ATTENTION: New, simpler format rules have been approved for 2016.
The Format Guide web page has details.
ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION TIMELINE
This timeline represents a typical thesis or project report submission. The process for dissertations varies slightly.
STUDENT ACTION - Delivery of signature page (On or before submission deadline date): The signature page is a printed piece of paper and should have all signatures complete on the page. A template for creating a signature page is available online.
THESIS OFFICE ACTION - Email sent to student (Within 1 day of signature page being delivered): The email includes information about uploading PDF of manuscript to online database website.
STUDENT ACTION - Upload of PDF manuscript (Within 5 business days of Thesis Office email being sent): The manuscript must be complete in one PDF and formatted to the best of the student's ability and use embedded font as well. Online technical support is provided on the online database website including tutorials about the online submission process. Thesis Office staff is ready to help as well; call or email and we will reply by the next business day. A payment of $95 is required at the time of uploading the PDF. Also, it is important for the student to keep a record of the User Name and Password for his or her account in order to make corrections later in the process
THESIS OFFICE ACTION - Initial evaluation (Within 4 weeks of date when student uploads PDF): During most semesters, the turnaround time for the initial evaluation is 2-4 weeks. However, for manuscripts submitted during the end of the Spring semester submission period, the turnaround time can be up to 6 weeks. Evaluators read through PDFs on a first come, first served basis (based on the date when the student uploads the PDF). Notes will be added to the PDF. Evaluators upload the annotated PDF to the online database website and email the student.
STUDENT ACTION - First correction (Within 2 weeks of receiving email about initial evaluation--flexible deadline): Students are advised, but not required, to set a 2 week turnaround time to make revisions to ensure completing the submission process within the semester deadline. Students download the annotated PDF and, based on the notes in the PDF, make corrections to a version of their manuscript that is easily changed (usually a Microsoft Word document). Then they save the corrected version as a PDF and upload it to the online database website. Students can call or email the Thesis Office at any time with questions about how to make revisions.
THESIS OFFICE ACTION - Follow-up evaluation (Within 1 week of upload of corrected PDF): Evaluators compare the corrected version of the student's manuscript to the notes in the annotated PDF. The student is emailed with results. There are three possible outcomes: (a) PDF needs a second correction—a PDF with notes attached is uploaded to the online database website at the same time that the email is sent to the student ; (b) PDF is "cleared pending" minor corrections—the email sent to the student will contain a list of 15 or fewer corrections still needed in the PDF, or (c) PDF is "cleared"—no further corrections are needed.
STUDENT ACTION - Final corrections (Within 1 week of receiving email with follow-up evaluation results - flexible deadline): Students are advised, but not required, to take action within a week of receiving email about their PDF status to ensure completing the submission process within the semester deadline. Students with second corrections need to upload a new PDF with corrections based on the annotated PDF from the follow-up evaluation, and they should expect to receive a cleared pending or cleared email from the Thesis Office within 1 week of uploading the new PDF. Students with cleared pending status need to upload a new PDF with revisions based on the corrections listed in the email, and they should expect to receive a cleared email from the Thesis Office within 1 week of uploading the new PDF.
THESIS OFFICE ACTION – Issue clearance letter (Within 1 week of date of upload of PDF that needs no corrections): Once a student's PDF has cleared, meaning that no more corrections are needed, the Thesis Office releases the PDF to the database company for publication online. An email is sent to the student (with copies to the student's Thesis Chair, the graduate advisor of the department, and Enrollment Services) to confirm that the student has fulfilled all requirements. The submission process is complete.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When is the very last day that my thesis can be cleared in order for me to graduate this semester?
The ultimate deadline is decided each semester by the Thesis Office in consultation with Enrollment Services. It is always during the first few weeks of the following semester, and very few students come close to missing that deadline. If the date is of concern to you, ask about it after you receive the email about the initial evaluation of your PDF manuscript. An ultimate deadline date will have been determined by that time for that semester. If a student has not made all corrections to his or her manuscript before this ultimate deadline, graduation will be pushed back and all paperwork filed with Enrollment Services for graduation will have to be updated.
.I'm having trouble making the corrections asked for by the Thesis and Dissertation Office. What should I do?
During the period between submission and completion, the Thesis and Dissertation Office gives priority to all requests (email, telephone or walk-in) made by students whose manuscripts are undergoing evaluation and revision for that semester. Call, email or stop by with any questions or problems. We will work with you to help make corrections and adjust deadline dates as much as possible if other events in your life get in the way of making revisions.
Can I submit a fully signed signature page before the first day of an official submission period?
Yes, you can. If a student submits a fully signed signature page before the first day of a submission period, he or she will receive an email with instructions about uploading the PDF of his or her manuscript, which should be uploaded within 5 business days of the date that the email was sent. The PDF will not be evaluated, however, before the first day of the official submission period. Generally PDFs submitted early in the submission period are evaluated within 1 week.
Can I submit a fully signed signature page after the last day of an official submission period?
Fully signed signature pages submitted after the last day of an official submission period will be accepted for the next semester submission period. An email would be sent to the student with instructions about uploading the PDF manuscript after the majority of submissions for the current semester submission period have been evaluated, and the PDF would be evaluated on or shortly after the first day of the official submission period for the next semester.
Is there any way to put in a rush order for my manuscript evaluation?
PDF manuscripts are evaluated in the order they are uploaded to the online database website. No exceptions will be made. If you have commitments that require timely clearance of your manuscript (e.g., employment, doctoral program admission, relocation, or extended trip), you should make every effort to submit your fully signed signature page early in the submission period. The turnaround time is much shorter early in the semester.
Can my thesis be rejected for formatting errors?
Rejection of your manuscript for formatting errors is a rare but very real possibility. Manuscripts submitted for an initial evaluation must be professional and formatted to the best of your ability according to the University Guidelines Manual and the style guide designated by your department. The first evaluation, follow-up evaluation, and cleared pending steps provide enough time and opportunity for the large majority of students to make revisions. Manuscripts containing numerous and consistent formatting errors after undergoing these three steps will be rejected. Those manuscripts can be re-submitted for the next semester. The student's graduation date will need to be moved and Enrollment Services paperwork regarding graduation will need to be updated.