The student must be registered or on graduation quarter status for the term in which the dissertation is submitted. Registration is also required for the quarter in which the University oral examination is taken. Registration should be completed by the first day of the quarter and must be completed by the final study list deadline of that quarter.
Candidacy must be valid when the degree is conferred. Before submission of the dissertation, students should be sure that their department has documented any changes in the composition of the reading committee, and that any relevant milestones have been completed in our system. All three of these requirements must be satisfied before you can submit your dissertation electronically, via Axess. If you have any questions about the status of your milestones, accuracy of your reading committee, or your candidacy end date, please see the student services officer in your department.
Students with unmet financial obligations resulting in the placement of a hold will not receive a transcript, statement of completion, degree certificate, or diploma until the hold is released by Student Financial Services. Please see that your financial obligations are in order before submission of the dissertation.
The deadline for submission of dissertations, if you wish to have your degree conferred at the end of the quarter, is published in the Academic Calendar; click here for specific dates. Some departments may set earlier deadlines for submission of dissertations.
Dissertation deadlines are strictly enforced. No exceptions are made. By noon on the final submission deadline date, all of the following steps must be completed:
The student applies to graduate;
The student confirms the names of reading committee members in Axess and designates a Final Reader;
The student submits one ink signed signature page to the Student Services Center;
The student submits one title page to the Student Services Center;
The student completes the necessary University Milestones;
The student’s candidacy is valid through degree conferral;
The student electronically submits the final dissertation to Stanford Libraries’ digital repository;
The designated Final Reader certifies the submitted dissertation in Axess.
The deadline is set as late in the quarter as is possible, providing the time necessary for review of the dissertation, including review of final degree requirements by the Registrar's Office and the departments. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their dissertations at least three weeks prior to this deadline to ensure that all requirements can be met in time for the conferral of the degree. Electronic dissertation submission will open up for students beginning the first day of classes in the quarter for which they apply to graduate. Once a student uploads and submits their dissertation to the Stanford Digital Repository, and it has been approved by the Registrar's Office, the submission is considered final and no further changes are permitted. Once the final reader approves the edissertation, it typically takes about 7 business days for the Registrar's Office to review and confirm the submission.
An “Application to Graduate” should be filed through Axess early in the degree quarter but no later than the date specified in the academic calendar for that quarter. See how to apply to graduate here. When students apply to graduate they will be instructed to enter the title of their dissertation at this time. Students applying for Summer, Autumn, or Winter Quarter conferral receive their diplomas at Commencement in the Spring Quarter. They must file the “Application to Graduate” by the deadline for the conferral quarter. Students are not eligible to submit their dissertation until an application to graduate has been filed for the current quarter.
There are no fees for electronic submission of dissertations.
Stanford requires that students obtain ink signatures from all members on their reading committee and submit one hard copy of their dissertation signature page. Students must obtain all signatures and submit the completed signature page to a Student Services Center Specialist, on the 2nd floor of Tresidder Union between Monday-Friday, before they can proceed with the electronic submission process. Along with the signature page, students must also submit one copy of their dissertation title page. Sample signature and title pages are included in these instructions.
The readers who sign the signature page must be endorsed on the Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form. Any changes in the composition of the Reading Committee must be approved by the department chair and recorded online in Axess by the department administrator. All reading committee signatures on the hard copy signature page submitted to the Student Services Center must be original. The student’s typed name should be included on the header of the signature page, in the upper right hand corner (right justified).
The signature page and title page of the dissertation paper are transferred from the Student Services Center to University Archives. High-quality, long-lived, acid-free (neutral pH) bond paper must be used for these documents. To confirm that the paper is acid-free, please check the packaging. Check with the manufacturer if you believe the paper is acid free, but is not indicated on the packaging. The cotton content is at the sole discretion of the student. Print the signature paper using a laser printer (not ink-jet).
Important Note: The electronic dissertation file submitted electronically to the Library should contain a title page (click here to see formatting requirements), yet should not contain a signature page. (A digital facsimile of the signed signature page will be automatically generated and inserted into the dissertation file.)
Managing copyright is an important responsibility in one’s academic career. For this reason, students are required to review a resource on Copyright Considerations prior to submission of a thesis or dissertation for publication by Stanford, produced by Stanford University Libraries in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel. Students are encouraged to review this resource as early as possible in the dissertation preparation process.
