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Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Graduate School > Electronic Thesis & Dissertations


What You Need To Do

Bound Copies



Forms to Complete

PDF Files

Submitting ETDs


Thesis/Dissertation Guide

Publishing/Copyright Charges


Article-style Dissertations


ProQuest Submission

Video-ETD at UA

ETDs at UA Libraries Site

What You Need to Do

The following is the sequence of events in the ETD process:

  • The student completes all of the normal thesis and dissertation steps and submits the ETD to ProQuest (PQ) at the PQ website.
  • PQ automatically sends you an e-mail confirming that your submission to PQ is completed. Please print and keep this e-mail--it is your proof that you submitted online and before the deadline.
  • PQ notifies the Graduate School of the submission.
  • The Graduate School verifies that the submission meets Graduate School standards.
  • The Graduate School notifies PQ and the student that the submission is accepted.
  • When the ETD is accepted, UA Libraries receives a copy of the ETD file and archives it.

Now that you know the basic steps, be sure to review the sections on master’s and doctoral degrees in the online Graduate Catalog for information on completing a thesis or dissertation.

Discuss with your committee which style guide you need to follow and the arrangements they want you to make for having your work edited.  Remember, however, that it is your responsibility to edit the manuscript according to the appropriate style guide, to follow the guidelines in A Student Guide to Preparing Electronic Theses and Dissertations, and to submit to ProQuest (PQ) a manuscript whose content, formatting, and style are correct.

Prepare for the thesis or dissertation proposal to be defended at least one full semester before final defense.  In most cases, dissertation proposal defenses typically occur two, three or more semesters before final defense.  Plan for the final defense of your thesis or dissertation at least 8 weeks before your commencement date.

 Forms to Complete

1.  As soon as possible after the successful oral defense of your thesis or dissertation proposal, submit the form for Appointment or Change of Master’s Thesis Committee or form for Appointment or Change of Doctoral Dissertation Committee. With this form, your advisor, department, and you are asking the graduate dean to evaluate the qualifications of the proposed committee and approve your going forward with that committee.  The dean will inform you and your committee chair of any problems in constituting the committee or that the committee meets requirements.   

2.     No later than the end of the 1st week of classes in the semester you intend to graduate, submit your Application for Degree

3. If any changes have occurred in the composition of your committee since its members were first approved by the graduate dean, these changes must be submitted to the Graduate School on the thesis or dissertation committee appointment form whose link is above. 

4.   At or immediately after your final (oral) defense meeting, obtain the original signatures of your committee members and your department chairperson on the Committee Acceptance Form for Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Submit that form with original signatures to the Graduate School as soon as possible after it has been signed, but no later than the date when the ETD is submitted to ProQuest.  Unlike paper-submitted theses and dissertations, there is NO “Signature Page” included at the beginning of your ETD. The Committee Acceptance Form takes the place of the Signature Page and is turned in to the Graduate School. Be sure not to include the Committee Acceptance form as part of the PDF file you upload at the PQ site. Although the committee Signature Page is no longer included, please list your Committee Chair and the names of your committee members on the Title Page of your thesis or dissertation (see "Sample Preliminary Pages" for layout).
NoteThe Graduate School needs the original Committee Acceptance Form with original signatures and cannot accept this form via e-mail or fax.

5.  At least 6 weeks before the date of commencement, the Survey of Earned Doctorates must be submitted to the Graduate School (doctoral students only). See Graduate School Deadlines for the specific due dates for each semester. Follow the link above to the NORC web site to electronically complete the survey. Once you have completed the survey you must send confirmation to the Graduate School. You can either send us a copy of the certificate of completion which you receive at the end of the web survey or send us the confirmation email which you can request near the end of the survey. Confirmation emails should be sent to:

PLEASE NOTE: Your thesis or dissertation will not be approved unless and until you have completed and submitted the above form 4 (for all master’s and doctoral candidates) and 5 (for all doctoral candidates).

Final (Oral) Defense. Each master’s or doctoral candidate must be given a final oral examination by the thesis or dissertation committee.  Well in advance of your intended graduation date, check with all members of your committee to determine their availability for the final defense.  Remember that your committee members have numerous other obligations.

Discuss the date, time, and location for your defense and the date by which you are expected to submit a completed, error-free, paginated paper or electronic copy of your thesis or dissertation to each committee member.  At UA the minimum lead time for submitting the advisor-approved, ready-to-defend manuscript to all of your other committee members for review is 2 weeks before final defense. 

After the Oral Defense. Prepare your final document for submission. You must edit carefully your successfully defended document and then prepare a PDF file of the manuscript, ready for submission to PQ.

You may need assistance in preparing a PDF for submission. There is an excellent tutorial available for you, and if you choose, ProQuest will convert your final document to PDF for you at their website and e-mail it to you.

Once the PDF is prepared, you submit your thesis or dissertation online at the ProQuest Submission Site for UA Students. Follow PQ's detailed online instructions.

The PQ site has the following “Submission Steps” checklist to assist you through the process:

Publishing Options
      Contact Information
Dissertation/Thesis Details
      Supplemental Files (optional)
      Notes (optional)
      Register U.S. Copyright
      Order Copies
      Shipping Address

Note. You can practice as often as you want at the ProQuest (PQ) site before you make your final submission. At the PQ site click the “About ETD Administrator” tab.  In the demo box click “Test student submission.”  To save time whenever you return to the site, make a note of the PQ username and password you select the first time you log in.

The Graduate School will review your submitted manuscript. When the Graduate School completes its review of the thesis or dissertation you submitted to PQ, we will notify you by email. Typically you can expect to receive the Graduate School's email within 14-21 business days of when you hit the Submit button at the PQ site. The email from the Graduate School either will say that the thesis or dissertation has been accepted or that it requires more editing. If editing and resubmission are required, you will be given specific information regarding what needs to edited.

Requirements for Graduation are Completed When

  • The thesis/dissertation submission and approval processes are completed

  • All grades have been cleared

  • All outstanding fees have been paid

Until you have completed this process, the Graduate School cannot offer assurance to a third party (such as a prospective employer) that you have completed the degree.

Once the degree has been officially awarded, degree verification can be obtained through Student Clearinghouse.  Official transcripts can be requested 24 hours per day/7 days per week online from the Office of University Registrar or call (205) 348-2020.

Note.  Leaving the Tuscaloosa area before the approval process is completed does not in any way alter these requirements or extend these deadlines. 


No signatures are permitted anywhere in an ETD.  For example, you first must remove signatures from the IRB approval notice if you include it in an appendix.



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