Filing Your Thesis or Dissertation

Filing Topics

Filing Deadlines

Review the Academic Dates & Deadlines Calendar for upcoming filing dates. The filing dates for each degree list are firm deadlines.  It is highly recommended that you send your paper draft to your committee members for review and approval at least four weeks prior the date you plan to file with Graduate Studies.  Per policy and to ensure timely communication, committee members are allowed four weeks to respond to the draft.  

Filing Process

Congratulations on completing your degree! 

Have filing questions or want to talk through the process?

The Graduate Studies Senior Academic Advisors (SAA's) will assist you throughout the filing process, answer questions, review your paperwork and formatting, and file you to graduate. 

  • Pre-Filing Appointments: You are not required to make an appointment to file, as you'll be submitting your paper and paperwork electronically.  We do recommend scheduling a Pre-Filing Appointment with one of the SAA's.  During your pre-filing appointment, the SAA will answer your questions and review your final steps.  You can schedule a pre-filing appointment at any time during the quarter, including deadline weeks. 
  • Email the SAA's: If you have questions or would like support, but don't need to meet, email us at gradservices@ucdavis.edu.

Three Steps to File

An SAA will be assigned to review your paperwork and paper after you upload to ProQuest.  They will contact you within three business days of your filing.  When everything has been accepted, your SAA will file you to graduate and email you a degree conferral letter confirming you completed the degree. 

All documents and the original upload of your completed thesis/dissertation must be submitted by 11:59 PM on the day of the filing deadline. 

1. Upload your completed and approved thesis or dissertation to ProQuest ETD.

ProQuest will automatically send a notification of your upload to the SAA's.  One of them will conduct a formatting review to ensure your format matches the requirements included on this page.  Formatting edits and acceptance notices are sent to the email address you use to create your ProQuest account.  

2. Upload all your paperwork (except your signed title page) through Box File Request.

See below for list of required paperwork.  Add your name and student ID number in the form field, then drag-and-drop all your filing documents into the upload space.  Files will be sent to the SAA Filing Box, where they will be organized and reviewed.  Please include your name in your document titles.

  • Troubleshooting an upload error message - 1) Check your file titles.  Box File Request does not support file titles with forward or backslashes ( / \ ), periods (.), and leading or trailing spaces.  2) Try a different browser.  If you still have trouble uploading, email your docs to gradservices@ucdavis.edu
3. Ask your committee chair or Graduate Coordinator to email your signed title page to gradservices@ucdavis.edu with all the committee members CC'd.

Committee members may sign the title page electronically using any method, but they must be CC'd on the email.  

Required Filing Paperwork

Both master's students and doctoral students must submit:
  • One copy of the title page signed by all committee members (digital signatures accepted).  See Sample and Template below.
  • One PDF copy of only your abstract.
  • UC Davis Thesis/Dissertation Release Agreement 
    • Must be signed by you and your Major Professor even if you are selecting Immediate Release
    • Graduate Chair signature only required for an embargo longer than 6 years
  • Graduate Program Exit Information Form – Graduate Coordinator signature is required
Doctoral students only must also submit:
Doctoral students in a Plan A or C Candidacy program must submit:
  • Report of Final Exam - signed by dissertation committee chair after final exam/defense
Doctoral students completing a Designated Emphasis must submit:

Title Page Sample & Template

Title Page Resources

Two Versions of the Title Page
  • The title page in your ProQuest upload will be unsigned with blank signature lines.
  • The signed page is sent to gradservices@ucdavis.edu by your Coordinator or chair.

The title page is the most common source of formatting edits.  We recommend you review the Sample title page, and/or use the Template to include as the first page of your thesis or dissertation.  The template is an editable MS Word document.  If your thesis/dissertation is not in Word, you can save the completed template as a PDF and insert or replace the version in your paper.  

The spacing, language, and capitalization on your title page must match the sample/template exactly.  You may change the font, text size, and position of the page number in the template to match those used in the rest of your paper.  Consistency is key.

Formatting Guidelines

It is your responsibility to ensure that the format of your thesis or dissertation conforms to the UC Davis standards below.  Formatting areas not included here (content of material, order of pages, style of reference, etc.) are not reviewed by Graduate Studies, but should be guided by your committee based on standards in your field.

Important note regarding formatting templates such as LaTex: UC Davis does not currently have an official or Graduate Studies sanctioned formatting template.  You are welcome to use LaTex or any other formatting tool, but please be aware that our formatting guidelines may have changed since the template was created, and editing these templates may be challenging.  If using a template, we encourage you to review our sample or template title pages, the formatting instructions below, or check with the SAA's (gradservices@ucdavis.edu).

