File Your Thesis or Dissertation

Ready to File?

To begin the thesis/dissertation filing process or to check the status:

During the filing process, you can choose your publishing agreement, register your copyright, and order copies of your manuscript.

PREPARING TO FILE YOUR THESIS OR DISSERTATION

THESIS & DISSERTATION COMMITTEES

RESOURCES

FILING FAQS

General

1. What happens to the thesis or dissertation a graduate student files?

In the past, the physical manuscript was placed on the shelves of the UCLA library where it could be accessed by visitors and through the international interlibrary loan network. Today, digital access to the document is provided through the University of California Digital Library, our institutional repository. Additionally, the abstracts of theses and dissertations worldwide are indexed by ProQuest, SciFinder and other abstracting services. In the past, interested scholars who wanted to obtain copies of theses and dissertations would either write to the author or purchase paper, microfilm or microfiche copies from ProQuest, but now they can purchase electronic copies instead. Technology changes aside, graduate students retain the copyright on your dissertation, and will receive royalties when copies are purchased. See University of California Copyright for more information.

2. Can graduate students file their thesis or dissertation from outside the US?

Yes. Graduate students do not need to be physically present on campus to submit their thesis or dissertations. Graduate students only need access to the internet.

3. Do graduate students have to be registered when they file?

Graduate students must either register and enroll or, if eligible, use the Filing Fee.

4. Can a graduate student file during the Summer?

Yes. In order for a graduate student to file and receive a Summer degree, students must either register and enroll in a minimum of 4 units in a Summer Session or be on Filing Fee status.

5. Can a graduate student still file on paper?

No. Since March 13, 2012, only electronic filing is available for graduate students.

6. How can graduate students order hard copies of my thesis or dissertation?

Graduate students may order hard copies through ProQuest. Copies take about 5 weeks to ship after the manuscript is published by ProQuest. Graduate students can also order copies through the UC Bindery.

7. I’’ve included co-authored works in my thesis or dissertation. How do I cite them?

You must include in your Acknowledgments section any material based on co-authored work that is published, in-press, submitted, or in preparation for publication. For each segment of the work that involved co-authors, you must identify (briefly describe) and acknowledge the specific contributions of each co-author. For details, see page 15 of the UCLA Thesis and Dissertation Filing Requirements.

8. Will my thesis or dissertation manuscript be sold to third-party retailers?

A graduate student’s thesis or dissertation is not shared with Amazon. ProQuest’’s reseller program with Amazon has been discontinued, with all existing agreements ending in 2014.

Deadlines

1. What are the filing deadlines for graduate students?

Check the Deadlines page on our website.

2. What counts as submitting my thesis or dissertation by the deadline?

All of the following must occur by 5pm PST on the day of official deadline:

  • All committee members have approved electronically
  • Committee has certified you have passed the final oral exam (if applicable)
  • A graduate student has submitted a final PDF via ProQuest
  • A graduate student has completed the online Graduate Division process using the link at the top of  this page
  • If the Graduate Division requests any changes, the graduate student will have submitted the specific changes within the designated time period

3. How will the Graduate Division determine my thesis or dissertation filing date and whether I’ve met the deadline?

The last date that all of the items listed above is complete will be your filing date for your thesis or dissertation. For example, if you submit your final dissertation PDF and complete the online process on May 31, three committee members sign on June 1, and the final committee member signs on June 2, your filing date will be June 2 assuming you have met all other degree requirements.

Committees

1. What is a certifying member?

Certifying members are responsible for approving your dissertation.  Effective Fall 2016, all doctoral committee members must read, approve, and certify the dissertation. All committee members must enter a decision for the final oral exam, if required.

2. Do my thesis or dissertation certifying committee members need to sign the committee page?

Certifying committee members approve the thesis or dissertation electronically. There is no signature page, but rather a committee page listing your certifying committee members in the manuscript.

3. Can a committee member approve a thesis or dissertation from outside of Los Angeles?

Yes. Professors can approve a thesis or dissertation from anywhere with access to the internet.

4. A graduate student’s UCLA faculty committee member prefers to use a non-UCLA email address. Can an email request be sent to that email address?

No. UCLA faculty will be notified via their UCLA email addresses. Graduate students are welcome to send a reminder email to her or his non-UCLA email address with the link (https://go.grad.ucla.edu) to the approval page.

5. How do committee members who are not from UCLA approve theses or dissertations?

Committee members from outside UCLA will still receive the email notification and go to a similar approval page as UCLA faculty.

6. Can graduate students check the status of when their committee members approve their manuscripts electronically?

Yes, after graduate students complete the online process theycan log back in to the Graduate Division website to check the status.

Formatting Guide

1. What special characters can graduate students use in their titles?

Only the ones approved by UCLA. The list can be found on the Formatting and Filing Information page.

