scholarly inquiry. Graduate students are to utilize the traditional format for theses and dissertations established in the Thesis/Dissertation Handbook.