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Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines

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

The thesis or dissertation manuscript is a scholarly presentation of the results of the Chapman University graduate student’s research and/or creative work. The Office of the Associate Vice President for Graduate Education affirms that graduate students have a responsibility to share their work with scholars in all disciplines and the general public and is committed to providing open access to master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. As such, the Office of the Associate Vice President for Graduate Education requires that research and scholarly work conducted by graduate students in MA, MS, and PhD programs and incorporated into theses and dissertations be made publicly available through Chapman’s institutional repository, Chapman University Digital Commons, as well as through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, unless a specific exception is formally approved per the below guidelines.

Please make sure you have followed the Initial Steps for Library Submission before proceeding with the procedures below. Your submission will not be accepted if you skip the Initial Steps for Library Submission.

Please also make sure that you submit to BOTH of the required databases below in order to fulfill the library submission requirements.

Next Steps for Chapman University Digital Commons Submission

Chapman University Digital Commons is a public repository for the scholarship and creative work of Chapman University's faculty, students, and staff. Digital Commons provides you with a permanent online home for your scholarship, inclusion in Google Scholar, and monthly statistics so you can monitor how much impact your research is having.

To submit to Chapman University Digital Commons:

  1. Go to and set up an account via the "My Account" link in the top right corner.
  2. Once logged in, go to, then click the link for the appropriate program under "Browse the Dissertations and Theses Collections" in the middle of the page.
  3. Once you have chosen the appropriate program, click "Submit Research" in the left sidebar (in the "Author Corner" section).
  4. Agree to the submission terms and follow the instructions on screen to submit your thesis or dissertation.
    • All MA/MS/PhD submissions must include a Creative Commons--Attribution--Non-Commercial--No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license to govern the reuse of your work. This is the most restrictive of the Creative Commons licenses, and means that others can read, download, and share your work with credit to you, but may not reuse it for commercial purposes or make any modifications.
      • You may select a more permissive license, and can use this handy tool to determine which license is right for you. 
    • For all programs, you may set an embargo of up to two years during the upload process. With an embargo, the record for your thesis or dissertation would be publicly viewable, but the file would not become readable/downloadable until the embargo expires.
  5. The Dissertation and Theses Librarian will receive a notification to review and push your submission live through the system. You do not need to notify her that you have submitted it.
  6. Once you have submitted to Chapman University Digital Commons, please proceed to the Next Steps for ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global Submission below.

Have a question? Check out the Embargo Questions or Digital Commons Questions sections of our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Next Steps for Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global Submission

  1. Go to the Proquest UMI site and set up an account.
  2. Follow the instructions at the ProQuest UMI site to submit the dissertation/thesis.
    • By default, submission to ProQuest will be free. However, there are a few extra services you can purchase and pay for with a credit card.
    • ProQuest will also give you the option to order printed, bound copies of your dissertation/thesis in a variety of sizes.
  3. The dissertation/thesis will be forwarded by ProQuest UMI to the Dissertations and Theses Librarian for final approval. Students will receive an email informing them that their submission has completed all the necessary checks.
    • If you set an embargo in Chapman University Digital Commons, the same embargo will be applied to your submission in ProQuest by the Dissertations and Theses Librarian.
    • You do not need to notify the Dissertations and Theses Librarian that you have submitted to ProQuest.

Have a question? Check out the Proquest Questions section of our Frequently Asked Questions page.