FYI: ProQuest will NOT publish any special characters included in your title although the special characters will display when you submit your thesis or dissertation.

2. Does the Graduate Division have a LaTeX template?

No. Please consult with your graduate department or program.

3. Can Graduate Division check my thesis or dissertation formatting before submitting it to ProQuest?

The Graduate Division will only check your thesis or dissertation formatting once you have submitted it to ProQuest.

Release of Manuscript

1. Why will my thesis or dissertation be available for public access after it has been filed by the university?

The UCLA Graduate Thesis and Public Dissemination Policy affirms the university’’s commitment to open access of scholarly work.

It is the University of California’’s expectation that the research and scholarly work conducted by graduate students that is incorporated into theses and dissertations will be made available to the public. UCLA requires that research and scholarly work conducted by graduate students and incorporated into theses and dissertations be made publicly available through the University of California’’s institutional repository, eScholarship.

All theses and dissertations are available as open access via UC eScholarship unless a delayed release is selected.

2. When will I be able to view my thesis or dissertation on ProQuest?

6-8 weeks after you receive final confirmation from the Graduate Division.

3. When will I be able to view my thesis or dissertation on UC eScholarship?

2-3 months after you receive final confirmation from the Graduate Division.

4. What is the UCLA Thesis and Dissertation Submission Agreement?

The UCLA Thesis and Dissertation Submission Agreement allows graduate students to affirm their understanding of the rights and responsibilities associated with the submission of their manuscripts to the campus institutional repository, eScholarship.

Effective July 1, 2015, all thesis and dissertation filers will complete the institutional repository agreement as part of the submission process via ProQuest.

In the process of filing a thesis or dissertation via ProQuest, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree at UCLA, graduate students agree to grant a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual license to The Regents of the University of California (“University”). Graduate students retain copyright.

1. What does it mean for graduate students to register the copyright of their thesis or dissertation? 

The copyright of your work is inherent upon creation. Graduate Students do not need to register their copyright to enjoy copyright protection, but registration does provide some benefits. For full detail, read the U.S. Copyright Office circular “Copyright Basics“. The benefits of registration are outlined on Page 7 of the circular.

2. I found images on the internet that I want to use in my thesis or dissertation. Is this OK?

Graduate Students should assume that anything produced by someone other than themselves is protected by copyright unless they determine otherwise. This includes items found on the internet. Items in copyright will need either permission or a fair use justification.

If you have flexibility in the final selection of your images, search for images that are 1) in the public domain, or 2) made available for reuse via a Creative Commons license. Such images can be incorporated into your dissertation without permission or concern for fair use.

3. I’’ve provided attribution and a citation for the source material I used in my thesis or dissertation. That’s all I need, right?

Proper attribution is absolutely required; that’s a part of academic integrity and good scholarship. But copyright permission, if necessary, is an entirely separate matter and covered by U.S. Code Title 17.

4. Do I need permission for every image, chart and graph that I use in my thesis or dissertation from other sources?

It depends. Some materials may qualify under fair use, and others are best used with permission. Graduate students should consult the filing procedures for more detail, or for consultation on a specific situation, get assistance from a UCLA librarian at copyright@library.ucla.edu.

5. I’’ve obtained verbal permission to use copyrighted material in my thesis or dissertation. Is this sufficient?

Written permission is best. It can be as simple as an email granting permission. Graduate students should retain copies of all permissions in their files.

6. How do graduate students determine what they can use without permission under Fair Use?

If graduate students do no’t know the four-factor balancing test of Fair Use, they need to become familiar with it. For more information on Fair Use, we recommend you explore the UC Copyright website.

7. Can I use an article, which I previously authored and published, as a chapter in my thesis or dissertation without permission?

It depends on the agreement you signed with your publisher. Most agreements require you to transfer your copyright to the publisher. If this is the case, you must request permission from the publisher to “reprint” the article as a chapter in your thesis or dissertation. However, some agreements specify that you retain the right to reprint the article in your dissertation. Read your author agreement to see if you retained such rights; if you are unsure, consult with a UCLA librarian at copyright@library.ucla.edu.

8. After my thesis or dissertation is published, can I reuse one of the chapters as the basis of a future journal article?

If portions of your thesis or dissertation have been previously published as journal articles, you are bound by the agreement you signed when that content was published. But in regards to the remaining, unique content of your thesis or dissertation: Yes, you own the copyright of your thesis or dissertation, and are free to adapt and republish it as you see fit.

9. For those items that require permission, do graduate students need that permission before they file?

Though it is highly recommended that graduate students secure permissions as early as possible, they DO NOT need those permissions in order before they file their theses or dissertations. Permissions are only necessary from ProQuest’’s perspective, and theses or dissertations will be published on ProQuest only after the filing process is complete. So, there is a window of several weeks for graduate students to finish gathering permissions.

