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Dissertation & Thesis Submission

Review the information below on the requirements and process for doctoral and master’s students writing a dissertation/thesis and preparing for their defense. Please refer to the Dissertation/Thesis Defense Timeline Snapshot below for a general timeline to dissertation/thesis submission, defense, and degree completion.

Preliminary Review

Prior to your defense, follow the steps below: 

Contact your department's graduate coordinator to review your dissertation/thesis committee and to discuss the process for scheduling your defense. New or reconstituted committees must be submitted to GEPA by your graduate coordinator and approved by GEPA prior to the defense (at least two weeks).

Review the requirements regarding committee participation at the defense here for doctoral students and here for master's students.

The doctoral dissertation/master's thesis should be submitted to each member of the doctoral/thesis committee at least four weeks before the final examination/defense.


Preliminary Appointment with GEPA (recommended before your defense):

At this appointment the dissertation/thesis formatting is reviewed and instructions are given on the final preparation and submission of the dissertation/thesis. 

  1. Schedule a preliminary appointment with GEPA Academic Affairs prior to your defense (we recommend 2-4 weeks prior to the defense). Appointments will be conducted via Zoom. 
  2. Upload a complete dissertation/thesis draft to ProQuest 1 day prior to the appointment.
  3. Review the Dissertation/Thesis Release Form prior to the appointment.
  4. If applicable, start collecting co-author permission letters. Once all permission letters are collected, upload as 1 PDF to the Kuali Permission Letter Form

Final Review (after the defense)

Department graduate coordinator will initiate the Final Report Form in DocuSign, generally on the day of the defense. Committee members and department chair/program director are notified to sign.


Final Review: The date you plan to submit all of your final degree forms, including the final, approved version of your dissertation/thesis, to GEPA. GEPA Academic Affairs will review your dissertation/thesis and paperwork, and provide an update via email. There is no meeting.

  1. The final review will be scheduled with the GEPA advisor during the preliminary appointment.
  2. Finalize content and formatting of the dissertation/thesis. Upload the final version to ProQuest.
  3. Upload fully signed Dissertation/Thesis Release Form to ProQuest.
  4. If applicable, upload all permission letters to the Kuali Permission Letter Form. Review the guidelines on acceptable electronic signatures.

SDSU Joint Doctoral Students only:

  • Students initiate the dissertation signature page through DocuSign. Committee member signatures will be collected electronically through DocuSign and the form will be routed electronically to GEPA (see page 12 in the formatting manual for detailed instructions). Students use the JDP signature page link here.
  • Thesis Submission Fee (master’s students only): All Master’s students pay a thesis submission fee. It will be assessed to Tritonlink once the degree is processed, after the end of the quarter. A billing statement will be emailed when fees are assessed.
  • Filing Fee/Readmission Fee/Readvancement Fee (if applicable): Students may need to pay the filing fee/readmission fee/readvancement fee. Any fees will be discussed during the preliminary appointment and marked on the Final Report Form. Fees will be assessed to Tritonlink once the degree is processed, after the end of the quarter. A billing statement will be emailed when fees are assessed.

Dissertation/Thesis Submission & Formatting Webinar

The Dissertation/Thesis Submission & Formatting webinar is held quarterly and provides an overview of the dissertation/thesis submission process and formatting guidelines.  Please refer to the full formatting manual for detailed formatting information. RSVP for the next webinar via the "Register Now" button in the "Attend a Formatting Webinar" section below this one.

The slide deck from the July 16 Summer2024 dissertation/thesis submission & formatting webinar can be found here.

 If you are unable to attend a webinar, the information is available in 4 topic-based recordings below. 


► Webinar Part One: Degree Filing Process & Submitting Dissertation/Thesis

► Webinar Part Two: Degree Paperwork

► Webinar Part Three: Dissertation & Thesis Formatting Manual

► Webinar Part Four: Permission Letters

Attend a Formatting Webinar

The next Dissertation/Thesis Submission & Formatting Webinar is on Tuesday, July 16 at 10:00am (PT)

Unable to attend the next Webinar? Click here to access a recorded version

Register Now

Dissertation/Thesis Appointments

Request preliminary and final dissertation/thesis appointments via the online calendar. Appointments should be scheduled during the planned graduation quarter.

Schedule Now

Permission Letter Submission Form

Students must submit permission letters from all co-authors, if the dissertation/thesis will use material which has been submitted for publication or has been published. Letters must be submitted to GEPA via the online form.

Submit Letters Here