ETDs: Background

Current info for Graduate Students about electronic theses and dissertations.


Virginia Tech has been a worldwide leader in ETD initiatives for more than 20 years. On January 1, 1997, VT was the first university to require that graduate students submit their theses and dissertations online. Our mission is to preserve and provide access to the research and scholarship of Virginia Tech's graduate students.

Through a collaboration between the VT Graduate School and the University Libraries, ETDs, born-digital theses and dissertations, and many but not all of VT's  traditionally bound theses and dissertations have been scanned and are available in VTechworks, the university’s repository of digital research and scholarship. VT ETDs were originally submitted to and available through the ETD database 1997-2012.  ETDs from Virginia Tech and other institutions are also linked from the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (Global ETD Search) and other resources.

A primary goal of ETD initiatives is to make the research and scholarship conducted by graduate students freely and openly accessible. Another goal is to expand the medium of expression for graduate research and scholarship to more than words and figures that can be reproduced on paper, to other media, including audio and video. There are awards available for innovative ETDs.

In 1997 another goal was to give future academics opportunities to prepare electronic works such as book chapters, journal articles, and conference presentations, assuming that they would be publishing electronically in the future also.

ETDs give students the opportunity to prepare, submit, review, and publish electronic works such as book chapters, journal articles, and conference presentations. We support supplementary files in media formats such as csv (data), audio, video, 3-D images, and others.


Pre-1997 Theses & Dissertations

If you completed a thesis or dissertation at Virginia Tech before 1997, at least one of the copies you submitted to the Graduate School was bound and shelved at Newman Library. We are scanning all the Bound Theses and Dissertations (BTDs) so that more of the research and scholarship produced at Virginia Tech can be accessible online.  If your BTD is not yet online and you would like to add it to our priority list for scanning, please email

BTDs & Copyright

BTD authors own the copyright to their works but VT Policy 13000 gives the university non-exclusive rights. With the guidance of University Counsel, VT Libraries began making scanned BTDs publicly available in 2015.

If you believe that any material in VTechWorks should be removed, please see the VTechWorks policy and procedure for Requesting that Material be Amended or Removed. All takedown requests will be promptly acknowledged and investigated.