Thesis and Dissertation Policies

At the University of Houston many graduate programs require the completion of an electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) in partial fulfillments of the requirements for awarding the degree.  ETD's are housed at the University Library; however, the Graduate School is responsible for setting and administering ETD policies.  Any questions regarding these policies can be directed to the Graduate School at

Academic Honesty
Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with college and university policies on academic honesty and plagiarism.  The Graduate Catalog currently defines plagiarism as: “representing as one’s own work the work of another without appropriately acknowledging the source.” The university does not institutionalize plagiarism by acknowledging, excusing or condoning ignorance under the rubric of “unintentional plagiarism.”  Students should contact their college or department coordinator for more information on academic honesty policies within the college.

With rare exceptions, students retain the copyright of their ETD.  When submitted their ETD to the Vireo system, students sign a licensing agreement that covers future access and third-party copyrighted materials.  The agreement gives the Texas Digital Library (TDL) and UH, through Vireo, the "...non-exclusive rights to copy, display, perform, distribute and publish the content..."  The student maintains copyright of the document.  This agreement simply makes it possible for TDL and UH to make a copy of your ETD available at some point in the future.

Publication Embargo
Some colleges require that students place an embargo on their work.  Embargos allow the student to delay publication for a period of time in order to pursue journal or book publication or patents.  Check with your college ETD coordinator to be sure you select the correct embargo type:


  • None -- The ETD will be published shortly after all approvals have been confirmed.  Students can expect to see their work in the UH Institutional Repository one to three months after it has been submitted to Vireo
  • Journal Hold -- The ETD will be published two years after the work is submitted to Vireo.  This option allows time for students to transform portions of their ETD into a journal article.
  • Patent Hold -- The ETD will be published five years after the work is originally submitted to Vireo.  This option allows time for the student to transform portions of their ETD into a patent or book.

Use of Previously Published Materials
Students who have previously published portions of their thesis or dissertation in professional journals or in books must demonstrate who ultimately retains the copyright to the published works before material can be made publicly available in UH Libraries’ Vireo repository. It is the student’s responsibility to determine copyright ownership; he/she should consult the contracts signed between the student and the publisher to determine the copyright holder.

Students in the Bauer College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences deposit their ETDs with ProQuest to be made available in the company’s ETD database.  Students in these colleges should contact their college ETD Coordinator for more information.

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation FAQ

What is an ETD?
Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETDs) are digital versions of your thesis or dissertation.  ETDs are created to make your work accessible via the internet.  Through a partnership between each college at UH, the UH Graduate School, UH Libraries, and the Texas Digital Library, ETDs are made freely available online for future access.

Where can I find my ETD once it is available to the public?
ETDs are stored in the University of Houston Libraries’ Institutional Repository: 

Do I have to follow any particular style guide for my ETD?
Formatting rules for your ETD are established by the college that is granting the degree you are pursuing.  Documentation for some colleges can be found at the following links:
●    Bauer College of Business: 
●    College of Education:
●    Cullen College of Engineering: 
●    College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences: 
●    College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics: 
●    College of Technology: 

Who is my college’s ETD Coordinator?
●    C.T. Bauer College of Business: Mary Gould
●    College of Education: Bernice Roberts
●    Cullen College of Engineering: Miranda Vernon-Harrison
●    Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management: Dawn Wolf-Taylor
●    College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences: Anna Marchese
●    College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics: Sharonda Glass
●    College of Optometry: Dr. Laura Frishman
●    College of Pharmacy: Christen Gould or Vanessa Lockett
●    Graduate College of Social Work: Renee Brooks
●    College of Technology: Tiffany Roosa or Catrina Ballard

What will the ETD coordinator look for when reviewing my submission?
ETD Coordinators may review the following aspects of your document before you complete the ETD process:
●    Signature page is blank
●    Name, date, and degree are correct
●    Reference pages conform to the correct style sheet
●    Title is exactly the same in all places, online and in the document
●    Abstract content in ETD matches abstract content in Vireo
●    Committee chair has approved your document in Vireo

Where can I go to get help with language and grammar?
Students seeking assistance with language and grammar should consult UH’s Writing Center (, located in room 234, Classroom and Business Building.  

Do I have to be enrolled in classes the semester I complete my ETD?

How do I gain access to Vireo and submit my document?
Students will be required to have a valid CougerNet ID and password to submit their ETD to Vireo. CougarNet ID and passwords expire anytime from the day of graduation up to 30 days after graduation.  If a graduate no longer has access to their CougarNet ID and password, they must apply for a and receive sponsored account ( through University IT before uploading his/her document into Vireo.
What is the last day that I can submit my ETD to Vireo?
Due dates are set by each college.  Students should contact their college’s ETD Coordinator for further information.
How do I know what type of embargo to place on my ETD?
If an embargo is required, students have two embargo options available to them:
●    Journal Hold -- The ETD will be published two years after the work is submitted to Vireo.  This option allows time for students to transform portions of their ETD into a journal article.
●    Patent Hold -- The ETD will be published five years after the work is originally submitted to Vireo.  This option allows time for the student to transform portions of their ETD into a patent or book.
The embargo level should be considered carefully, taking into consideration future plans to publish or patent content in the ETD.  The student should work closely with their thesis or dissertation chair to determine which embargo, if any, is appropriate.  The committee chair has the final authority to select the embargo level.
Who will hold the copyright for my ETD?
Under most circumstances, the student retains copyright over his/her ETD.  The student may transfer copyright to all or portions of the ETD when publishing content from the ETD into books or academic journals.  The contract between the student and the publisher would stipulate who retained copyright for the published material.     
Do I have to submit my ETD to UMI/Proquest?
Currently the C.T. Bauer College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences submit ETDs to Proquest.  Students enrolled in those colleges should contact their ETD Coordinator for more information.
How do I submit my ETD to UMI/Proquest?
Students enrolled in colleges that participate in Proquest (C.T. Bauer College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences) should consult their ETD Coordinators for instructions on submitting content to ProQuest.

Does my ETD need a signature page?
Students should include an unsigned signature page as part of their ETD.
Who do I contact for technical help while submitting my ETD to Vireo?
Students should contact Santi Thompson ( at UH Libraries for assistance with Vireo.
Who do I contact if I have questions about dissertation formatting or binding?
The student should contact their college’s ETD Coordinator for information on formatting or binding.  
I have a question that wasn't answered here.  What do I do?
Students should first contact their college’s ETD Coordinator for information not addressed in the FAQ section.  The coordinator will direct the student to other contacts.

Steps in the submission of Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Prepare to Submit:

Note: Be sure all corrections are made to the document and that your signature page is completed.


Step 1: Convert your document to a PDF

  • Do not convert your signature page to a PDF. It should not be uploaded to the ETD site.
  • For assistance with this step, please review the video available for your use at:

Step 2: Upload your PDF to the Vireo system:

Step 3: Wait for confirmation from your faculty chair and college coordinator that your document has been accepted

Step 4:  If your college uses UMI/ProQuest, submit your document at If you are unsure about using ProQuest contact your college coordinator.

Step 5:  Complete the Survey or Earned Doctorates (SED)

  • You may complete the hard-copy form given to you by the dissertation/thesis coordinator in your college, or
  • Complete the electronic form by visiting the SED website at:

Step 6: Request a bound copy of your document

  • Your college coordinator can help you with this step

To view your published electronic thesis or dissertation, please visit the University of Houston Institutional Repository (UHIR), hosted by UH Libraries.  From the UHIR home page, select "Elecronic Theses and Dissertations" under "Communities in Repository."  Please note that your thesis or dissertation will only be published after any embargo has expired.