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Electronic Dissertation and Thesis Basics

The master's degree student

When required for a master’s program, a thesis must be written on a subject approved by the student’s thesis committee. It must be the student’s own work and must demonstrate a capacity for research and independent thought. In addition to these guidelines, master's students should also consult:

The doctoral degree candidate

A dissertation is required for all doctoral programs and must be written on a subject approved by the candidate’s program committee. The dissertation must include the results of original and significant investigation, and must be the candidate’s own work.

Research must be open to public disclosure

Students are prohibited from using research (data, results, methods or other content) in their theses or dissertations that could restrict subsequent publication or public disclosure of these documents. Examples of restricted information include classified or proprietary materials.

It is important to note that these restrictions do not apply to nonthesis or nondissertation research that is approved by the student's adviser and allowed by University of Missouri policies. Questions regarding the applicability of this policy to thesis or dissertation content should be referred to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Review by the Office of Graduate Studies

Before manuscripts can be accepted for publication in scholarly journals, they must be examined by editorial board members for compliance with specific format style guidelines in addition to content validity. Acting as the Office of Graduate Studies' editorial board, the professional staff of Graduate Studies reviews each submitted thesis and dissertation for compliance with university guidelines. Works that fail to meet the appropriate standards will be rejected.

Methods of Submission

The thesis/dissertation is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies electronically via Blackboard or on a high-quality CD which is readable in a standard Windws PC. There are 3 acceptable methods of submission:

  • Using Blackboard is the preferred method of submission. Through Blackboard, you will be able to access all of the requirements for the submission process. You will also be given an option to electronically submit most of your files. This will replace the requirement to submit your materials on a CD. If you would like to utilize Blackboard for your submission, you can enroll yourself using the steps outlined here: 
  • You can submit your materials in person to the Office of Graduate Studies in 210 Jesse Hall.
  • You can mail your materials to our office at this address:

Office of Graduate Studies
210 Jesse Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Deadlines for submission

Deadlines for submission of the thesis or dissertation to the Office of Graduate Studies are established each semester.

Style manuals

Students are to follow the style manual recommended by their academic program.


After your manuscript has been submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, it becomes a matter of record for the University of Missouri. This includes any errors that might be in your document. Therefore, check your manuscript carefully. Once your final submission has been accepted by the Office of Graduate Studies, it cannot be corrected.

Specific questions

Specific questions should be directed to the academic adviser for master’s and educational specialist students at 573-882-2232 or the academic adviser for doctoral students at 573-882-9580. You may call toll-free at 800-877-6312. You may contact the Office of Graduate Studies by mail or in person at 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.