DePaul University College of LAS > Student Resources > Graduate Student Support > Graduation Requirements > Dissertation Requirements & PhD Conferral

Dissertation Requirements & PhD Conferral

The terms thesis and dissertation are often used synonymously. At DePaul University, to facilitate registration and other requirements, dissertation refers to the research and document required for the completion of a PhD.  All forms referenced in these requirements can be found in the Forms Library.  This page contains information you will need about dissertation requirements from the inception to the completion of your project.

  1. The graduate student must have a preliminary conference with his/her departmental graduate advisor/director to decide on a research topic and faculty director of the projected dissertation.

  2. Once the research topic and dissertation director have been chosen, the student must submit a dissertation proposal: a written formal statement of the topic and plan of execution for the research. Your advisor/director will let you know what form the proposal should take.

  3. The composition of the committee that will supervise your dissertation should be worked out between you and your dissertation director. The number of members needed on a dissertation committee may vary; check with your advisor. 

  4. Upon the completion of the dissertation, students MUST initiate the committee approval process by filling out the Final Requirements Confirmation. All committee members must approve the dissertation. (Detailed instructions on how to fill out the form can be found after logging in to the Final Requirements Confirmation page.)

  5. "A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations" by Kate L. Turabian is the handbook which indicates the format, technicalities of form and mechanics of typing/printing required for dissertations, theses and research papers. The only exception we make to Turabian's guidelines is the format for the title page. However, if your dissertation advisor determines that your dissertation (excepting the title page) would be more appropriately done in another format, follow the advisor's advice.

  6. There are certain other requirements you will need to follow at various stages of your project, about which your director/advisor will inform you, such as how to register for dissertation credit hours, insuring candidacy continuation, taking qualifying exams, arranging a dissertation defense (if necessary) and meeting various deadlines. Make sure everyone on your committee is aware of what needs to be done and when. Please consult the Graduate Student Services Office if you have any questions.

Dissertation Electronic Submission

The following documents must be submitted to the LAS Graduate Student Services office by the last day of the conferral term. This is a requirement for graduation. Please email all documents to

  • An electronic PDF copy of the final dissertation, fully approved and in the correct format (see #5 above and Sample Title Page)
  • A completed Abstract & Keyword Form​
  • A signed copy of the ETD Approval Form​​ (Please note: Unless you choose to embargo your dissertation, it will be widely available through internet searches.)

It is important that you consult with your program's director regarding copyright, embargo and publishing options.

Dissertation Binding

The Graduate Student Services Office does not offer binding services. If your department requires a bound dissertation, please contact someone in the department for the binding requirements and options.


At DePaul University, publication of dissertations are required using ProQuest. Your degree will not be granted/conferred until you complete this final requirement. Read why publishing your dissertation with UMI at ProQuest is required. A download of UMI Publishing Agreement and Submission Forms for Dissertations is required to begin the publication process. You will be prompted for a user name and password. The user name is dissertations and password is publish.

There are a number of steps you must complete before submitting this form to the Graduate Student Services Office. You'll find a detailed checklist within the above instructions. If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact the Graduate Student Services Office at  

Survey of Earned Doctorate

In addition to submitting a dissertation and all other graduation requirements, DePaul University requires PhD candidates complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). SED gathers data from all research doctorate graduates each year on their educational history, sources of support and post-graduation plans. This data is presented annually in the Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities: Summary Report.

For your convenience, SED allows online submission of the survey. You will be asked to provide your name, institutional name, graduation information and email address. After submitting the form, a URL, PIN and password will be emailed to the address you provided. After submitting the questionnaire, you will receive a certificate of completion. Please email this certificate to the Graduate Student Services Office at