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Important Information Regarding COVID-19

See the Registrar's COVID-19 and Academic Continuity page for information for students, faculty, and staff relevant to classes and academic activities and administration. (updated August 21, 2020)

Paper Dissertation Submission Requirements


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 must be completed by the end of the second week of that quarter.

Program Requirements

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. If you have any questions about the status of your milestones, 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; specific dates are posted on our main dissertation page. Some departments may set earlier deadlines for submission of dissertations.
Dissertation deadlines are strictly enforced. No exceptions are made. The final dissertation with all required signatures must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar by noon on the final submission deadline date. The final reader must also approve the eDissertation by the ubished deadline.  The deadline is set as late in the quarter as is possible, providing the time necessary for review of the dissertation and final degree requirements by the Registrar’s Office and the department. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their dissertations at least two weeks prior to this deadline to insure that all requirements can be met in time for the conferral of the degree. Once a student submits the required copies of their dissertation to the Stanford University Registrar’s Office, no further changes are permitted.

Format Check and Submission Appointments (COVID-19 Policy Change: Due to current health guidelines, no in-person format checks or in-person paper submission appointments are available).   

It is recommended that all students make an appointment for a both a dissertation format check and submission. Note: format checks will not be done in the final week of the submission deadline. To assure a time slot, appointments for format checks and submissions should be made well in advance. Students must submit their dissertation in the quarter in which they have applied to graduate. In order to avoid scheduling conflicts, appointments to submit dissertations will begin with the first day of the quarter for which a student has applied to graduate, and no earlier.


If you are not submitting electronically, you may schedule a paper dissertation format, or paper submission appointment with the Registrar's Office.

Students with last names ending, A-L Students with last names ending, M-Z


Application to Graduate

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. 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.

Copyright Review

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. This review is one of the pre-submission criteria required of all submitting students. Produced by Stanford University Libraries in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, “Copyright & Publication Considerations for Dissertation Authors” is   The link is available in the eDissertation/eThesis Center within Axess. Students are encouraged to review this resource as early as possible in the dissertation preparation process.

Publication Agreement

The “Doctoral Dissertation Agreement Form” authorizes publication of the dissertation and the abstract by Proquest. Through micropublication, the dissertation becomes readily available to the research community in microfilm or electronic format. Microfilm and paper copies of the dissertation may be ordered from Proquest at the time of submission of the dissertation or six to eight months after the conferral of the degree.    ProQuest Publication Agreement form(see pages 4-5, which are required if submitting paper dissertations).

Delayed Release (Embargo)

An author has the option to delay the release of a dissertation through ProQuest and to search engines outside of Stanford and other third party distributors. Release delay options are: 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. Under an embargo, the dissertation will be available to those who have access to the Stanford University Libraries.

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
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 by contacting UMI/ProQuest directly.

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.


Payment of fees should be made to the University Cashier. Your check must be made payable to Stanford University and have your student ID number as well as the following account number written on it: 1003627-10-EAIGP. Cashier hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dissertation fees can be paid by cash or check; no credit card or debit cards are accepted. Bring the receipt with you when submitting your dissertation. The following fees will be charged:

$126.00 — for publishing, and binding of required University copies of dissertation.
$65.00 — copyright registration fee (optional).
$95.00 — open access fee (optional)
$10.00 fee for each map pocket or CD pocket (optional).
$0.35 — fee for each mounted photo page or fold-out page (optional).

Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED)

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:

The Abstract

An abstract may be included in the preliminary section of the dissertation. The abstract in the body of the dissertation follows the style used for the rest of the manuscript and should be placed following the signature page. There is no maximum permissible length for the abstract in the dissertation.
A separate abstract is published in Dissertation Abstracts International by Proquest. This abstract must be carefully formatted and prepared to give a succinct account of the dissertation, including a statement of the problem, procedure and methods, results, and conclusions. A sample Abstract for pubilcation by ProQuest is available. Please note that this abstract must be signed by one member of the Reading Committee.

Dissertation Copies

Four unbound copies with original signature pages are required (students in Geophysics, Education, Art, Music, and Law submit only three copies). Copies are distributed to the University Library, Archives, the department, and Proquest. (The copy for Proquest must be printed single-sided.) The author is reminded to keep an extra manuscript copy for personal use during the binding process, since copies will be inaccessible.

Obtaining Bound Copies for Personal Use

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 additional dissertation copies bound for personal use have a few options for purchase.

 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.

Certificate of Final Reading of Dissertation

One member of the Reading Committee must certify that he or she has reviewed the final draft of the dissertation as submitted to the Office of the University Registrar. A form for that purpose is included in this handbook and may be photocopied and used (see here). There is no need to create a new form for this purpose.