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Thesis & Dissertation Submission Instructions

Student typing on computer

Final oral exams must be completed before the Graduate School will review any thesis or dissertation. Once the student has made any/all corrections suggested by their committee, the student may upload a submission for format check by the Graduate School through ProQuest. 

The Graduate School will only review theses and dissertations for formatting. The student, advisor and committee are responsible for ensuring content is accurate. 

Creating a ProQuest Account

  1. Students logging onto ProQuest for the first time must create a ProQuest account. ProQuest can be accessed at: At the bottom of the page, click the red 'Sign up and get started today!' box. Enter the required information (*) and select create. Be sure to enter a valid email address which you regularly check. 
  2. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address listed upon completion of sign up. Click the 'confirm account' link in the email. Use created login information for future visits to ProQuest. 

Submitting Thesis/Dissertation Using ProQuest 

  1. Log onto to ProQuest by selecting the login button in the top right corner of the page. Enter login information and click 'Login'. ProQuest will bring you through several tabs located on the left of the page, each including specific instructions. Read through each section carefully. Several pages will provide additional links to more information. Click these to learn more. 
  2. Instructions - Carefully read through the 'Instructions' tab and select 'Continue'.
  3. PQ Publishing Options - On the next tab, you will be given the choice to select publishing options. You may select either traditional or open access publishing PLUS. Read through each option and select the one that best suits your needs. Traditional access is free to students. Open access has a $95 cost. You may then select if you want major search engines to discover your work and if you would like to delay the release of your work. If you are delaying the release of your work, complete the remaining questions on the page and contact the Graduate School. You MUST submit additional documentation to the Graduate School to delay the release of a thesis/dissertation. Just selecting 'no' on ProQuest will not delay release of a document. See Embargo Policy (and below) for more information. Select 'Save & Continue'.
  4. ProQuest Agreement - Read through the publishing agreement carefully. The agreement is based on the publishing option selected on the previous tab. You have the option to change your publishing option choice prior to final submission of the thesis or dissertation. Select 'Accept'. Selecting 'Decline' will not allow your work to appear on ProQuest. 
  5. Contact Information - Complete all required (*) contact information. Use an email address which you regularly check. All communication about your thesis/dissertation will be sent to the address listed. You may use your Jacks account, but it is not required. All information should be accurate and up to date. Click 'Save & Continue'.
  6. Dissertation/Thesis Details - Complete all required (*) information about your thesis/dissertation. The title should be written exactly how it appears in the final document. Do not abbreviate or alter the title. 'Year Manuscript Completed' is the year in which the document was submitted for final approval. 'Degree Date' is the year in which the degree will be granted. When entering name of advisor(s) and/or committee members, do not include Dr. or Ph.D. in the name. You may enter up to six keywords; these keywords will be helpful for people searching for relevant work on your topic. In the 'Abstract' box, copy and paste the abstract directly from your thesis/dissertation. Only include the abstract text, not the page header. Select English as the primary language. Click 'Save & Continue'. 
  7. PDF - Select the 'Upload File' button to upload your thesis or dissertation for review. The file should be titled as LastName, FirstName. Files should be uploaded as PDFs. If uploading a Word document, ProQuest will automatically change document into PDF format. All students must also complete an electronic copyright permission document. Select 'No'. Carefully read the copyright document, complete and electronically sign, and the form will be routed to the Graduate School. This must be received before your thesis/dissertation can be published. More information can be found in the 'Copyright' section. Click 'Save & Continue'. 
  8. Supplemental Files (Optional) - You may upload supplementary files, however this section is optional. If files already appear in your document, do not re-upload them. If adding files, these files will also be made available in ProQuest when the document is published. These documents are also subject to copyright. Click 'Save & Continue'. 
  9. Notes (Optional) - You may add additional notes that will be seen by the Graduate School upon submission of your document. These notes will not appear in your final thesis/dissertation. If you have immediate questions, contact the Graduate School directly at or 605-688-4181. Click 'Save and Continue'. 
  10. Register U.S. Copyright - Select whether or not you have received previous copyrights for this thesis/dissertation. If yes, provide additional information. You will have the option to have your copyright registered with the U.S. Copyright Office for $55. This is not required. Click 'Save & Continue'. 
  11. Order Copies - You may choose to order copies of your thesis/dissertation through ProQuest, but it is NOT required! You may purchase copies of your document through the Briggs Library at a reduced cost. If ordering copies, enter the number and type of copies you would like and click 'Continue with order'. You will be asked to confirm delivery address and enter payment information. Your document will not be ordered until the final version of your thesis/dissertation is submitted for publishing. If choosing not to order copies from ProQuest, click 'Decline - do not order'. 
  12. Submit- Review/verify all details of your submission. You may select any tabs on the left of the page to make changes to your document. Once all necessary changes have been made click 'Submit'. An email will be sent to your email address verifying your submission. You may review your submission at any time and make revisions to your document prior to review by the Graduate School. 
  13. Your thesis or dissertation will be reviewed 3-5 days following initial submission. Feedback will be provided via email address used through ProQuest. Follow the link provided in the email or log onto the ProQuest page to make revisions to the initial document. 
  14. To revise a document, select the PDF tab on the left of the page. Under the PDF icon select 'replace' and upload an updated PDF document based on the changes requested by the Graduate School. Verify revision by selecting 'Save Changes.' To complete your submission you must click 'I'm done - submit my changes' in the yellow box which appears after changes are saved. Review the submission summary and if everything is acceptable, click 'Submit revisions.' A new email will be sent to the Graduate School. 
  15. The Graduate School will alert you if additional changes must be made. All reiterations of the document should be submitted via ProQuest until required changes are complete. If no changes are required, no further submissions are necessary. 
  16. Student should submit a signed acceptance page to the Graduate School (see below). This page will be inserted into the final document. 
  17. The $27 printing and binding fee must be paid at the Briggs Library (see below). 
  18. When the acceptance page, copyright form, final thesis/dissertation are accepted, and the library binding fee has been paid, the Graduate School will send the final electronic copy (PDF format) to ProQuest for publishing. An email will be sent once the thesis or dissertation has been approved and sent. Departments may request copies of final theses and dissertations. 

