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Submitting Your Thesis/Dissertation

Thesis & Dissertation Submission Process

The Graduate School uses ProQuest to administer the electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD) submission process that results in publication in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT) database and Cornell’s Library Repository, eCommons. Before initiating the electronic submission process, students are required to

  • Submit a final copy of their thesis/dissertation to each member of the committee for review and approval. After this step is completed, students need to obtain formal committee approval using the Thesis and Dissertation Approval System. A Thesis/Dissertation Approval document will be emailed to the student once all committee members have approved the thesis/dissertation.
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (for Doctoral students only). A SED Certification of Completion is provided to the student when the survey has been completed. Once formal committee approval is received and the survey completed, the final electronic version of the thesis/dissertation (ETD) can then be submitted to The Graduate School using the ProQuest system.

Both the Thesis/Dissertation Approval document and the SED Certification of Completion are required for submission to ProQuest.

ProQuest Submission Steps

In order to complete the submission process, you will need to have the following:

  • A single PDF file of your thesis or dissertation
  • Your abstract
  • Supplemental material
  • Thesis/Dissertation Approval document and the SED Certification of Completion 

Step 1: Create an ETD Account and Begin Submission Process

Create Account: Master’s students go to Cornell Masters ProQuest site, Doctoral students go to Cornell Doctoral ProQuest site. Click on the Sign up and get started today button and follow instruction to create a personal account. Reply to confirmation email to begin submission process.

Submission Process: Submission steps are outlined on the left menu. You will see the items checked off as you progress through the submission steps. You must click "Save & Continue" at the bottom of each page, even pages on which you do not enter any information. Using the left menu, you can return to any page and make changes until the point of final submission.

Step 2: Select Publishing Options

Traditional Publishing and Open Access: ProQuest provides two publishing options: Traditional Publishing and Open Access Publishing PLUS. Traditional Publishing is included in the Cornell Thesis and Dissertation filing fees. Open Access publishing through ProQuest PLUS requires a $95 fee.

Delayed Release: ProQuest provides 6 months, 1 and 2 year embargos. The Graduate School recommends you discuss the publishing options with your advisor. If your advisor is unavailable or has no opinion, the conservative approach is to choose a 2-year embargo.

Step 3: Read and Agree to ProQuest and University Distribution License

Both ProQuest and Cornell University distribution licenses will be presented for your acceptance.

Step 4: Enter Thesis/Dissertation Information

In addition to the mandatory information, such as title and abstract, you will have the opportunity to select up to three categories (subject areas) and six key words that describe your ETD. This information will make it easier for others to find your work when searching the web.

Step 5: Upload PDF and Supplemental Files

Upload PDF: Whether you use the PDF Conversion tool provided by ProQuest or you convert your document to PDF yourself, review your PDF to ensure your formatting remains as you intended after conversion.

Supplementary Materials: If supplementary materials - such as audio, video, and spreadsheets - are an integral part of your ETD, you can submit them as supplementary files during the online submission process.

Step 6: Upload Required Documents

The Thesis/Dissertation Approval document and the SED Certification of Completion if you are a Ph.D. candidate are required for submission to ProQuest.

Step 7: Register for Copyright

You can complete this process through ProQuest for a fee of $55, or you complete the process independently through the U.S. Copyright Office. Refer to the Register for Copyright section on page 9 for more detailed information regarding copyright law.

Step 8: Order Copies

If you would like to purchase additional copies of your thesis/dissertation for yourself, your field, committee members, you may order bound copies through ProQuest (Order copies page). The two required bound copies for the library are automatically ordered for you and included in the Cornell Thesis and Dissertation filing fees.

Select the Decline – do not order option if you don’t wish to order additional copies.

Step 9: Review and Submit

Once the Thesis Editor has reviewed the formatting of your thesis/dissertation, you will receive an email to let you know whether any corrections are required. You will then have 5 days to make the changes and upload the revised PDF. You will not be certified for graduation until the formatting of your ETD has been fully approved by the Graduate School. You will receive a confirmation email of final acceptance.

Step 10: Submitting Revised PDF (if needed)

You will receive an email describing the formatting changes needed with instructions and a link for resubmission.