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Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines

All the steps for submitting your dissertation, thesis, or clinical project to the Leatherby Libraries.

Dissertations and Theses Librarian

You can get help for research in several ways.

Contact the Scholarly Communications librarian, Kristin Laughtin-Dunker, at or (714) 532-7769

Call the Reference Desk at (714) 532-7714

Chat with us at LibChat during Reference Desk hours

Email us at Quick Reference

Ask the KnowledgeBase

Submission Guidelines

All students must begin the submission process by following the Initial Steps for Library Submission detailed further down this page.

After receiving library approval, students will be given directions to proceed with online submission of their thesis or dissertation. Chapman University students are required to submit their thesis or dissertation online to Chapman University Digital Commons and  ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. Only MFA students are exempt from the requirement to submit to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

Deadlines for Completion of Library Requirements

In order to meet all deadlines for conferral of graduate degrees, the library submission process (including submission to Chapman University Digital Commons and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, as applicable) must be completed by 5:00 p.m. Pacific time on the following dates as per the deadlines set by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education:

  • Fall 2023: December 8, 2023
  • Interterm 2024: January 19, 2024
  • Spring 2024: May 10, 2024

It is recommended to make the initial submission to the library at least one week in advance of these dates to allow time for any necessary revisions. Do not count on being able to start and complete the library submission process on the due date.

Checklists and Fillable Templates

Checklist and Formatting Requirements

The Dissertation/Thesis Checklist is mandatory for all library submissions. The Checklist allows the Committee Chair and the Leatherby Libraries' Dissertations and Theses Librarian to verify that all format requirements have been completed properly. Please use the appropriate checklist for your program.


Fillable Templates (optional)
Though you are not required to use them, fillable templates for your thesis and dissertation are also provided to use during the writing process. Please note that these templates are optional and are offered on an as-is basis. They are not formatted according to a single citation style (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.), and thus their specific formatting may not be ideal for all dissertations and theses. You may customize the look of many elements in the template or create your own document from scratch, so long as the elements required by the checklist are formatted appropriately. In the case of any discrepancies between checklist and template, the checklist has authority and is the final word on formatting requirements.

Steps for Library Submission

Initial Steps for Library Submission


  1. Complete the appropriate Checklist (above) and obtain the necessary signature(s) from the committee chair or advisor. (Please check the "Last updated" dates above to ensure you are using the current version of the checklist for your discipline. We cannot accept older versions of the checklist.)
  2. Email the following to the Dissertations and Theses Librarian at as two separate files:

    • Signed checklist, with both pages in one file.

    • The dissertation or thesis, with signed approval page. PDF format is preferred.

Submissions without signatures or using an older version of a checklist will not be accepted.


  1. The Dissertations and Theses Librarian will evaluate the dissertation/thesis for compliance. Please allow at least 2 business days for a response.

    If changes are needed, the Dissertations and Theses Librarian will contact the student. The library will review each dissertation/thesis up to two times (including the initial review). If the dissertation/thesis does not meet the formatting requirements after two reviews, the student may be asked to work with a professional editor and/or have their chair review and submit a new checklist.

Solutions to many common formatting issues are available under the Formatting Questions tab of the Frequently Asked Questions page.


  1. If no changes are needed, the Dissertations and Theses Librarian sends an approval email to the student with instructions to move on to the appropriate next steps for online submission.