As we become more dependent on technology, access to scholarly works is increasing. The Graduate School is committed to providing new ways to support the creativity and innovation of our scholars. To this end, the Graduate School, in collaboration with University Libraries, began a pilot program for the submission and approval of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in Fall 2004.

This site provides all of the necessary resources for preparing ETDs. For official university regulations regarding submission procedures and deadline dates, see the Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Specifications and review graduation requirements and deadlines.

Like any conventional thesis or dissertation, an ETD is a document representing the research or scholarship of a graduate student. It has tables, figures, references, and footnotes. The title page will continue to contain the title, candidate's name, candidate's degrees, granting institution and date received, name of department or school granting the degree, and the year the thesis/dissertation is submitted. For further requirements, see Thesis Specifications.

The electronic format allows for the inclusion of hyperlinks to assist the reader in navigation through the document, as well as multimedia features such as audio or video clips. Or, an ETD can simply be an electronic copy of a printed document. ETDs provide a technologically advanced medium for expressing and disseminating ideas. Students will prepare their ETD using word processing software, without the requirement to submit copies on cotton bond paper.

The end product of converting a thesis/dissertation to PDF (Portable Document Format) should consist of one PDF file. DO NOT turn in a separate PDF file for each chapter, or for each item in the dissertation (abstract, etc.). The only extra files permitted are multimedia files, such as audio or visual files. If you have such files, create a folder in which you will place these files and the dissertation text PDF file.

Adobe Acrobat publishing capability is available in two labs: UMC 138 and Norlin M350. All Mac labs have Acrobat as well. When using a computer outside of these labs, Adobe Acrobat software must be used to convert the files from these applications to PDFs. The educational version of Adobe Acrobat is available from the CU Book Store, in both Mac and Windows versions, for under $100. Note that Adobe Acrobat Reader software, available for free download from Adobe, does not have the capability to convert documents to PDF; it can only read them.

When using one of the designated computers from the labs listed above, students can use any application (Word, Excel, Photoshop, etc) to create their dissertation. Then go to File–Print to print the document. In the print dialog window, select the “save as PDF” option, and the file will be saved in the Portable Document Format.

Please make sure that you check over the final PDF document before you submit it. Do not assume that if the final Word document was correct, the PDF file will be correct. In particular, look at charts, graphs, and any graphics files you imported into your document, and look for correct conversions of unusual fonts and diacritical marks such as accents.

  • Graphics Interchange Format (.gif)
  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg, .jpeg)
  • Tagged Image File Format (.tif, .tiff)
  • Computer Graphics Metafile (.cgm)
  • Photo CD


  • Microsoft Video (.avi)
  • Moving PIcture Experts Group (.mpg, .mpeg)
  • Apple Quicktime (.mov, .qt)


  • Apple Mac Audio Interchange Format (.aif)
  • Compact Disk-Digital Audio (CD-DA)
  • CD-Rom/eXtended Architecture (CD-Rom/XA)
  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (.midi)
  • Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG-2)
  • NeXT sound (.snd)
  • Windows Waveform sound (.wav)


  • Hypertext Markup Language (.htm, .html)
  • ASCII (.txt)
  • Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (.pdf)


  • Macromedia Multimedia Tool (Authoware)
  • Macromedia Multimedia Tool (Director (MMM, PICS)

Special Formats:

  • AutoCAD (.dxf)
  • Excel (.xcl)