10. What happens if a graduate student cannot produce the necessary permissions if/when a copyright owner objects and ProQuest asks for them?

If the inclusion of copyrighted material is challenged by the copyright owner of the material and/or ProQuest, then the publication will be removed from ProQuest until the issue is resolved. A full citation and abstract of the graduate student’s thesis or dissertation will remain.

This rare issue (less than 1% of dissertations are challenged in this manner) is most commonly resolved by redacting or removing the copyrighted content from your thesis or dissertation and resubmitting the modified document to ProQuest. This will require the graduate student to pay a processing fee to ProQuest. Keep in mind that the copyright owner must be amenable to this as a resolution.

11. Won’’t having my thesis or dissertation freely available online reduce my chances of securing a book deal and/or publishing portions as journal articles?

If you are concerned that such availability would impact your ability to later publish the thesis or dissertation as a monograph, or derive a journal article from a chapter, several studies of publisher practices have shown that this is not the case. In a 2011 Publisher’s Survey, only 6% of monograph publishers and 3% of journal editors would “never” consider a work derived from a publicly available ETD. If you have concerns, you can embargo your dissertation for up to two years.

Delayed Public Dissemination (Embargo)

1. What does delayed public dissemination (embargo) mean?

Delayed public dissemination, commonly known as “embargo”, postpones public distribution of the thesis or dissertation that has been approved and filed with the university.

2. I chose to delay the release of my thesis or dissertation? When will the embargo begin?

The delayed release period in ProQuest will begin on the date that ProQuest receives your submission.

The delayed release period in eScholarship will begin on the date that your submission is approved by the Graduate Division.

3. Can I request to delay the release of my thesis or dissertation for more than two years?

Under rare circumstances and prior to the filing of the thesis or dissertation, the Dean of the Graduate Division may approve requests for time-delimited embargoes beyond the two-year limit. Please see the UCLA Graduate Thesis and Public Dissemination Policy for more information on the exception request process.

4. I did not delay the public dissemination of my thesis or dissertation at the time of submission. Can I request an embargo in eScholarship post-submission?

Graduate students who wish to delay public dissemination in eScholarship must select this option at the time they submit their theses or dissertations to the Graduate Division via ProQuest. Requests to embargo a thesis or dissertation after the manuscript has been filed in UC eScholarship are permissible only in exceptional circumstances, and require Graduate Division approval.

Please see the UCLA Graduate Thesis and Public Dissemination Policy for more information on the exception request process.

5. I think (or my research adviser thinks) that my thesis or dissertation work contains classified, secret or confidential information that cannot be disclosed to the public. Can I restrict access?

The University of California and UCLA do not have security clearances that permit the conduct of classified research on the UCLA campus (see page 2 of Responsibility for Executing Research Memo). Further, the UCLA Graduate Council does not endorse the conduct of confidential research by graduate students; in instances where it is approved, the end results must be in an academically acceptable thesis or dissertation that can be deposited at the University without restricting access to it. In some cases, for example when a patent is being filed, it may be reasonable and appropriate to put in place an embargo that delays public release of the thesis or dissertation. Such an embargo should not be permanent, however. See pages 4 and 18 of the UCLA Thesis and Dissertation Filing Requirements, for guidelines and instructions on this option.

6. I have heard that publishers won’t publish articles based on results that have been presented in preliminary form in my dissertation. Is that true?

In general, no. Publishers recognize that work described in theses and dissertations is often preliminary and may require additional research and writing before it can be submitted to the journal. Theses and dissertations also have not undergone peer review. Consequently, the vast majority of scientific and scholarly publications do not view theses and dissertations as constituting prior publication that would render articles based on the work ineligible for consideration.

7. Depending on the academic field, books/monographs are considered the primary form of publication and the basis for getting an academic position. Do graduate students jeopardize their chance of getting future books published if their theses or dissertations are “out there”?

What publishers say is, “A dissertation is not a book.” The process of turning the dissertation into a book involves considerable transformation, which may include additional research, shifts in scope or emphasis, broadening or narrowing, refining of the arguments, and/or changes in style to appeal to the target audience. Because of these significant differences, and the fact that dissertations are not marketed, most publishers do not consider making a dissertation available in a public repository such as eScholarship (the UC Digital Library) as cause for rejecting a book proposal. You may find it helpful to view the webinar recently hosted by the UCLA Library, “Dissertation to a Book: Separating Truth from Fiction,” which featured a panel of leading academic editors. Start at about the 44 minute mark if you want to go straight to the question posed to the editors, “If you have a manuscript in front of you that is based on a dissertation, …if you knew it’s available online in ProQuest and/or an institutional repository, would that fact of it being fully available influence your decision of whether or not to pursue it or pass on the manuscript?”