Eastern Michigan University
page banner


This information and more details are included in the Thesis Manual available in PDF format.

  1. Meet with an academic adviser to develop a program of study.
  2. Complete core, concentration, and research methods course.
  3. Select a thesis chair and committee.
  4. Prepare and submit a proposal to your committee for review and approval.
  5. Complete and submit form and receive approval for research using human subjects or animals prior to gathering data (Human Subjects or Animal Care and Use Review Committee).
  6. Begin research; gather, analyze, and integrate findings.
  7. Create an account with ProQuest.
  8. Register for thesis credits.
Approval Process, Defense, and Revision

The following section describes the steps in (a) the thesis approval process from your department, (b) the thesis defense, and (c) editorial revisions.

Your committee chair will determine when your work is complete and ready for defense.

  1. Schedule a date and location for the defense meeting (if required by your program). Inform committee members of meeting logistics and submit copies of the thesis to committee members for their review at least two weeks prior to the defense date. Either you or your committee chair (depending on department/school practice) will announce the defense date to the public and invite administrators and guests two weeks before the event.
  2. Create an approval form for your thesis. The approval form must include:
    • The title of the study
    • The author’s name
    • Names and titles of all committee members, the department head/school director, and the Dean of the Graduate School
    • Lines for the dated signatures of all committee members, the department head or school director, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  3. Defend your thesis. The full thesis committee must be present (in person, on the phone or computer) for the defense. Check with your committee chair for format and procedures for the thesis defense meeting. The meeting typically involves the committee chair introducing you and you giving a 20-30 minute formal presentation on your thesis, followed by a question-and-answer period with committee members. You are then asked to leave the room while the committee discusses your defense. Approval of the defense requires a unanimous vote of the committee. You return for their decision and for any additional questions and comments.
  4. After the defense meeting, rework the thesis in response to any editorial comments from committee members. Your committee has been charged with helping to bring your thesis to a level of excellence appropriate for viewing by scholars around the world, so you want it to be as polished as possible.
  5. Resubmit your thesis to your committee or committee chair for approval and sign-off. (Check department/school procedures—sometimes the committee members sign off following the defense and the chair signs off after document has been reworked.) The department head or school director will also have to approve and sign off on the document before it is submitted to the Graduate School.
  6. Submit an original print of the edited version of your thesis to the Graduate School for review and editing by the Graduate School reader. This copy is not to be in a notebook, bound in any way, or duplicated on special paper. Complete the Thesis Information Sheet and submit it with the thesis. Be sure all the required information is provided on the form so that a thesis reader can contact you. Submit the original signed Approval Form along with evidence of Human Subjects approval or exemption.

NOTE: Review and editing by the Graduate School reader will not begin until the Approval Form, Information Sheet, and evidence of human or animal subject approval (if required) have been submitted.

Graduate School Approval of Theses

The final approval of theses is the responsibility of the Graduate School. Although the thesis committee members are responsible for evaluating the validity of the content and its editing, the Graduate School reader will check for adherence to style and formatting requirements, with special attention to the preliminary pages, headings, citations, and references. You may wish to hire an outside editor to check grammar, spelling, punctuation, and so forth.

Following is a list of editors who are available to carefully proofread and revise your document. Contact them for more particulars.

Norma L. Ross, EdD –
The Nth Degree Academic Editing, (248) 267-9232, rossmail@comcast.net

Lisa Walters, EMU Thesis/Dissertation Reader, (734) 320-2894, lwalters@emich.edu

Laura Lombardi, Transcription Service, laural49@gmail.com

In addition, a number of online sites to help with your writing are available and can be located via a Google search.


Digital/Electronic Submission and Binding

The following steps will complete the final phase of your thesis: 

You MUST submit a digital/electronic copy for storage or posting to the electronic "journal"/ Digital Commons through ProQuest.

  • Log on to www.etdadmin.com/emich and create an account if you have not done so already. You will upload the document as a PDF; the resource material has information explaining that process. Note that once you submit to ProQuest, they send the document to the EMU library for posting to the Halle Library’s web site, Digital Commons. Your document is then searchable on the internet.
  • During the ProQuest submission process, you will be asked about immediate or delayed posting online – the embargo process. The EMU Rights and Permission form will also pop up; please print, fill out, sign, and send to the Graduate School. You may mail it to 200 Boone Hall, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, or scan and send as an email attachment, or fax to 734-487-0050.

BINDING. Many departments/schools may request a bound copy of your work. In addition, you may wish to have copies bound for yourself, committee members, or family.

Completing Thesis from Out of State

If you leave Michigan before finishing the thesis revision process, the Graduate School will communicate with you by phone and email. You are strongly advised to designate a contact person on campus, either a faculty member or friend, who can pick up your thesis, pay binding fees, and get the disk/CD or thesis copies made and delivered to the Halle Library. The Graduate School staff cannot accomplish these tasks for you, nor do they have the funds to mail your documents back to you. Do not electronically attach revised versions to email.