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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 6H: Submitting Final Thesis or Dissertation

After passing the final examination, an electronic copy of the corrected dissertation/thesis must be submitted following the Graduate School’s guidelines for digital submission within five working/business days of the final oral examination. Students should use the Final Dissertation/Thesis Acceptance Checklist when preparing the electronic copy for submission. In addition, the following must be submitted to the Dissertation/Thesis Acceptance clerk in the Graduate School within five working/business days of the final oral examination:

  • All students must submit a 100% cotton fiber paper copy of the title page, abstract page, and signature page signed in black or blue ink by all committee members. Cotton paper is necessary for archiving purposes.
  • All students must submit a completed Hold Harmless/Copyright Acknowledgement form.
  • Doctoral candidates have the option of submitting a copyright request for their dissertation when submitting it for publication.
  • All doctoral candidates (with the exception of D.N.P students) should submit a completed and signed Survey of Earned Doctorates.

1. Dissertation and Copyright Information

All institutions require that doctoral dissertations be published, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database is the recognized repository for dissertations. Washington State University has long subscribed to Proquest (formerly UMI) to serve as the publisher, cataloger, and marketer of doctoral dissertations. Please visit the ProQuest website for more information:

Students are given two publishing options: The Traditional Publishing option, which is free, and the Open Access option, which has a fee associated with it. A publishing option guide, which explains these two options in detail, can be downloaded from the ProQuest website: With either option, the student retains his/her copyright to the dissertation. ProQuest also offers an optional service in which they will register the student’s copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office for an additional fee. Students also may request a publishing embargo, if needed.

All fees are payable directly to ProQuest; WSU does not collect these fees. Information regarding publishing, embargo options, and copyrighting the dissertation is available in the Graduate School’s Digital Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines, and when submitting the dissertation via the on-line system. After the dissertations are processed by ProQuest, they are forwarded in electronic format to the WSU Library.

2. University Patent Agreements and Copyrighting

For information on patents, see  For additional information on copyrighting, contact the WSU copyright specialist in University Publications.

3. Digital Submission as PDF

Policies and procedures have been established by Washington State University to receive doctoral dissertations and master’s theses in digital format. The doctoral dissertations are submitted in digital format (Adobe PDF) to ProQuest Dissertation Publishing, and after processing are forwarded to the WSU Library. Doctoral students should follow ProQuest’s instructions regarding file format during the submission process. Master’s theses are submitted directly to the WSU Library. Master’s candidates must submit their theses/dissertations in Adobe PDF format. (Exceptions can be made for documents not suitable for PDF format.)

The WSU Graduate School requires a fully digital PDF version of the doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis per the Digital Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines on the Graduate School’s website. The Graduate School will continue to perform the format check and provide guidelines to students when scheduling their final defense.

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