  • File Type
  • Your thesis/dissertation must be submitted through the ProQuest ETD website as a single PDF file.  File compression, encryption, and password protection are not permitted.
  • Title/Signature Page
  • Review the Sample Title Page, or use the Title Page Template for correct formatting.

      • Graduate Studies requires one copy of your title page signed by all committee members.  Electronic signatures are accepted, and committee members may use any format or application to sign, except only typing their name.  The signed title page must be emailed to gradservices@ucdavis.edu by either your committee chair or your Graduate Coordinator, with all the committee members CC'd. 
      • The title page in your ProQuest ETD upload will be unsigned, and include blank signature lines.

  • Abstract
  • The thesis or dissertation must include an overall abstract which should be included in your preliminary pages (lower-case Roman numeral page numbers).

    A separate abstract is submitted to ProQuest during the electronic upload process, and must be formatted following the guidelines on the ProQuest ETD website.  Your abstract should provide a clear description of the content, because ProQuest will publish the abstract exactly as submitted.

      • A copy of only your abstract must be included with your filing paperwork submitted through Box File Request.
      • Students completing their requirements under Doctoral Plan A should provide copies of the abstract to their dissertation & exam committee prior to the examination.

  • Style and Form
  • Your committee determines the appropriate style of your thesis or dissertation according to standard practice in the field.  The Graduate Chair has Graduate Studies does not set requirements on the form of the bibliography, appendix, footnotes, etc. as long as they are formatted in a consistent and recognized manner approved by your committee.

  • Margins
  • All pages must include a one inch (1") margin on all sides (top, bottom, left and right), including all figures, charts, graphs, illustrations and appendices.  The page numbers may appear outside the 1" margins.  The 1" margin specification applies to all figures, charts, graphs, illustrations and appendices.
  • Spacing
  • The thesis or dissertation must be double spaced, except in specified places on the title page, and places where conventional usage calls for single spacing – footnotes, indented quotations, tables, and the bibliography.
  • Landscape Pages

  • You may include pages in landscape orientation, but you must still maintain the one inch margin on all sides, and adjust the page numbers so they are in a consistent location if the paper was printed.
      • Page numbers on landscape oriented pages must be centered, on the left-hand side, and turned sideways - as if you turned a portrait oriented page ninety degrees clockwise. 

  • Page Numbers
  • The preliminary pages, beginning with the title page, are numbered with lower-case roman numerals.  All pages following the preliminary pages (usually the Introduction or Chapter 1 page) are numbered with Arabic numerals beginning at 1. 
    All page numbers must be centered at the bottom of the page, with the exception of landscape pages - see below
    • Do not renumber pages at any point in the body of your thesis or dissertation. 
    • Your thesis or dissertation should include no blank pages, and no unnumbered pages, with the exception of an optional copyright page.  

    To change from lowercase roman numeral to Arabic page numbers in MS Word: 1) include a "Section Break - Next page" between the section of your document where the numbering will change, and 2) unlink the second section's footer from the one previous. 

  • Preliminary Pages
  • Preliminary pages are those prior to your introduction.  The title page & the abstract are the only required preliminary pages, but many students choose to include more information leading to the body text.  Preliminary pages may be placed in any order with the exception of the title page and the optional copyright notice  

    Examples of preliminary pages include:
      • Title Page (required) - The title page is always page i.
      • Copyright Notice - if including a copyright notice, it should be located after the title page, and is typically unnumbered and skipped in pagination.  For formatting, review the Copyright FAQ.   
      • Acknowledgements and/or Dedication
      • Permissions/Acknowledgements for use of Copyrighted Materials
      • Abstract (required)
      • Table of Contents
      • List of Figures/Tables
      • Other pages approved by your committee
  • Typeface/Font
  • Any font type is acceptable, as long as the font is legible and used consistently throughout.  Use a font size between 10 and 13 points.  All your fonts must be embedded fonts - see the instructions for embedded fonts on the ProQuest ETD website.

  • Overall Appearance
  • You are responsible for the overall appearance of your manuscript in PDF.  Once released through ProQuest and eScholarship, your thesis or dissertation will be accessible to the public, including to publishers and researchers in your field.  

  • Tables, Graphs, Figures, and Captions
  • Tables, Graphs, Figures, and Captions may be placed horizontally or vertically, but in either case must fit within the 1" margins on all sides.  Each figure or table must be numbered consecutively and include a caption. Do not renumber these in each chapter unless you include chapter numbers, e.g., Fig.1.1, Fig. 2.1, etc.

