Graduate Thesis Submission Guidelines

Questions concerning the University policy on graduate theses should be directed to the Office of Research Initiatives (408-551-7041). Questions concerning other aspects of these guidelines should be directed to the University Library Administrative Offices (408-554-6830).

University Policy

Theses completed in partial fulfillment of a graduate degree must be deposited in the University Archives and made publicly available in the Santa Clara University Library. Furthermore, Santa Clara University has the right to copy and digitize graduate theses. The University also has the right to publish the title, author, and abstract of each thesis on the World Wide Web for University Library use. Authors may choose whether or not to make their complete thesis publicly available via the World Wide Web.

Students completing a thesis in partial fulfillment of requirements for a graduate degree at Santa Clara University must submit all copies of the thesis to the appropriate Program Office for format check and billing, along with the completed Graduate Thesis Submission Form and Graduate Student Thesis Publication Agreement

Students shall choose one of two methods for thesis submission: paper submission or electronic submission (see instructions for each method below). At their option, individual Programs may require students to submit an additional printed copy to be retained in the Program Office.

Ph.D. candidates must provide an additional copy of their thesis for submission to ProQuest Information and Learning (formerly UMI) for inclusion in Dissertation Abstracts International, with a completed ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Agreement Form. Students who are submitting a microfilming form will also be given the opportunity to set the availability for the microfilmed document when they complete the UMI/ProQuest Microfilming Agreement. At their option, Ph.D. candidates may have ProQuest register their copyright for the thesis with the Library of Congress Copyright Office. There is an additional fee for this service.

Students will be billed for all charges, including binding of required and personal copies, and ProQuest charges. The University Librarian's Office will annually distribute a price sheet to the Program Offices, reflecting the current costs for binding and ProQuest services. Four times a year (at the end of each quarter), Program Offices will deposit copies of all theses submitted that quarter in the University Librarian's Office.

Paper submission: Two printed copies of the thesis shall be deposited in the University Library, one for archival purposes and one for circulation. Each printed copy must include the thesis advisor's original signature on the title page. Check with your Program Office to learn if the Program requires additional copies of the thesis. Students may submit additional program copies and personal copies of the thesis to be bound at the same time.

The University Library will catalog the thesis and send all printed copies out for binding, except that for Ph.D. theses one additional unbound copy will be forwarded to ProQuest. On return, program copies will be delivered to the appropriate Program Office, and personal copies will be mailed to the student or the student may arrange at the time of submission to pick them up him/herself in the University Librarian's Office. The circulating copy of the thesis will be made available in the general circulating collection. The archival copy will become part of the collections of University Archives.

For Jesuit School of Theology (JST) degrees awarded by Santa Clara University, the archival and circulating copies of the thesis are deposited in the Santa Clara University Library. Because of its affiliation with the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the JST may require that one or more copies of the thesis also be deposited in the GTU Library. For JST degrees awarded by the GTU, the thesis depository requirements of the GTU apply. The JST may require an additional print copy for deposit in the SCU Library.

Electronic submission: One printed copy (for archival purposes) and one electronic copy (for circulation) of the thesis shall be deposited in the Santa Clara University Library. The printed copy must include the thesis advisor's original signature on the title page. To create the electronic manuscript, convert the complete thesis to a single PDF document (see below regarding supplementary files). The electronic manuscript should be delivered to the program office on a CD or DVD labeled with the student's name and date. Do not include a scanned signature on the title page of the PDF, but do submit one additional printed title page with the thesis advisor's original signature. Check with your Program Office to learn if the Program requires additional printed and/or electronic copies of the thesis. Students may submit printed program and personal copies of the thesis to be bound at the same time.

The University Library will catalog the thesis and send all printed copies out for binding. For Ph.D. theses, an electronic copy will be forwarded to ProQuest. On return, printed program copies will be delivered to the appropriate Program Office, and personal copies will be mailed to the student or the student may arrange at the time of submission to pick them up him/herself in the University Librarian's Office. The printed archival copy will become part of the collections of University Archives.

