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Theses and Dissertations Overview

The COUNTDOWN to Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation

Last step first: Find the ProQuest submission portal page for Clemson University

The Graduate School uses international publishing partner ProQuest for the format review process as well as for electronic publishing and archiving of your work. Please do not send your manuscript directly to the Graduate School’s manuscript reviewer. When you have finalized your thesis or dissertation and are ready for review, use the following link to get to to the Clemson University section of ProQuest's upload portal:

Once you’re there, look for the orange button that reads “Sign up and get started today!” PLEASE NOTE: ProQuest hosts an individual author submission portal for ETDS; please DO NOT use that link, as it bypasses the Graduate School, and manuscript review therefore will not see your submission. You can find out more about ProQuest’s ETD services on their “About” page. 

5: Get thesis & dissertation resources

4: Download the ETD checklist

The Graduate School’s three-page PDF ETD Checklist serves two functions:

  1. As you start organizing your chapters and get ready to format, the checklist provides a section-by-section list of what formatting details are expected for each part of your thesis or dissertation manuscript, as well as what elements are required or optional in your preliminary content, and in what order your content should appear.
  2. After you've completed your manuscript and before you upload it for review and approval, run through the checklist again to make sure you have followed the formatting guidelines and won’t have to do a lot of revision.
checklist image

3: Locate manuscript templates, samples, info links, & other tools

Choose the support, information, and tools you may need from the ETD Templates, Links & Tools archive. We also host a one-page Quick Links PDF that contains working links for the most basic resources.

2: Follow the basic steps in the electronic manuscript submission process

For each of the steps in the thesis/dissertation submission and completion process, we've created a linked page containing basic information. We also provide a comprehensive PDF ETD Guidebook (described below) with working links and searchable information about the process.

  1. FORMAT  Format your manuscript according to the Graduate School’s requirements.
  2. DEFEND  Defend your thesis/dissertation, make any revisions required by your committee, and submit your signed GS7M or GS7D form.
  3. CONVERT  Convert your manuscript to a PDF file.
  4. SUBMIT  Both the review process and publishing/archiving are done online. The manuscript review office does not accept manuscripts via email, and printed hardcopy are not accepted for either review or publication. Follow the instructions for uploading your manuscript to ProQuest for review. Please read through the information on the SUBMIT page prior to uploading your manuscript.  Note that there are no fees required to upload, publish and archive your thesis or dissertation, but bound-copy orders and special requests from ProQuest may incur fees.
    WAIT FOR RESULTS: You will receive a results email within approximately one to three business days. If your manuscript is approved, you have finished; congrats!
  5. REVISE  If revisions are required, you’ll need to make those revisions to your manuscript as detailed in the email from Manuscript Review, convert your revised document to PDF, upload, and wait for a response again. This process will be repeated until your manuscript is accepted. Be aware that many manuscripts require at least one round of revisions. Also, your manuscript will not be approved until Enrolled Services has received your signed GS7 form and updated your status in their database.
               [Doctoral candidates only: Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.]
  6. BREATHE  You’ve finished. Congratulations!

Click a button to jump to a step in the thesis & dissertation process.

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1: Get the Graduate School’s comprehensive thesis & dissertation desk reference

ETD Guidebook thumbnailWe promise you will not need all of the info contained in Your Clemson University Thesis & Dissertation: Guidelines, Tips & Tools. You won’t need to read it like a textbook, or buy it like a textbook, or sell it at the end of the semester like a textbook. But for virtually anything ETD-related that you may have a question about — especially if you’re working on your manuscript in the middle of the night, and need help — this Guidebook is your encyclopedic resource.  The PDF file is fully searchable and interactive, with a linked table of contents and working links throughout the text.

The Guidebook organizes all information from this Theses & Dissertations portion of the Graduate School’s website, plus extra levels of detail, into one file.

The instructions, recommendations and procedures outlined in Guidelines, Tips & Tools draw from years of tradition — several centuries of scholarly publishing norms as well as decades of Clemson University Graduate School formatting standards — but they also reflect the changing technology from print publishing into digital publishing and archiving and the global electronic dissemination of research scholarship.

