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Thesis & Dissertation Submission Instructions

Student 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 his/her 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.

ProQuest Instructions

Creating a ProQuest Account

  1. Students logging onto ProQuest for the first time must create a ProQuest account.
    • ProQuest.
    • 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 that you regularly check
    • 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 on 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 with each including specific instructions.
    • Read through each section carefully. Several pages will provide additional links to more information. Click these to learn more. You can also read through the following notes we have provided that also include the Graduate School recommendations.
  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.
      • Note: Open PRAIRIE is a free, open access repository hosted through Briggs Library that will also publish your paper based on your publishing preferences.
    • You may then select if you want major search engines to discover your work or 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.
      • You MUST also submit additional documentation (the thesis or dissertation hold request) to the Graduate School to delay the release of a thesis/dissertation. Just selecting 'no' on ProQuest will not delay release of a document.
      • If you need a hold/embargo, this document must be received before your thesis/dissertation can be published.
      • 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.
      • 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 that you regularly check outside of school. All communication about your thesis/dissertation will be sent to the email 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' on ProQuest.
    • Carefully read the copyright formcopyright document, complete, and electronically sign; 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 but will not be present in your bound thesis or dissertation..
    • 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 whether you have received previous copyrights for this thesis/dissertation.
    • If yes, provide additional information.
    • You will also have the option to have your copyright registered with the U.S. Copyright Office for $55.
    • This is not required. (The copyright document form you complete for SDSU will cover this) 
  11. Order Copies - You may choose to order copies of your thesis/dissertation through ProQuest, but it is NOT required!
    • You must purchase at least one copy of your document through the Briggs Library for their archives department.
      • Use the binding fee credit card link to complete your order through Briggs Library.
        • As of 2022, it is $34 for the library copy and $22 for an additional copy on regular paper or $34 on rag paper.
    • If choosing not to order copies from ProQuest, click 'Decline - do not order'.
    • If you choose to also order a copy through ProQuest, 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.
  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. Other Documents - When you submit your document via ProQuest, please make sure you have also submitted the following documents:

Graduate School Review/Revision Process

  1. 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.
  2. Once you receive feedback from the Graduate School, to revise a document, select the PDF tab on the left of the page in ProQuest.
    • 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When the acceptance page (acceptance page for a thesis or acceptance page for a dissertation), copyright form, thesis or dissertation hold request (only if you are planning to place an embargo/hold on your document), library binding fee (binding fee credit card link or pay at the library), and final thesis/dissertation are accepted, 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.