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Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Guidelines


Before You Begin

Candidates are expected to have completed the following steps prior to the quarter in which they expect to complete the thesis or dissertation:

  • Submit Graduation Application to the Graduation Office by stated deadline one quarter prior to expected completion.
  • Establish an approved committee and thesis/dissertation title as required by your college (Form GS-12).
  • Follow departmental requirements for enrolling in thesis/dissertation courses (master's candidates: 597, 599, or 900 courses; doctoral candidates: 699 courses).
  • Submit an acceptable thesis or project proposal as required by your department or program.

Steps for Thesis/Dissertation Submission

Candidates must meet the three deadlines of the thesis/dissertation submission process:

Step 1: Submit a document for preliminary review — End of Week 10

Candidates will submit a copy of the thesis/dissertation to the Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer who will check that the document adheres to stated formatting standards. A preliminary review is required prior to final submission. Documents may be submitted for review via email, though students are encouraged to schedule a face-to-face appointment with the reviewer. If a document is found to be unacceptable or incomplete, it will be referred back to the advisor or thesis committee.

Step 2: Submit Form GS-13 and Upload Approved Document — End of Quarter

GS-13: Candidates must obtain the signatures of all committee members and the department chair(s) on the GS-13 form in order for the thesis to be offically accepted by the University. Download the appropriate form below, fill out the required fields on your computer, and print the form in order to obtain these signatures. Submit the signed GS-13 form with original ink signatures to your Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer by the end of finals week.

*SPECIAL NOTE* Please use Adobe Reader (a free download) to fill out these forms. Other applications work, but the correct formatting will be lost in translation.

Master's Candidates

Doctoral Candidates

GS-13 (3 signatures)

GS-13D (4 signatures)

GS-13 (4 signatures)

GS-13D (5 signatures)

GS-13 (5 signatures)


Upload Approved Document: The Candidate must convert the original document into Portable Document Format (PDF). Prepare the approved Word document for uploading:

  • Check that the preliminary pages and end matter are in the correct order and are paginated correctly.
  • Embed all fonts (Mac users do not typically have to do this as fonts are automatically embedded when you convert files into PDF).
  • Convert file to PDF, or use easy conversion tool in ETD Administrator.
  • Check PDF security settings. Must be set to "No security."
  • Check that the file size does not exceed 250 MB.
  • Check the file again for accuracy. Occasionally, the conversion to PDF is not successful and you need to do it again.

After converting your document to PDF, proceed with the submission process at the UMI ETD Administrator website. Create an account, log on, and follow the instructions provided. Allow approximately 1 hour.

Step 3: Receive Confirmation that Submission is Complete — Thursday after Finals Week

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Reviewers check all files and certify that all information is accurate. If errors are found in an account or PDF document, the Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer will email instructions to the candidate to make changes and re-submit. Final submissions must be done before the deadline. Once all corrections are made, the candidate will receive an email confirming that the thesis or dissertation has cleared all checks.

The Thesis/Dissertation Coordinator submits all approved files to the publisher and notifies the Registrar's Office, College Graduate Dean, and the Graduation Office that the document has been accepted. ETDs become available to campus users in 8–12 weeks via the Library's catalog and digital repository.

Submission of Non-Print Materials

Candidates will submit supplemental CDs and DVDs, such as music compositions or videos, to the Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer by the same deadline to upload the thesis or project report to the ETD Administrator. CDs and DVDs must be stored in a traditional jewel or DVD case (not the slim cases) and must include both a liner note and a label on the disc with the following informaton:

  • Name
  • Title of project
  • Department or program
  • Quarter and year

For more information on non-print media, see Chapter 4 of the Thesis Guide.