Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD)

Service profile

The Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) application is used by Stanford students for the submission of PhD dissertations and Engineering Masters Theses.

ETDs at Stanford is a joint initiative involving Stanford Libraries and the Office of the University Registrar that launched in Fall 2009. Teams from both organizations support the program, with policies, workflows and software, to enable the submission, processing, online availability, and preservation of theses and dissertations in digital form produced by Stanford students. University IT's Administrative Services is a third partner who oversees PeopleSoft/Axess integration points with the ETD application.

The Office of the Registrar supports students by providing documentation available online to reduce the need for in-person assistance. The streamlined submission process saves time for the Registrar and students alike, and reduces environmental impact by eliminating the need to print multiple paper copies for binding, or even more copies when last-minute corrections are required.

All PhD and Engineering Master's student submissions are published in the Stanford Digital Repository and available for access in SearchWorks.


  • Easy-to-use system for uploading dissertation PDF, supplemental files and permission files as necessary
  • Option to create a dissertation abstract to greatly enhance online discoverability
  • Optional licenses available for selection as desired
  • Option to embargo the publication (delay the release) for up to 2 years from time of deposit, in the following increments: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years
  • Workflow provides for online review and approval by readers, primary advisor and University Registrar staff
  • Each deposited dissertation is published at a persistent URL (PURL) where it can be cited and reliably accessed now and into the future
  • Each deposited dissertation is added to the library catalog, SearchWorks, where it can be discovered along with other works by Stanford students and faculty
  • The descriptive metadata for each deposited dissertation is provided to OCLC WorldCat, a comprehensive world-wide database about library collections (dissertation PDFs and supplemental files are made available once any embargo has been lifted)

Available to

Stanford students, for the submission of PhD dissertations and Engineering Masters Theses only (includes: Ph.D., J.S.D., D.M.A. and Engineer degrees). 


Students must have applied to graduate, and be prepared to complete the follow-on tasks listed in Axess in the academic quarter that they plan to submit their dissertation.

Data security

The SDR allows deposit of low risk and medium risk information as defined by the Information Security Office. Note that ETD deposits to the SDR are subject to the Stanford University Thesis & Dissertation Publication License.


Free of charge 

Get started

Complete the checklist in Axess during the quarter in which graduation is planned. Once completed, the ETD submission interface is enabled in each student’s Axess account. Then, refer to How to Use the eDissertation/eThesis Center. The submission portal opens on the first day of instruction each quarter.

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For Stanford ETD Authors and Librarians

  • If an embargo is desired, it must be requested during the ETD submission process by the author.
  • An existing embargo may be extended per author request, by submitting a ServiceNow ticket, or emailing edissertations@lists.stanford.edu. The maximum total duration allowed for an embargo is two years.
  • An existing embargo may be lifted at any time per author request, by submitting a ServiceNow ticket, or emailing edissertations@lists.stanford.edu.
  • When an ETD is embargoed, only the catalog record is available for world viewing, unless the user is a Stanford affiliate.
  • When an ETD is embargoed, the catalog record, ETD PDF and any supplemental files are available for viewing and download by Stanford affiliates only.
  • When an ETD is not embargoed or an existing embargo has been lifted, the catalog record, ETD PDF and any supplemental files are available for world viewing and download.