University of California, Riverside

Graduate Division

Dissertation/Thesis Filing Checklist

1. Advance to Candidacy

Master's students must file an application for advancement to candidacy no later than the first day of the quarter in which they plan to graduate.  Candidacy forms can be found on our Advancement to Candidacy Forms page.  It is expected that PhD students will have completed their oral qualifying exam and advanced to candidacy prior to filing the dissertation. 

2. Review the Format Guide

Reviewing the format guide is the first step in preparing your manuscript for submission.  It explains all aspects of the submission and graduation requirements.  Please read it carefully and review the sample pages.  Your preliminary pages must match the samples.  Microsoft Word and La Tex templates are also available to assist you.  

For additional formatting help and information, including templates and samples, visit Filing Resources.

For additional information about copyright and fair use in your dissertation, visit Copyright Resources.

3. Attend a Format Workshop

The Graduate Academic Affairs office holds workshops each quarter, typically in week 5, to help students understand the requirements.  Check your R'Mail for announcements. Past workshop presentations can be found on our Filing Resources page (right hand column at the bottom).  Attending a format workshop is not required for graduation, but it is highly recommended.

4. Review the Deadlines

The last day to file is typically the last business day of the quarter.  Deadlines for the current year are posted on our Deadline Dates page. The final version of the dissertation/thesis and all additional paperwork, including the original completed Signature Approval page and Final Defense form, must be submitted by 5:00pm on the deadline date.

5. Submit the Dissertation/Thesis for Format Review

Every student planning to file and graduate must submit a dissertation/thesis for format review at least two weeks prior to the final filing deadline.  The format review is uploaded via the ProQuest ETD website.  Please complete all the required screens and SUBMIT your document online.  For additional information visit our ProQuest ETD FAQ page.  Graduate Division staff will review your submission and identify any formatting issues.  We will communicate with you via email regarding necessary changes to the document.  If a second upload is required, you will be notified once the formatting has been approved and no further changes are needed.  This is an important step to ensure your document is ready by the final filing deadline.

Please do not be concerned that submitting this rough draft to ProQuest will result in it being published.  You will have the opportunity to submit a final version.  The Graduate Division staff will submit the approved and final version to ProQuest once all graduation procedures are complete.

Many of your questions may be answered by visiting our ProQuest ETD FAQ page.

6. Participate in a Final Defense and Get Signatures of Approval (Form 5)

If your program requires a final defense, you must submit proof of its completion to the Graduate Academic Affairs office in the Graduate Division by the final filing deadline.  If your final defense has been waived, you must submit proof of that as well.  The graduate program coordinator in your academic department can assist you with the Form 5 (Report of Final Examination) for PhD students or the Report of Final Defense for master's students.  The approval of your final defense is separate from the signature approval page in your dissertation.

7. Get the ENTIRE Committee to sign the Signature Approval Page

The signature approval page is a critical part of your final document.  On this page, your committee gives their final approval of the written dissertation/thesis.  Please make sure to allow enough time to obtain all the signatures prior to 5:00pm on the final filing deadline.  Be aware of your committee member's schedules and plans!  This form will be submitted on paper directly to the Graduate Academic Affairs office in the Graduate Division, University Office Building 140.  The signature approval page in your digital dissertation/thesis will be blank without signatures.

8. Complete any Additional Paperwork

In addition to the Final Defense form and Signature Approval page, PhD students are expected to submit two exit surveys and the Acknowledgment of Previously Published Material (if applicable). Both surveys can be completed online. Master's students will submit the Final Defense form, Signature Approval page and the Acknowledgment of Previously Published Material (if applicable). All additional paperwork is due by 5:00pm on the submission deadline.

A complete list and links to the paperwork can be found on our Filing Resources page.

9. Submit the Final Version of your Document on or before the Deadline

After uploading your dissertation/thesis for a format review to the ProQuest ETD website, you will receive an email from the Graduate Academic Affairs office. The email will include a review of the requirements for graduation and final submission. You should receive the email within 24 hours.  If you do not receive this email, please check your junk email folder or contact Graduate Academic Affairs.

Complete any changes requested in the format review and by your committee.  When the document is complete, return to the ProQuest ETD website to submit the final version of your dissertation/thesis.  When logging back in, choose the "revise" option. Once you submit the final version, you will not be permitted to make additional changes to the document.

Please be aware of all filing deadlines to be sure that you file your dissertation/thesis document, the signature page, and the final defense form in plenty of time to meet the deadline for the quarter in which you expect to receive your degree.  Deadlines are strictly enforced.

For information about what happens to your document after submission, visit our ProQuest ETD FAQ page.

10. Submit the Post Graduation Dissertation/Thesis Submission Survey

About one month after you have completed the requirements for your degree, you will be sent an electronic survey asking your opinion of UCR’s dissertation/thesis resources and submission process. Please consider participating in this survey in order to help the Graduate Division improve the system for future students.

11. Participate in the Commencement Ceremony

Students wishing to walk in the commencement ceremony must be eligible and verify an intent to participate.  Information for graduate students regarding Commencement and the requirements for participation can be found on our Commencement Information page. The main UCR Commencement page has information about the schedule of ceremonies, tickets, and much more.

Need Help?

Any questions you may have regarding the filing and graduation process can be directed to the Graduate Academic Affairs office.  You may call 951-827-3315, email (A-L) or (M-Z), or drop by our office in Room 140 of the University Office Building.


Important Links

ProQuest ETD Website -

ProQuest and Submission FAQs -

Additional Paperwork, Samples, Formatting Assistance and Workshops -

Copyright and Fair Use Information -

Deadlines -

Petitions, Forms and Handbooks -

UCR Commencement -

Graduate Division Commencement Information -


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Graduate Division
University Office Building

Tel: (951) 827-4302
Fax: (951) 827-2238