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ETD | FAQ for the Thesis/Dissertation Process


Office of Graduate Studies and Research
Spring Valley Building 3rd Floor

Tubman, Jonathan G.
Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies

Office of Graduate Studies and Research
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8075


Where can I get a copy of the Checklist for AU Thesis/Dissertation Completion?

Where can I get a copy of the American University Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission and Style Guide?

Aside from the American University Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission and Style Guide, are there other formatting guidelines I need to follow?

In addition to the Guide, you will need to consult a style manual. Some academic units may follow a particular method of citation specific to a discipline; in those cases students should use the authoritative style manual for their field. Print style guides are available in the library and we have compiled some online style resources. If your school or college does not specify a style guide, you may use the most recent edition of A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, These, and Dissertations, by Kate L. Turabian. This is the official University style manual which is available at the University Library Reference Desk and in the Campus Bookstore.

Formatting Assistance

Where can I get assistance with formatting my thesis/dissertation?

Students with questions about formatting in LaTeX can contact Assen Assenov ( or 202-885-3861) in CTRL.

Students with questions about how to format in MS Word or the MS Word template can contact the library's ETD coordinator.


Where can I find the AU thesis/dissertation templates?

Templates are available for users of Microsoft Word, Mac Word, and LaTeX here

I found a problem with the template. Who can I talk to?

Problems with the AU Microsoft Word template can be reported to the library's ETD coordinator. LaTeX template bugs can be reported to Dr. Alan Issac (x3785). 

Research Assistance

How can I obtain reference assistance for researching my thesis/dissertation topic?

You can reach the University Library's Research, Teaching & Learning Division through the following routes.

Telephone: 202-885-3238
In-person: Reference Desk, First Floor, University Library
By appointment:


Whom can I contact if I have questions about using copyrighted material in my thesis/dissertation?

You can contact Christopher Lewis ( in the university library.

Thesis/Dissertation Collection

What does the library do with the thesis/dissertation?

The library permanently maintains a microfilm copy as part of the library's physical collection and an electronic copy in the American University Research Commons. A catalog record for each thesis/dissertation is added to ALADIN, the online catalog.

How can I see a copy of a thesis/dissertation?

ALADIN, the online catalog, gives an accession number that corresponds to the microfilm copy that is stored on the lower level of the library. The microfilm copy is available for public viewing. For theses submitted through 2011, a bound copy is stored in University Archives or the WRLC Center for preservation and may be retrieved for onsite consultation. If you would like to see a bound copy, inquire at AU Archives. As of 2003, an electronic copy (a pdf file) of each thesis and dissertation is available as a free download in the Dissertations Abstracts database when that database is accessed on-campus or off-campus by current AU students, faculty or staff.


Who can I contact in my division/college if I have further questions about completing my thesis/dissertation?

College of Arts & Sciences Lauren Tabbara, Graduate Academic Programs Manager
(202) 885-2441,
School of Communication Jean McGee, Director of Graduate Advising
(202) 885-2078,
School of International Service Kasey Neil, PhD Program Assistant
(202) 885-6582,
School of Public Affairs Robert Briggs, Academic Counselor
(202) 885-6204,
Washington College of Law Bill Ryan, Law Librarian
(202) 274-4331,