Process for Submitting Your Thesis or Dissertation

This web page describes steps involved in submitting your thesis or dissertation.
Some overall guidance:
Deadlines and required processes for your Draft submission, Defense scheduling and Final submission:

Draft
  • You must submit one complete draft of your thesis/dissertation to the W&M ETD Administrator for a format review, three weeks before the deadline for submitting final copies. Deadlines are posted to the Graduate Studies Events Calendar and described in the Graduate Studies weekly newsletter Did You Know That?  Visit the W&M ETD Administrator website and create your personal account.
  • Make sure you have completed and integrated all required pages into your document (consult the Physical Standards).
  • The submission process will automatically convert your document to .pdf format.
  • Staff members in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research will review your document's formatting and check for required pages. Usually you'll be contacted by e-mail within five business days, notifying you that (a) your draft is approved or (b) certain revisions are required. This review does not consider content, and you may continue editing content during the review stage.
  • If revisions are made, re-submit your document to the W&M ETD Administrator website with any requested revisions. You will be notified via email once the review is complete.

NOTE: Changes to your submission may be made at any time to anything within the W&M ETD Administrator before the Final submission, except when ordering copies. Once submitted, payment additions cannot be made to the ETD submission.

Submitting your ETD will make it available through both the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global Database and the William & Mary Publish Electronic Theses and Dissertations Repository. When your ETD is available in William and Mary Publish, you will receive periodic email updates about how often it is being accessed and downloaded!

License and Embargo
  • A signed License and Embargo Form must be turned into the OGSR by the posted deadline in the Events Calendar and described in the Graduate Studies weekly newsletter Did You Know That?.  The License and Embargo Form must be signed by you and your advisor.
  • If you choose an embargo lasting more than two (2) years, additional approval is required by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.  If your thesis/dissertation requires an embargo of more than six (6) years, The Office of Graduate Studies and Research requires that you attend an Embargo Information Session at Swem; this must be completed and documented before you obtain the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research’s signature on the Embargo Form. Contact Marian Taillaferro to schedule a session. When accessing the License and Embargo Form on the W&M ETD Administrator website, please be sure to print it out for submission to the Office of Graduate Studies with all required original signatures. 
  • This Form is required whether or not you choose to embargo your work
  • Please note: It is required that both the ProQuest (PQ publishing options) and the Institutional Repository (IR publishing options) publishing information be filled in and that your ProQuest embargo choice MUST MATCH your Institutional Repository choice.

Defense
  • Your defense must be scheduled and completed at least one week before your final ETD submission, so that you have time to incorporate any changes or corrections suggested by members of your examination committee following your defense. Once your final ETD has been submitted, you can no longer make revisions to the version of record.
  • Consult your advisor(s) well in advance to arrange a schedule that will allow you to submit your draft and final verson by the published deadlines for the term in which you have filed to graduate. Most advisor(s) and/or committee members spend time away from campus on travel for conferences, research, and so forth, so be sure to arrange all necessary meetings and your defense examination well in advance. On rare occasions, in extenuating circumstances, and only with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, exceptions to the published deadline might be allowed only if your Committee has approved your thesis or Dissertation and only for an additional 3 days beyond the published deadline.

NOTE: Original signatures will be required on all required forms and documents

Final

The submission of your Final is described in 2 steps:

1)  The following forms, in hard copy, must be submitted with original signatures to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at Stetson House by the Final deadline:

  • Compliance Committee Form
  • Recommendation Forms for Theses/Dissertations
  • Approval Page
  • Survey of Earned Doctorates (doctoral candidates only)

Each of these bulleted items is discussed below.

Compliance Committee Form. Every A&S graduate student must provide a Compliance Committee form as a separate form (not inserted into the thesis or dissertation) to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research when the final thesis or dissertation is submitted. The form must be signed by you and your faculty research advisor, certifying either (a) the research does not require approval by a compliance committee or (b) the research has been approved by the appropriate W&M compliance committee(s). If the research requires such approval, a Compliance Page must be included in your thesis/dissertation and follow the template (see Physical Standards). 

Recommendation Forms for Thesis/Dissertation. If for some reason a committee member is not available to sign your Thesis Recommendation Form or Recommendation and Defense of Dissertation Form, that committee member should send an e-mail message to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, which will allow a proxy signature. If your program's Director of Graduate Studies is a member of your thesis/dissertation committee, is the committee chair, or is out of town, the Department Chair/Program Director should serve as the proxy. The proxy should sign his/her name followed by "for (committee member)".

Approval Page. The Approval Page must be approved for format and signed by the student and each individual committee member and submitted as part of the thesis/dissertation. If a committee member is not available to sign the Approval Page at the close of a successful defense examination, then that committee member should send an e-mail message, as soon as possible after the defense, to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research confirming that in their view the defense examination was a success and requesting that a proxy signature be accepted on their behalf. The Director of Graduate Studies for your program should serve as the proxy.  However, if your program's Director of Graduate Studies is a member of your thesis or dissertation committee or is out of town, then your Department Chair or Program Director should serve as the proxy. The proxy should sign his or her name followed by "for (committee member)". Please note that the committee chair may not serve as the proxy. See the Physical Standards for templates of the Approval Page.  Please note: After your Defense this signed page must be inserted into your final submission of your Thesis or Dissertation to the W&M ETD Administrator website.

Survey of Earned Doctorates for Dissertations Certificate. Doctoral candidates must complete this survey. Please visit the Survey of Earned Doctorates website and complete the form electronically. You will be asked to provide your name, institution, department, graduation month and year, and an e-mail address. After registering you can advance directly to the survey. After submitting the survey you will receive a Certificate of Completion via email. Print a copy for your records, and provide one copy to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research by final submission of your thesis/dissertation.

2)  All Arts and Sciences graduate students submit their Final thesis/dissertation electronically online through the W&M ETD Administrator website

This submission must include:

  • The Approved Draft.
  • This must include the Approval page, signed by the student and all committee members.
    • Be sure this is inserted in sequential order into the final document.

NOTE: After the student submits their Final, they will receive an email confirming receipt and informing them they will receive notification of delivery to ProQuest.

Print Copies of your Thesis or Dissertation

The College will not bind personal copies of your thesis or dissertation. You will have an option to order a bound copy when you submit your final draft to the William & Mary ETD Administrator website. If you choose not to order one at the time of submission, it is your responsibility to find an outside vendor if you choose to have a personal copy bound later. Online vendors like Lulu.com or local companies like Long's-Roullet Bookbinders, Inc. provide many printing options for you to choose from.

Conferral of Degrees

The College confers degrees in August, January, and May of each year. The commencement ceremony is in May. Degree recipients of the previous August and January are recognized at, and invited to attend, the following May ceremony.   The Office of Graduate Studies and Research has thirty (30) days from the actual date of degree conferral to submit final paperwork to the College Registrar for degree certification. Diplomas are issued approximately fifteen (15) days after degree certification.