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Before Defense

1. Create a schedule to graduation and begin writing

Plan the research and writing of the thesis or dissertation with the chair of your supervisory committee.

Use these links to guide your schedule and begin writing.

2. Self-check your manuscript

Consult the Thesis Handbook and your supervisor with questions about

3. Submit a preliminary review

Optional but highly recommended

When you have a chapter or more completed, submit it for preliminary review.

The manuscript will not be processed for graduation, but it will be examined for obvious errors in University format.

After the defense, manuscripts cannot be submitted for a preliminary review.

4. Prepare for your defense

Submit manuscript to supervisory committee

Submit the thesis or dissertation to members of the supervisory committee before the final oral examination.

  • committee chair = at least 3 weeks before 
  • other committee members = at least 2 weeks before

Some departments require more than 3 weeks; check with your chair. 

5. Obtain copyright permissions

For all published materials, reach out to the publisher to obtain permission to duplicate copyrighted material. See copyright info in the handbook

You will also need to obtain a release from any co-authors, including any committee members who served as co-authors. 

6. Defend

Defend your thesis or dissertation at a public oral examination scheduled and announced by the committee.

The defense should be scheduled early enough for the student to make any changes requested by the committee and submit the departmentally-approved manuscript at least 2 weeks prior to the target date for the semester.

After Defense

7. Make changes

Adjust and revise your manuscript based on the directions of your supervisory committee.

These changes can affect your formatting so re-check your manuscript to determine that you are still following the formatting requirements.

8. Submit manuscript

Within 2 weeks of the successful defense date, submit a PDF copy of the approved manuscript through OnBase.

Refer to the Thesis Office calendar for target dates. Submit your manuscript as early as possible to ensure graduation in the semester during which you submit.

To submit, you will need uNIDs* for your supervisory committee members and the department chair. This allows OnBase to collect their signatures.

*For non-U of U faculty members, you will enter an email address.

9. Track committee signatures

As the student, it is your responsibility to ensure that signatures come in from your committee members and department chair.

You will receive confirmation emails as signatures are submitted. Follow up on any missing signatures directly with your committee.

Manuscripts remain in a holding queue until the department chair and the majority of the committee members have signed the electronic forms.

10. Manuscript moves to working queue

Once signatures are received, the manuscript will move into the working queue.

Approved manuscripts are reviewed by editors within 2 business days and are processed in the order in which they are received. 

Follow your progress in the queue using the Thesis Manuscript Tracking system. 

11. Receive review results

Format Approval

  • receive instructions on how to upload manuscript to ProQuest for publication

Minor Compliance Issues

  • receive written guidance regarding changes required to address issues with format specifications or required documentation (e.g., table of contents errors, missing permissions documents,  etc.)
  • requires resubmission of the manuscript once changes have been implemented

Major Compliance Issues

    • occurs when the manuscript is dramatically out of compliance with formatting requirements and best practices
    • be informed of major compliance issues (e.g., margin or spacing errors, incorrect table or figure placement, or extensive grammar and punctuation deficiencies).
      • specific recommendations will be returned to the student, the committee chair, and the department chair within 5 business days of the original receipt
    • requires the revised manuscript to enter the queue as a first submission and begin the review process again

12. Work with editor for Format Approval

If you do not receive Format Approval on first submission, correspond with your Thesis Office editor regarding any necessary changes to the manuscript. Resubmit as needed.

Be prepared for 4-6 iterations of corrections and feedback. When all formatting and documentation requirements have been met, you will receive Format Approval. 

13. Upload to ProQuest

After receiving Format Approval, you will be given instructions for uploading a PDF file to ProQuest/UMI.

The final manuscript should be uploaded as soon as possible, but no later than 2 days before the end of finals week. See Academic Calendar.

Check your email frequently. Sometimes errors are discovered in the manuscript uploaded to ProQuest. If this is the case, an editor will email you through your ProQuest account. All corrections requested through ProQuest must be made before Thesis Release is granted.

14. Thesis Release issued

Once the final manuscript is satisfactory, the dean of The Graduate School signs the Final Reading Approval form and a Thesis Release is issued.

All processing of the manuscript must be completed by the last day of the semester for graduation in the semester.

If a Thesis Release cannot be issued by the closing date of the semester, the student will need to reapply for graduation for the next semester.

The diploma is also dated at the end of the graduation semester but the student may obtain an earlier Statement of Degree Completion from the Office of the Registrar. Diplomas are mailed to students by the Office of the Registrar approximately 3 months after the closing date of the semester of graduation.

Need a Statement of Degree Completion?

The Office of the Registrar may be able to provide one after your Thesis Release is issued. 

Learn More  about Statement of Degree Completion

Last Updated: 5/3/24