Once the final PDF is sent to ProQuest for publication and binding fees have been paid, the thesis/dissertation is considered complete. 

Acceptance Page 

The acceptance page must be signed electronically by the student's advisor, department head, and Dean of the Graduate School and initiated by the student completing the thesis or dissertation. The Graduate School will also accept hard copies of the signed acceptance page if that is the preference of the student and/or department. Hard copies of the acceptance page may be printed on office-grade white paper. If the student wants multiple, original, ink signed acceptance pages to include in multiple personal copies of their thesis or dissertation, the student must obtain multiple copies of the acceptance page and submit them to the Graduate School.

Once the acceptance page is finalized, the Graduate School will upload the acceptance page into the student's final thesis or dissertation document on ProQuest. 

Please contact the Graduate School if you have two advisors and a separate document will be provided. 


The student will need to pay the $27 binding fee to the library before the thesis or dissertation can be finalized. The $27 fee covers printing and binding for one copy of the document, which is kept at the library. The library accepts cash, check, hobo dough and credit card payments. Students paying by credit card should use the binding fee credit card link when completing payment. 

The library will prepare the University copy of the thesis/dissertation. The library will also bind additional copies for students requesting theses/dissertations for personal or professional reasons for an additional $20 per copy printed on regular paper and $27 per copy printed on rag paper. 

Contact Sandy Linn (605-688-5566) with questions. 

Copyright/Open PRAIRIE Repository

The library will be housing all theses and dissertations in SDSU's Open Access Institutional Repository (Open PRAIRIE). This repository was established to support the collection, preservation, and dissemination of SDSU's scholarship and creative output. More information about Open PRAIRIE can be found here. Students interested in the procedures that apply to copyrighted materials and how they are interpreted should view SDSU Policy 9:4 - Copyright Policy

All students submitting a thesis or dissertation must complete an electronic copyright form to have work displayed in the online repository. 

Delaying Publication of Work/Embargo

Any student requiring delayed publication of their thesis or dissertation in order to facilitate the protection of valuable intellectual property rights and provide opportunities for self-publication while facilitating academic freedom and access to scholarly works should review Policy 2:18 - Publication Delays for Theses and Dissertations. 

Delays may last for 6 months, 1, 2 or 3 years. A delay must be requested in writing via the Thesis or Dissertation Hold Request form and submitted to the Graduate School. 


Additional information regarding ProQuest, thesis/dissertation submission and copyright options can be found on the Briggs Library webpage.