  • Photographs, Illustrations, and Maps

  • Plates, figures, illustrations, maps and photographic reproductions must be clear and distinct. Page numbering must be consistent throughout.
  • Oversized Material
  • Consult the ETD website guidelines for uploading supplemental files with your manuscript.
  • Material Previously Published or Pending Publishing
  • Published or publishing pending material may be used with permission from the copyright owner, if not you, and the Graduate Chair, if you are not the first-author.  See the Copyright FAQ for information about permissions when using published material. 

    Material you have authored, and which has been previously published, may be used in it's published format with three exceptions:
      1) Margins - You must maintain 1" margins on all sides throughout the paper.
      2) Pagination - page numbers must follow the UC Davis standards. 
      3) The title page must follow UC Davis standards and you must include an overall abstract.

Submitting Electronically (ProQuest ETD)

UC Davis requires all theses and dissertations to be submitted electronically through the ProQuest Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) website.  Start by creating an ETD account on the ProQuest (ETD) website, selecting publishing and copyright registration options, and upload your manuscript.  

Instructions for Uploading

  • You must have full committee approval of your completed thesis or dissertation before uploading to ProQuest ETD.  
    • You may make required formatting corrections, but may not update content following upload to ProQuest ETD.  If you find an error in your content, notify the SAA's (gradservices@ucdavis.edu).  
  • Ensure that your thesis or dissertation meets all of the formatting requirements listed above.
  • Discuss embargo and copyright registration with your major professor prior to uploading.
  • Review instructions for submitting your thesis or dissertation on the ETD website.    
  • (IMPORTANT) Traditional or Open Access Plus publishing - All students should select 'Traditional' publishing in ProQuest ETD, and NOT pay the fee for Open Access Plus publishing.  Your thesis or dissertation will be open access released on the UC eScholarship platform for no cost at the same time ProQuest releases your paper to account holders.  Don't pay a fee for a service you'll receive for free.
  • How to select embargo in ProQuest ETD - In the Publishing Options section, you will select a response to the statement I want my work to be available in ProQuest as soon as it is published.  If you plan to embargo, select No, I have patents pending, or another reason why I need to delay access to the full text of my work, then select the length of embargo.
  • Copyright Registration - If you are requesting the copyright registration service from ProQuest, select that option during the upload process and pay the fee at that time.  For information about copyright and copyright registration as well as a less expensive registration option through copyright.gov, review the information on Publishing Options, Embargo, & Copyright.
  • Purchasing bound copies - You may order printed copies of your thesis or dissertation from ProQuest at the time you upload.  See information about printed copies below for a recommended alternative - UC Bindery.  

Theses and dissertations are delivered to ProQuest after degrees have been awarded - about two months following the degree conferral date.  If you have questions or concerns about electronic submission or formatting guidelines, contact the Graduate Studies Senior Academic Advisors (SAA's) (gradservices@ucdavis.edu).

Publishing Options and Copyright

Information explaining open access release, why or why not to embargo, using copyrighted material, and copyright protections for your thesis or dissertation is available on the Publishing Options, Embargo, & Copyright page.  

Degree Conferral Letters

Graduate Studies SAA's will email you a PDF degree conferral letter after they have received your final documents, accepted your thesis or dissertation in ProQuest ETD, and have filed you to graduate. The conferral letter, signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, confirms you have completed all graduation requirements and will be awarded your master's or doctoral degree on the conferral date.  Many employers, organizations, and governments who require verification of degree will be satisfied by this letter in the time before your transcript is updated and your diploma is mailed.  If you need the letter by a specific date to secure employment, notify the SAA's (gradservices@ucdavis.edu). 

Transcripts, Diplomas, and Additional Verification

Learn how to obtain your diploma, when your transcript will be updated, and more on our Diplomas, Transcripts, and Verification webpage.

Computing Account & @ucdavis Email

Information about your UC Davis Computing Account (access, email, listservs, Library, etc) after graduation is available on Knowledge Base: IT.  You maintain student-level access until the end of your final enrolled or filing-fee quarter. 

Ordering Printed Copies of the Thesis or Dissertation

If you’d like to purchase printed and bound copies of your dissertation or thesis you may order from ProQuest when you upload your paper, or after your paper is publicly released.  Please note, copies ordered through ProQuest will not be printed and shipped until after Graduate Studies delivers papers to ProQuest - approximately 8 weeks following your graduation date.

As a faster and less expensive alternative, we recommend ordering bound copies from UC Bindery based at UC Berkeley.  Fill out the online order form and upload a PDF of your thesis or dissertation.  Orders are typically shipped within two weeks.