Skip to Content

Graduate School

Thesis & Dissertation

The Graduate School both validates the formatting of your scholarship for publishing and acts as the gateway for electronic publication of your thesis or dissertation document.

Submit Your Thesis/Dissertation

Be sure you have prepared and formatted your document properly before you submit.

Formatting Guide

Make sure your thesis or dissertation conforms to the formatting requirements or you will be asked to make changes and resubmit. 


Spring 2023 Deadlines & Commencement

March 1: Format Check Deadline for Thesis/Dissertation
March 10: Graduation Application Deadline
March 21: Defense Deadline
April 4:
Final Submission Deadline 
May 5:
Commencement, 3 p.m., Colonial Life Arena 
May 6: Commencement, 9:30 a.m., Colonial Life Arena 
May 6:
Doctoral Commencement, 1 p.m., Koger Center 
May 6:
 Commencement, 3 p.m., Colonial Life Arena 

Summer 2023 Deadlines

July 6: Format Check Deadline for Thesis/Dissertation
July 14: Defense Deadline
July 18:
Graduation Application Deadline
July 24: 
Final Submission Deadline 
August 15: Summer Graduation (No Commencement Ceremony)

What is the Final Submission Deadline?

On or before this date, you must submit a finalized document that conforms to all formatting requirements. 

Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation

We require consistency in form and appearance for all thesis and dissertation documents.

Summer 2023 Workshops

Thesis & Dissertation Formatting Workshops

Thesis and dissertation formatting workshop sessions will cover the entire thesis and dissertation process, including submissions, reviews, formatting requirements, and Graduate School policies.


Location: Microsoft Teams
Register no later than 5 p.m. the night before the workshop to ensure you receive a MS Teams invitation.

June 8, 2023 | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Register 

June 23, 2023 | 1  – 2:30 p.m. | Register 


Location: Close-Hipp 502

June 13, 2023 | 10:30 - 12 p.m. | Register

June 21, 2023 | 10:30 - 12 p.m. | Register


Recorded Workshops

Thesis & Dissertation Workshop
Learn the basics about formatting, submitting, and finalizing your thesis or dissertation.  This workshop will cover policies and procedures, as well as provide a general overview of formatting.

Thesis & Dissertation Workshop | Recorded Feb.10, 2022 
Thesis & Dissertation Workshop | Recorded Feb.16, 2022

Submitting Your Thesis or Dissertation Document

Try to submit your document early. That way, you will have more time to make any necessary changes that come out of your format check.

1. Review the Format Guide

Ensure your document conforms to our formatting requirements. 

2. Submit Your Document

You will submit your thesis or dissertation through ETD Administrator.

Instructions for Submitting

Once you get to the ETD Administrator site, click the box that says "Sign up and get started today!" You will create an account (separate from your USC accounts) and complete the steps to submit your document.

3. Make Any Necessary Formatting Changes 

We will review your document for format compliance and notify you of any necessary changes via the email address you entered to create your ETD Administrator account. It may be several days before you hear back from us. 

4. Revise Your Online Submission

If you need to make changes to your formatting, do so. After you have made the required revisions, log in to ETD Administrator and submit your new version. Do not create a new account.


Once logged in to your ETD Administrator account, click "View/revise existing submission."

5. Wait for Acceptance

You will either be notified that you have passed the format check or that you need to submit another round of revisions. Once you have passed the format check, your thesis or dissertation is accepted and there is no need to submit again.

Delayed Release or Embargo

Students can elect to delay the dissemination of their manuscripts with what is commonly referred to as an embargo. 

How to Request an Embargo

UMI/ProQuest Embargo
Indicate your desired embargo length when you submit your thesis. This prevents the full-text version of your work from being available in the UMI/ProQuest database until your embargo period is over.

USC Scholar Commons Embargo
Indicate your desired embargo length on your required signature form and attach a justification memo or letter signed by both your major advisor and program graduate director. 

An Embargo May Be Appropriate if Your Scholarship is...

  • Creative Work
  • Intellectual Property with Commercial Potential
  • Politically Sensitive Material

How Long An Embargo Lasts

You can typically choose one of three options: 6 months, 1 year or 2 years. 

Where Theses and Dissertations Are Stored:

Accessing Your Published Thesis or Dissertation

USC UMI/Proquest Portal

Users with a valid USC ID can access full-text PDF versions of USC theses and dissertations through this portal. Full-text access will be restricted if you are not using the portal through this USC library link. 

Order Bound Copies

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.