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Dissertations & Theses

The dissertation is the hallmark of the research expertise demonstrated by a doctoral student. It is a scholarly contribution to knowledge in the student’s area of specialization. By researching and writing a dissertation, the student is expected to demonstrate a high level of knowledge and the capability to function as an independent scholar. 

A thesis is a hallmark of some master’s programs. It is a piece of original research, generally less comprehensive than a dissertation, and is meant to show the student’s knowledge of an area of specialization.  

Document Preparation

PhD and master’s students are responsible for meeting all requirements for preparing theses and dissertations. They are expected to confer with their advisors about disciplinary and program expectations and to follow Graduate School procedure requirements.

Access and Distribution

Ohio State has agreements with two organizations—OhioLINK and ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing—that store and provide access to Ohio State theses and dissertations.  


The Graduate School’s format review is in place to help the document submission process go smoothly for the student. This format check must be done in person at 247 University Hall and cannot be accomplished electronically. The format review is required at or before the two-week notice of the final defense. 

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