During online submission process, the dissertation author signs the Stanford University Thesis and Dissertation Publication License. By accepting the terms of this agreement, you are granting Stanford the non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable right to reproduce, distribute, display and transmit the dissertation. The full text of the agreement is included on this page.
Stanford will make your full dissertation available online through its library web site, and may also make it available through third-party search engines and distributors (Supplementary material submitted along with the dissertation will be available from Stanford’s library web site only.)
On occasion, when a dissertation author enters into a contract with a publisher, the publisher requires the author to "pull back" their dissertation to limit accessibility. Stanford can often accomodate these reqeusts, in which case the thesis or dissertation will be available only to those in hard copy, or those with Stanford network account. Indexing of the document will continue to be allowed, however. Requests for pull-backs must be made through the Registrar's Office.
A dissertation author has the option to apply a Creative Commons license during submission.
Because Stanford will make your dissertation publicly accessible, readers may locate your publication and may wish to use parts of it in their own work. Because you hold the copyright to your work, your permission for that reuse is necessary. By applying a Creative Commons license to your work, you make clear to users the terms and conditions under which they may reuse your material, obviating the need for them to contact you directly. Applying a Creative Commons license does not take away any of your rights; rather, it makes clear to readers of your work what kind of reuse you permit.
You may optionally apply one Creative Commons license. Stanford Libraries recommends the "Attribution Non-Commercial" license, because it encourages open access and collaboration in the scholarly process. For more information on Creative Commons license options, please see: http://creativecommons.org.
For specific questions about applying a Creative Commons license to your submission, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
An author has the option to delay the release of a dissertation to search engines outside of Stanford and other third-party distributors. Release delay options are: 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. Embargos of longer than two years require the review and approval of the Subcommittee on Exceptions to Graduate Policy (S-EGP). Under an embargo, the dissertation will be available online to Stanford-authenticated users, but not to readers outside the Stanford network.
The embargo option may be appropriate for a student who has a patent application in process or wants to delay access to the dissertation for a limited amount of time in order to pursue commercial interests or other publication. Submitting and having your dissertation cataloged will be considered a public disclosure per article 35 U.S.C. 102 of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, even if you choose to embargo your dissertation. If you have any questions, please contact Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing at (650) 723-0651 or email@example.com.
If your thesis or dissertation includes any research conducted as part of an active grant-funded project, discuss the embargo option with the project's principal investigator. Multiple authorship has implications with respect to copyright and public release of the material. Be sure to discuss copyright clearance and embargo options with your co-authors and your adviser well in advance of preparing your thesis for submission. Embargoes may be lifted early at the request of the author.
A student may not select embargoed status in lieu of obtaining appropriate copyright permissions. A dissertation, in its entirety, will be governed by only one level of distribution at any given time; the work may not be subdivided with sections disseminated under differing levels of distribution. If you have any questions about whether you should embargo your dissertation, please consult with your adviser.
One member of the Reading Committee must certify that he or she has reviewed the final draft of the dissertation as submitted to the University. The Certification of Final Reading is completed by the Final Reader directly through Axess. The final reader is automatically notified upon student submission that s/he has an edissertation for review in Axess.
Please see instructions for logging into Axess to certify the submission and complete the Certification of Final Reading.
Stanford participates in a data collection project of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Agriculture. Stanford asks that you complete this survey:
Paper option:Submit completed hard copy of SED to Student Services Center.
Online option: Register and submit SED online.
One copy of the electronic file of your dissertation is required to be uploaded.
One original signature page and one title page are required for submission to the Student Services Center, located on the 2nd floor of Tresidder Union.
The author is reminded to keep at least one copy of the dissertation for back-up and personal use after the submission is completed and while processing of the submission by the University is underway.
The Office of the University Registrar does not provide bound copies of the dissertation for personal use. After they have officially submitted to Stanford University, students who want dissertation copies bound for personal use should use the HF Group option:
The HF Group offers a print-on-demand service for Stanford students wanting personal bound copies of their dissertations, engineer thesis, or DMA Final Project. You can use their customized Stanford order form below to select options that will match the official University dissertation copy. They also have an online cost calculator. http://stanford.thesisondemand.com/ordersystem/index.php?uri=/orderform/orderform/&page=1
The Registrar’s Office and Stanford Libraries are interested in your feedback about the electronic thesis and dissertation submission process. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.