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Theses, Dissertations and Projects

A librarian going through a collection of bound theses.

All Drexel University graduate theses and dissertations must be submitted online so that they can be made available in ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses database and in the Drexel Research Discovery portal, the University’s open access repository. There is an option to delay publication (see Frequently Asked Questions section below).

While some programs require students to archive other graduate projects (such as Capstone projects) in the Drexel Research Discovery portal, not all graduate projects are subject to this University requirement. Please check with your department if you are unsure of their requirements. You may also submit your project independently.

Important Information

Thesis and Dissertation Submissions

All Drexel University graduate theses and dissertations must be submitted online via ProQuest’s ETD Administrator tool for publication in ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses database and in the Drexel Research Discovery portal.

The following instructions are for formal theses and dissertations only. Please see the "Master's and Doctoral Project Submissions" section below for information about other graduate projects, including Capstone projects and DNP Projects.

Submission Instructions

Please note that individual academic programs or departments may have additional requirements. Check with a representative from your program/department for more information. In addition, all PhD candidates must follow the E-Forms process outlined on the Graduation Requirements page, which will generate the below forms and processes.

1. Complete your thesis or dissertation, including defense and post-defense edits, and save it as a PDF.

  • Your title page must be formatted as described in the University’s Thesis Manual, maintained by the Graduate College. Download this Drexel University logo to use on your title page.
  • All other formatting standards are the responsibility of your advisor. Style guides appropriate for most disciplines are available through the Drexel Libraries.

2. Add a page with your advisor’s approvals before the title page.

  • For PhD students, excluding the College of Medicine, the advisor approval is a printout from the E-forms platform. For all others, use the signed “Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form and Signature Page” available through the Graduate College forms page.
  • Note: The Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form is different from the Graduate College Completion Form. Do NOT submit the Graduate College Completion form to ProQuest.

3. Create an ETD Admin account.

  • Go to Drexel's ETD Admin website and click 'submit' to create an account. Follow the steps to upload your document. This will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Master's and Doctoral Project Submissions

Graduate students who complete a final project at the end of their program have the option to submit their projects to the Drexel Research Discovery portal, where they are made publicly accessible. Some programs require students archive their Master’s/Doctoral projects in the Drexel Research Discovery portal. Each program may have additional requirements or preferences. Contact your advisor for more information.

Projects can differ greatly in appearance and arrangement. Every project must include a title page with your name, the full title of your project, and the month/year. If your department does not have a template, please use the template in the University’s Thesis Manual [PDF]. Replace “thesis” in the first line with the name of your project type (Culminating Project, Capstone Project, etc.)

To submit a graduate project, please fill out the Graduate Project Submission form. The form includes complete instructions, required filename conventions and a link to the most recent version of the Drexel University Archives Deposit Agreement. 

Please submit the following:

  • Required: Signed Drexel University Archives Deposit Agreement
  • Required: Your primary project file. This should be in PDF format whenever possible, but other file types are permitted if they are more suitable for your project.
  • Optional: A supplementary file, if applicable. If you have more than one supplementary file, please contact to make other arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions or more information, email

Q: What is ORCID?

ORCID (which stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is an initiative to disambiguate authors of scholarly works through unique, persistent identifiers. Creating an ORCID is optional; however, the Drexel Libraries recommends each researcher creates a unique ORCID and populates the record with information about their research activities. Visit the Libraries’ ORCID resource guide for more information.

Can I delay publication of my work?

You have the option to temporarily delay the public release of your thesis or dissertation by placing an embargo on it. At the end of the embargo period, your dissertation or thesis will become publicly accessible unless you request an extension. All requests for extensions must be made at least one month in advance.

Embargoes must be requested separately for the ProQuest database and the Drexel Research Discovery portal:

  • An embargo in the Drexel Research Discovery portal must be requested by your advisor. For PhD students (except for those enrolled in the College of Medicine), this is part of the E-Forms process. For all other students, your advisor must send an email to, giving their permission and specifying the length of embargo requested (6 months, 1 year or 2 years). This request should be made BEFORE you submit your thesis/dissertation. You may request an extension on an embargo by emailing at least one month in advance of the embargo’s expiration.
  • An embargo in the ProQuest database must be requested as part of the online submission process. Please specify the length of the embargo (6 months, 1 year or 2 years). To extend an embargo in the ProQuest database, contact ProQuest at at least one month in advance of the embargo’s expiration.

Q: Is my work covered by copyright?

You retain copyright of your work regardless of whether you formally register it. You may register copyright directly with the U.S. Copyright Office. If submitting via the ETD Administrator, the submission process includes an option to register copyright through ProQuest for a fee.

Drexel University has the right to reproduce and publicly distribute copies of your thesis for limited and noncommercial purposes, per the Drexel University Intellectual Property Policy. For more information, please read ProQuest’s Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis Guide.

Q: Where can I get personal copies printed and bound?

The Libraries does not provide printing or binding services. ProQuest’s ETD Administrator tool offers the option to purchase bound copies during the submission process. Please review ProQuest’s guidelines on how to prepare your manuscript to ensure it will reproduce well in print.

You may also use a third-party binding service such as HF Group and Wert Bookbinding.

Q: Can I submit supplemental files in addition to the PDF of my thesis, like data sets, audio interview files, or illustrations?

Yes. You may submit supplemental files during the submission process.


Q: Can my work be found in Google Scholar?

By default, all works submitted through the ETD Administrator tool will be discoverable in ProQuest through Google Scholar and other major search engines. You may opt out during the submission process. More information is available on the “Publishing Options” page of the ETD Admin submission process.

Once deposited in the Drexel Research Discovery portal, your work will be indexed by major search engines and is available to all users, in accordance with any embargo you have requested. There is no option to opt out during the submission process.