Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) by Students

This FAQ was developed by the ETD Committee to address the many questions posed by members of the students. Any questions not answered here should be directed via e-mail to etd-questions@wpi.edu.

  1. What exactly is required of the students writing theses and dissertations? How do I know when I'm done?
  2. Where should I go for assistance?
  3. My advisor wants a bound paper copy. How do I get one?
  4. Can I turn in my thesis on diskette or CD-ROM?
  5. I can't get all the signatures for my title page. Can I still turn in my thesis/dissertation?
  6. I'm submitting from another location and can't get to campus to turn in the forms. Can I submit via fax?
  7. I don't have a WPI account, so I can't upload my thesis/dissertation. How can I get one?
  8. I don't think I will be able to finish by the deadline. How can I get an extension?
  9. My thesis/dissertation includes a simulation/program that I wrote. Can I include that with my PDF?
  10. Is there a required format for ETDs?
  11. Do I have to include my title page in the PDF?
  12. Can I edit my ETD after I submit it?

1. What exactly is required of the students writing theses and dissertations? How do I know when I'm done?
Students completing and defending their research this year must submit a PDF of their work through the Web site, along with a printed and signed copy of their title page, and a printed and signed copy of the ETD Approval Form.

When you are finished, you will get an e-mail from the ETD submission system stating that your thesis/dissertation has been accepted. The Registrar's Office is also notified by way of this e-mail that you are finished, so you don't need to worry about that.
2. Where should I go for assistance?
The ETD Web site contains all the information you need to know to submit their thesis/dissertation on line, including a Help & Tutorials section as well as a checklist and other documents to help them through the process. Support is always available via e-mail to etd-questions@wpi.edu.
3. My advisor wants a bound paper copy. How do I get one?
You or your advisor are welcome to contact Acme Bookbinding Company about their on-demand thesis printing and binding service. Acme offers a reasonably priced beautiful hard cover printing and binding service. Just send Acme a PDF of your thesis or dissertation, and they take care of the rest.
4. Can I turn in my thesis on diskette or CD-ROM?
No. All theses & dissertations must be converted to PDF and uploaded through the ETD submission system.
5. I can't get all the signatures for my title page. Can I still turn in my thesis/dissertation?
Yes you can. If your major advisor is not available to sign, your department/program head should be able to sign on his/her behalf. If other members of your committee are not available to sign, it's not a big deal, but it is generally preferred that you get all signatures if you can.
6. I'm submitting from another location and can't get to campus to turn in the forms. Can I submit via fax?
Yes, you can. Generally, we recommend that you fax the Approval Form and title page to your advisor with your signatures on them - be sure to arrange this with your advisor in advance. Then, the advisor can sign them, collect any needed signatures, and send the paperwork to the ETD Coordinator. If you need to fax the ETD Coordinator, directly, use extension x5320.
7. I don't have a WPI account, so I can't upload my thesis/dissertation. How can I get one?
To obtain an account (and indeed, to graduate), you must be registered in the current semester. If you are, create the account by Banner Web. If not, you will need to enroll with the Registrar's Office first.
8. I don't think I will be able to finish by the deadline. How can I get an extension?
Your advisor will need to request an extension for you from the Registrar's Office. The ETD Coordinator cannot grant extensions.
9. My thesis/dissertation includes a simulation/program that I wrote. Can I include that with my PDF?
Many students produce simulations or working programs as part of their research. You are welcome to upload files along with your PDF, but be aware that the library cannot guarantee the archival integrity of such files - a time may come when your program will not work on modern-day computers and be rendered obsolete. Be sure your thesis adequately describes what the program or simulation is capable of. You might also include any source code with your PDF so that someone could recreate the work later.
10. Is there a required format for ETDs?
No. There are some general recommendations listed on the ETD Web site, including sample title page formats, but no requirements. The only exception to this is that there are a few requirements for bound paper copies, but since binding isn't required by the university, ETDs are not bound to these rules.
11. Do I have to include my title page in the PDF?
Yes, you need to include the title page in the PDF you submit to the university. You do NOT, however, have to scan in the page with all the signatures on it. If you don't like seeing the blank lines, just make a version of the title page with those removed, and include that in the PDF you upload. Without a title page in the online document, however, your ETD will not be accepted.
12. Can I edit my ETD after I submit it?
You can replace the PDF with new versions as often as you want until you submit it for advisor approval. That version will be put on-line if the advisor approves.
While your advisor has it available for review, if you or the advisor discover an edit that needs to be made, the advisor must use the ETD system decline approval so that you can edit the work again.
If there is a need for an edit after the advisor has approved, the advisor can request replacement by emailing etd-questions to make arrangements.
Essentially, the work is out of your hands once you submit it for advisor approval.
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Last modified: Aug 02, 2013, 10:32 EDT
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