Skip to main content

Overview of the ETD Process

This page describes four stages related to the review and approval of your ETD:

  • First ETD Submission
  • Final File Submission
  • Committee Review
  • Graduation

First ETD Submission

Students should submit their first ETD draft to the ETD System within a week of unconditionally passing their final defense. This draft should be a complete version of the thesis, with all required pages and information included.

The ETD Reviewer will check this draft to ensure that it follows all of the ETD formatting guidelines, as described in the ETD Guide. Typically, there are at the very least some minor issues with first submissions. Via the ETD system, the ETD Reviewer will return this draft with comments, which will mark only the first appearance of each formatting issue. After making the requested changes, it is the student’s responsibility to check the entire document for consistency.

In addition to consulting the ETD Guide, students are encouraged to review this ETD formatting checklist, which covers some common issues.

Embargo requests must be made before the final file is submitted.

Final File Submission

After making all of the requested changes, students should submit their error-free Final File Submission to the ETD System. In order to ensure approval, students should try to make their first submission of this kind well before the Final Error-Free deadline.

Before the Final Error-Free deadline, the student must have their ETD finalized. For this to happen, students must have done the following:

  • Apply to graduate by the Registration Required deadline.
  • Doctoral students only: submit all required forms by the Registration Required deadline.
  • Have the Final Error-Free Submission approved by the ETD Reviewer by the Final Error-Free deadline.

The Final File Submission, when approved, will be the file that is published by the library, so the content in this file should be absolutely final. After the ETD is approved, this file can only be replaced if the committee denies it (the process for this is explained below).

Committee Review

Once the ETD Reviewer has finalized the ETD, the committee members–not the committee chair–will immediately be notified via email and prompted to accept or deny the ETD submission. Faculty with the standard “Committee Member” role must approve the ETD before a Committee Chair is able to approve it. The entire committee must have approved the ETD by the Final Committee Approval deadline.

At this point in the process, the only way to change the ETD file is for a committee member to deny it.

If a committee member denies an ETD file during the committee review stage:

The student will be sent instructions about how to upload their new file to the ETD system and notify their committee. After making the committee’s requested changes and uploading the new file to the ETD system, the student must prompt their committee members via their Plan of Work. Students must manually click the appropriate button in their Plan of Work in order for their committee members to have the option to approve this new draft. 

In the case of a denial, all committee members must approve the new file, even if they approved the initial submission. All standard committee members must approve the file before the chair or co-chair can approve it. 

The ETD Reviewer does not review any files submitted after a committee denial.

Once the committee has approved the ETD, it is published by the library (unless an embargo request has been approved).  No changes can be made after this point.


When submitting the Doctoral Graduation Attendance Notification (DGAN), students indicate the current NC State faculty member who will serve as their sponsor for graduation. For the second part of the DGAN, students will record their name, exactly as they want it to be announced at graduation. Graduation speakers will pronounce names exactly as they hear them in the audio recording. More specific instructions regarding the graduation will be sent out to students and faculty sponsors in the month prior to the ceremony.

Students can postpone their participation in a graduation ceremony to the following term by emailing the ETD Reviewer ( However, students cannot participate in a graduation ceremony prior to completing their degree.