By breaking down in detail the six essential steps of the formatting and submission process (as described in #2 above) and collecting supplemental information in two appendices, Your Clemson University Thesis & Dissertation: Guidelines, Tips & Tools aims to provide all the resources and links you’ll need to complete your thesis or dissertation, and to help you present a work that you, your advisory committee, your department, and Clemson University will be proud to share.

Bonus Tips for Your Thesis or Dissertation

• Check your citations with Turnitin®

GRAD 360°, the Graduate School’s professional development program, invites all graduate researchers who are enrolled in research credit hours and working on a thesis or dissertation to access and use Turnitin®. Access to this anti-plagiarism software app is free to Clemson University users under an institutional license, and administered through Canvas. Turnitin® can help the individual researcher check that all citations are in place and that quoted and paraphrased material is properly attributed. Please note that this is an opportunity, not a requirement — it is not graded, there is no instructor feedback and the Graduate School will not monitor your participation. Your advisor or committee chair is the best source for answers to questions you may have about citations and how to interpret your Turnitin® results.

Please note that this course opportunity is intended for graduate students in the final stages of their degree requirements. Other Clemson University users may access it, but will not receive instructor support from GRAD 360°.

If you are a graduate student with a Clemson University login, you may self-enroll in the GRAD360° Turnitin for Grad Students course via Canvas by going to, clicking “Open enrollment courses only,” and locating the course for the current semester.

Clemson Online hosts information about how Turnitin® can help you avoid plagiarism, plus useful tool links for both students and instructors. There are also information links within the GRAD360° Turnitin Access assignment description.

• Know the important pre-graduation deadlines

As you enter your final semesters in graduate school, you’ll need to know when deadlines are coming up so you can plan ahead, structure your schedule, and minimize your stress level as you approach graduation day.

Check the Graduation Deadlines calendar often during the semester in which you plan to graduate.

In graduate school, as in professional life, missing deadlines has consequences. Missing the GS2 Plan of Study filing deadline incurs late fees. Missing certain deadlines may delay your graduation or prevent you from participating in graduation ceremonies; the deadlines for completing your comps, submitting your final-official transcript to Graduate Admissions (see “What does ‘Official Transcript’ mean?” at the Admissions FAQ web page), filing your ­committee-signed GS7 form, submitting your final ETD, and ordering your diploma and graduation attire are examples.

Under certain extenuating circumstances, the initial manuscript submission date for format review may be flexed by a day or two, but be advised you’ll risk having less time to make revisions if you miss the first deadline.

Extenuating circumstances may include personal illness or injury, sudden illness of an immediate family member or committee member, military deployment, and visa issues. They do not include job-related or personal travel, scheduling of your defense too close to — or on the day of — the submission deadline (please do not do this!), missing committee signatures on your GS7, or an unexpected number of content revisions required by your committee following your defense. If you think you may be late with initial submission of your ETD and have a legitimate reason, discuss options with your advisor and send an email to Manuscript Review. If you think you may be late turning in your GS7, email Enrolled Services to see if they’ll accept it late.

The final manuscript revision deadline is just that: final, not flexible.*

The week between the initial and final manuscript deadlines is for format revisions only. It’s not intended to buy you extra time to finish rewriting or making committee required revisions, or to wait for copyright permissions or committee approval. Any and all content revisions after the initial formatting submission deadline will need the written approval of your advisor, via the Dean of the Graduate School.

If you need to make content changes after the final ETD deadline, you will need to delay your graduation until the following semester.

*If you think you may miss the final manuscript deadline, which is also two weeks past the GS7 deadline, you may discuss with your advisor the option of delaying your graduation until the following semester. If you can complete all of your requirements, including an accepted manuscript and signed GS7, by the first day of classes for the coming semester, you will be cleared to graduate at the end of that semester without having to enroll in credit hours or pay tuition. View the Academic Calendar or check with Enrolled Services or for the exact deadline (first day of classes) for each semester, and please notify Enrolled Services that you plan to delay your graduation.