Thesis and Dissertation

Proprietary Research

A goal of the program activities for any department is generation of new knowledge through research activities, and public dissemination of that knowledge by means of publications and presentations. The posted guidelines (see Guidelines for Proprietary Research) are intended to address the use of restricted-access and confidential or proprietary information as part of a student’s thesis and dissertation activities. Specific conduct, however, may be dictated by the terms and conditions of applicable confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreements. To further the University's goals as a research institution and to support research and scholarly activities within the University community, some component of the defense of the thesis or dissertation must be public.

ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing

After the Format Review appointment with the Candidacy Specialist, students submit their thesis or dissertation to ProQuest/UMI for digital archiving and publication via Dissertation Abstracts International. This must be done before degree conferral can be received. During the submission process students will need to make a series of decisions concerning what kind of accessibility (restricted or open) would be appropriate and whether or not an embargo is needed.


At the time of electronic submission of the thesis/dissertation (ETD) authors can choose to block access by delaying publication in order to protect the work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for up to two years. At the expiration of an embargo, the work will default to whichever publishing method was selected. If there is a need to delay publication beyond the embargo period, a request must be made in writing to the chairperson of the author's committee explaining the rationale for an extension and the additional time requested. The committee chair and the department chair must approve the request. If approved, the author then contacts ProQuest/UMI to notify them of the extension.