Filing Your Thesis or Dissertation

Filing Topics

Filing Deadlines

Review the Academic Dates & Deadlines Calendar for quarterly filing dates. The filing date for each degree list is a firm deadline.  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. 

If you will need a Degree-Awarded transcript earlier than shown below, please read the Expedited Degree Awarding section on the Diplomas, Transcripts and Verification page. 

QuarterFiling DeadlineDegree DateDegree posted to transcript by
SummerSeptember 8, 2023September 15, 2023October 30, 2023
FallDecember 8, 2023December 15, 2023February 26, 2024
WinterMarch 15, 2024March 22, 2024May 22, 2024
SpringJune 6, 2024June13, 2024August 19, 2024


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Filing your Thesis or Dissertation Workshop

Grad Studies Senior Academic Advisors (SAAs) host quarterly Filing Workshops with step-by-step guidance and answers to your questions.  All graduate students, staff, and faculty are welcome to attend!


Upcoming Zoom Filing Workshop:  
  ►Tuesday April 23, 2024 - 11am (Zoom Link)

  ►Wednesday May 22, 2024 - 2pm (Zoom Link)


Please join our Senior Academic Advisors from Graduate Studies to learn more about the filing/graduation process and prepare you for the final steps of your graduate degree journey. You'll learn to navigate the filing dates and deadlines, the GradSphere filing process, formatting, publishing options, conferral letters, bell ringing, and more. Bring your questions for the chat or Q&A at the end. This workshop will be recorded and posted.


Filing Process

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.

  • Pre-Filing Appointments: You are not required to make an appointment to file, as you'll be submitting your paper and paperwork electronically.  You are welcome to schedulin a Pre-Filing Appointment with one of the SAA's.  During a pre-filing appointment, the SAA can answer your questions and review your final steps.  You can schedule a pre-filing appointment at any time during the quarter.
  • Email the SAAs: If you have questions or would like support, but don't need to meet, find your SAA on your Program Page.

Two Steps to File

After you upload your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest ETD, a member of the Academic Services Unit will be assigned to manage your filing and support your last steps. After your paper has been accepted in ProQuest and your filing received via GradSphere, a member of the Academic Services Unit will file you to graduate in the system and email you a degree conferral letter that confirms your degree has been completed. 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 Academic Services Unit.  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 including your signed title page through Gradsphere.

Gradsphere will prompt you to upload all required paperwork.  Your filing package will be reviewed and approved via GradSphere.


Required Filing Paperwork

Required for both master's and doctoral students:
  • The signed title page with signatures from all committee members (Plan A Final Exam-Only members do not need to sign).  Digital signatures accepted.  See Title Page Sample and Template below. 
  • One PDF copy of only your abstract.
    • Please add your name and student ID at the top of the abstract submitted through GradSphere (not the version in your ProQuest upload).
  • UC Davis Thesis/Dissertation Release Agreement 
    • Collected via GradSphere prompt
    • Embargo requests longer than 6yrs require additional approval from the Chair of your graduate program and Graduate Council
  • Future Contact Information
Doctoral students only must also submit:
Doctoral students in a Plan A or C Candidacy program must submit:
  • Report of Final Exam - submitted by the Chair of your Final Exam via GradSphere
    • Plan A Report
    • Plan C Report 
    • Students in Plan B Candidacy doctoral programs do not have a Final Exam Report
Doctoral students completing a Designated Emphasis must submit:
  • Designated Emphasis Report (only required if you completed the requirements for a DE) - Information collected via GradSphere

The Title Page 

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 uploaded to GradSphere.

The title page is the most common place for formatting edits.  This is the front page of your thesis or dissertation, on which the signatures of your committee members will signify your completion. All signatures must appear on the same single title page. 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 and the formatting instructions below.

  • 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.

      • Please limit the title to 180 characters or less.
      • 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 submitted via GradSphere during your Filing Process.
      • 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 GradSphere.
      • 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 or is pending publishing, may be used in its 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.  Please note that once approved and uploaded, theses and dissertations cannot be edited. 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 your SAA.  
  • 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, 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.  Theses and dissertations cannot be edited once approved and uploaded. If you have questions or concerns about electronic submission or formatting guidelines, contact the Graduate Studies Senior Academic Advisors (SAAs).

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

The Graduate Studies Academic Services unit 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. Please see our Diplomas, Transcripts, and Verification webpage for more information.

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.