Graduate Studies

ETD Submission Process

1. Read the School of Graduate Studies Guidelines for Preparation of Theses/Dissertations.

2. Write your thesis or dissertation. Follow your departmental style guide.

a. The document should be in PDF format
b. Do not use compression or password protection
c. All fonts must be embedded in the document
d. External/Internal links to multi-media files should be identified in the Abstract
e. Use only acceptable file formats for multi-media files
f. ETD Options: Traditional (preferred) or Open Access (additional fee)

3. Have your committee sign the Approval Page

4. Submit Thesis/Dissertation Approval page to the School of Graduate Studies or include it in your electronic submission.

5. Student submits documentation to (ProQuest server)*

a. A password is provided for access
b. Student enters the requested info
c. Document is uploaded in PDF. Must be ONE pdf file.
d. Document is reviewed and submitted by the student
e. Student receives email confirmation that ETD has been submitted
f. Grad School receives notice of submission.

6. School of Graduate Studies reviews the document for compliance with policy and format. One of the following emails will be sent to the student regarding the status:

a. Accepted as complete
b. Revisions requested
c. Rejected

The student will revise the electronic document until it has been approved.

7.  Upon final approval of thesis or dissertation, student may order copies from an outside vendor (see Bound Copies section).

8. School of Graduate Studies submits document to ProQuest after graduation.

*For Technical Assistance, you may contact ProQuest. You may also contact the School of Graduate Studies at (309)298-1806.


For the latest fees, go to  Submission fee includes one bound copy for the WIU library.  if the thesis or dissertation is to be copyrighted, an additional fee is required.

Bound Copies

If you are ordering bound copies from ProQuest, it may take 6 months to a year to receive the copies.

ProQuest ( is the official site for submission of your thesis/dissertation.  Upon submission, one copy is automatically ordered for the WIU library.  However, once your thesis/dissertation has been approved by the Graduate School, you may order additional copies from a vendor other than ProQuest, such as  Other vendors can be located by Googling "thesis binding". WIU cannot and does not endorse nor warrant completeness or accuracy of data provided by other websites.

Contact your adviser before placing your order to make sure you order the correct number and size of copies required by your degree department.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Electronic Thesis/Dissertation Submission

What is ETD?

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) provide a method for graduate students at Western Illinois University to submit theses and dissertations.

Electronic submission provides a technologically advanced medium for expressing ideas by incorporating multimedia objects. You may prepare your ETD using nearly any word processor or document preparation system. Theses and dissertations must be submitted as a PDF file and be ONE document. ETD may include color diagrams, color images, hypertext links, audio, video, animations, spreadsheets, databases, simulations, and virtual reality worlds. The inclusion of new multimedia can allow students to better express ideas.

Electronic submission improves graduate education through more effective sharing and provides an opportunity to better express ideas. Access is world-wide, timely and economical.

Why ETD?

Electronic submission increases availability of research and allows it to be shared more effectively. Access is world-wide, timely, and economical. Work is preserved as submitted: with the "born digital" version, all color images, graphs, multimedia files, etc., can be captured exactly as intended. ETDs also provide true accessibility for the vision-impaired, since only PDFs created from the original electronic document are readable.

Why must ETDs first be converted to PDF format in order to be submitted?

PDF is the format chosen not only by other universities accepting ETDs but also by the United States Government to provide universal electronic access to government documents. The PDF format from Adobe is widely used in digital document repositories because it was developed to bridge the gap between digital documents that are printed and digital documents that can be read online.

What if I cannot convert all of the data included in my manuscripts to PDF?

In those specific cases, you will utilize PDF for text, and attach files in other formats. A significant advantage of ETDs is the flexible medium provided, with complex combinations of text, graphs, sound, and other multimedia possible for the ETDs.

Why submit electronically?

By preparing an ETD and submitting it electronically you are learning about electronic document preparation and about digital libraries. These two concepts are the future of scholarly communication; therefore, you are preparing yourself for your future in the Information Age. Furthermore, you may be able to better convey the concepts of your thesis or dissertation by incorporating the use of digital media (audio, video, 3-D renderings, hyperlinks, images, databases, spreadsheets, simulations, virtual reality landscapes).

How will people be able to access my ETD?

Each one will be included in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database, through which academic researchers around the world can gain access to your published graduate work. It is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world, and is the best method of ensuring that your research gains the widest possible audience. Access to your citation is free, and libraries and researchers can purchase a copy of your graduate work in a variety of formats – print, PDF, or microform. Additionally, the WIU Libraries will catalog your dissertation or thesis and provide a direct link to it from the website,

What are the advantages of making my ETD freely accessible?

The advancement of knowledge in the world, scientific discovery, and scholarly communication all depend upon research being made freely available to others. When this is accomplished electronically, it enables a wide audience for your research and can be accomplished in a cost effective manner. This stimulates graduate education and research. It also ensures that you are credited for your work

How many copies should I request?

One copy for Malpass library is already included in your order. Check with your advisor to see if the department requires a specific number (and size) of copies.