Dissertation and Thesis Submission
Graduate Academic Affairs
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View temporary regulations about the submission of the FINAL DEFENSE confirmation and SIGNATURE APPROVAL PAGE for a dissertation or thesis.
PhD Dissertation and Master's Thesis Filing Checklist
1. Advance to Candidacy and Apply to Graduate
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. The master's application for candidacy is accessed through R'Grad.
It is expected that PhD students will have completed the oral qualifying exam and advanced to candidacy prior to filing the dissertation.
PhD and Master's students must also submit a separate graduation application through R'Web by Monday of week 4 of the quarter they plan to graduate. See the Graduation Procedures page for specific deadlines and instructions.
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. Ensure that your preliminary pages match the samples. You may find the format guide on the Filing Resources page. Microsoft Word and LaTex templates are also available to assist you.
For additional formatting help and information, including templates and samples, visit Filing Resources.
If your manuscript contains previously published information, you may need to acquire approval to reprint it.
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 (in person and online) to help students understand the requirements. The workshops are typically held in week 5 but be sure to check your R'Mail for announcements. Past workshop presentations can be found on the Filing Resources page. Attending a format workshop is highly recommended.
4. Review the Deadlines
The last day to file your manuscript is typically the last business day of the quarter. Deadlines for the current year are posted in a chart on the Graduation Procedures page. You must submit the final version of the dissertation/thesis and all additional paperwork, including the original completed Signature Approval Page and Final Defense form, by 12:00pm (noon) 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 the ProQuest ETD FAQ page. Graduate Academic Affairs staff will review your submission to identify any formatting issues and will communicate with you via email regarding necessary changes to the document. You may be asked to upload your document multiple times. 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 Academic Affairs staff will submit the approved final version to ProQuest once you have completed all graduation procedures.
ProQuest offers students the opportunity to order bound copies of the dissertation at the time of the format review submission. Please note that this is an optional service and that there are other ways to order printed copies of the dissertation such as UCR Printing and Reprographics or your neighborhood print/copy shop. If you do order copies through ProQuest, please be aware that it will take several months for the copies to be prepared and shipped to you. ProQuest will not begin processing your order until the documents are uploaded from UCR which may take 6-8 weeks from the end of the quarter in which you graduate.
Many of your questions may be answered by visiting the ProQuest ETD FAQ page.
6. Participate in a Final Defense and Get Signatures of Approval
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 12:00pm (noon) on 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 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 (see step 7) in your dissertation. Both must be submitted to Graduate Academic Affairs by 12:00pm (noon) on the posted deadline.
*There are temporary instructions in place for submission of proof of your final defense (Form 5) while campus is closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit https://graduate.ucr.edu/campus-closure for specific information.
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 document. Please make sure to allow enough time to obtain all the signatures prior to 12:00pm (noon) on the final filing deadline. All committee members must sign on the same signature page. Graduate Division will NOT accept signature pages that do not have all members' "wet" signatures on the same page. Be aware of your committee members' schedules and make plans to accommodate this requirement! Submit this form on paper directly to the Graduate Academic Affairs office in the Graduate Division, 140 University Office Building by 12:00pm (noon) on the posted deadline.
The signature approval page that you include in your digital dissertation in ProQuest will not include signatures.
A Signature Page template may be found on the Filing Resources page.
*There are temporary instructions in place for submission of the signature approval page while campus is closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit https://graduate.ucr.edu/campus-closure for specific information.
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 are completed online. Master's students will submit the Final Defense form (if a defense is required), Signature Approval Page and the Acknowledgment of Previously Published Material (if applicable). All additional paperwork is due by 12:00pm (noon) 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 of submitting your document. 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, so take all precautions!
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. Participate in the Commencement Ceremony
If you wish to participate in the commencement ceremony, you must verify your eligibility and submit your intent to participate. Information for graduate students regarding Commencement and the requirements for participation can be found on the Commencement Information page. The main UCR Commencement page has information about the schedule of ceremonies, tickets, and much more.
11. Update Your Permanent Address in R'Web
Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address in R'Web approximately 2 months after your degree conferral date. Any questions about the diploma should be directed to email@example.com. You may also visit the Registrar's web site for more information.
Transcripts - both official and unofficial - with your degree conferral noted will be ready approximately 4 weeks after your degree conferral date. Official transcripts may be ordered through R'Web. Unofficial transcripts may be accessed from your Student Profile in R'Web.