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Dissertation & Thesis Guide


This guide outlines the required thesis/dissertation format, technical specifications, and submission procedure to be followed by master's and doctoral candidates at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. If the author of a thesis or dissertation has a question regarding a point not covered in this guide, he or she should confer with his or her thesis/dissertation advisor, as the query may be one common to students in that discipline. Should ProQuest and UMass Lowell guidelines conflict, UMass Lowell rules take precedence.

The main intent of this document is to ensure that the University of Massachusetts Lowell theses and dissertations are presented in a conventional form, following universally accepted standards for academic papers, and that they are written in a manner that will provide maximum utility to readers who may use them in their research. This guide does not deal with detailed information on how to research or write a dissertation or thesis. 

Please use these guidelines from the moment you begin drafting your thesis or dissertation as it will save you time as you prepare your final manuscript for electronic submission. All thesis and dissertations must be submitted electronically to the UMass Lowell ProQuest/ETD website. No paper copies will be accepted. 

A step-by-step guide to submitting your manuscript to ProQuest/ETD is available at

Deadline for Submission

A complete DRAFT of the thesis/dissertation must be submitted to UMass Lowell’s ETD Administrator as soon as possible, but no later than one week prior to the final submission deadline posted in the Graduate Academic Calendar. When submitting the completed draft, students should also pay the $50 archival fee (online).

Submissions will not be considered complete without payment of the $50 archival charge. All defended, completely revised and approved, and fully formatted thesis and dissertations must be submitted on or before the deadline published in the Graduate Academic Catalog for the semester in which the student will earn the degree. 

These are hard deadlines, with no exceptions. The student and the advisor are responsible for the content of the thesis/dissertation. The student and advisor are responsible for the content of the thesis/dissertation. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the manuscript submitted to ProQuest/EDT adheres to all formatting guidelines and is error free at the time of the final submission.

Institutional Review Board

All research involving “Human Subjects” (including anonymous online surveys, use of existing data, etc.) must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (I.R.B.) email or go to the IRB website for guidelines, forms and additional information. 

Research involving human subjects or animals, use of biological and/or biohazardous materials and/or export-controlled materials must have OIC approval BEFORE any research activity may begin. 

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