For Jesuit School of Theology (JST) degrees awarded by Santa Clara University, the archival and circulating copies of the thesis are deposited in the Santa Clara University Library. The SCU Library is responsible for making the electronic copy available. Because of its affiliation with the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the JST may require that one or more copies of the thesis also be deposited in the GTU Library. For JST degrees awarded by the GTU, the thesis depository requirements of the GTU apply.

The electronic copy will be made available through a persistent URL embedded in the online catalog record. Students choosing this option must grant the University a non-exclusive right to provide digital copies of the thesis (see the Graduate Student Thesis Publication Agreement). The student will have the option to delay the release of the electronic copy of the thesis to search engines outside of the University and other third-party distributors. Delayed release (embargo) options are: 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. Under an embargo, the thesis will be available to SCU-authenticated users, but not to readers outside the SCU network. The embargo option may be appropriate for a student who has a patent application in process or wants to delay access to the thesis for a limited amount of time to pursue commercial interests or other publication. Embargoes may be lifted early at the request of the author. If you have any questions about whether you should embargo your thesis, please consult with your advisor.

Format Requirements

Individual programs may establish their own style guidelines for theses, except that left margins shall not be less than 1.5 inches (to ensure readability when bound), all theses must include a title page and an abstract of 350 words or less, and print copies must be printed or copied single sided onto white, acid-free 20 pound or heavier paper. In addition to the above requirements, electronic copies must be accompanied by the following supporting documents on acid-free 20 pound or heavier paper: a signed title page, an abstract of 350 words or less, and a list of submitted files indicating the file formats and software version used to create each file.

The electronic version of the thesis may be accompanied by supplementary materials. There is no limit on the number of supplemental files that can be submitted, but the maximum size of any one file is 100 MB. The following table outlines acceptable file formats for different content types:

Content type Required format
Text PDF
Images TIFF, JPEG, JPEG2000
Audio WAV
Video MPEG video
Data sets ASCII text

Bulletin Entry

All graduate programs that require or allow students the option of completing a thesis will include the following paragraph in their graduate bulletin, modified as appropriate to the program requirements (optional entries are in square brackets, except all Ph.D.-granting programs must include the final bracketed statement regarding ProQuest).

[Statement here about a thesis being required or being an option for the program.] Guidelines for the preparation of theses are available from [name of school or department]. At least XX month(s) prior to the date the degree is to be conferred, the candidate must submit a signed Graduate Student Thesis Publication Agreement and XX copies of the final version of the thesis (either two print copies or one print and one electronic copy), including original approval pages, to [name of school or department]. The printed copies will be bound and deposited in the University Library. If electronic submission is chosen, the electronic copy will be made available, subject to any embargo, through a persistent URL embedded in the online catalog record [An additional copy to be bound and retained by the department must also be submitted.] The candidate will be billed a nominal amount for binding charges. Additional copies of the thesis for the candidate's personal use may be submitted for binding at the same time and will be bound at the same rate, plus charges for shipping and handling if the candidate elects to have personal copies returned by mail. [Candidates for the Ph.D. must submit an additional copy of the thesis, to be forwarded to ProQuest Information and Learning and published in Dissertation Abstracts International. There is an additional charge for this service; see the Thesis Submission Price List. At their option, Ph.D. candidates may have ProQuest register their copyright for the thesis with the Library of Congress Copyright Office. There is an additional fee for this service; see the Thesis Submission Price List.]

Steps for Submitting a Graduate Thesis

  1. The student completes his/her thesis and obtains the required signatures, as determined by the Graduate Program Office of the student's school or department.
  2. The student downloads and completes the Graduate Thesis Submission Form and the Graduate Student Thesis Publication Agreement. A Ph.D. dissertation also requires the ProQuest form, available from the Graduate Program Office.
  3. The student submits the completed Graduate Thesis Submission Form and Graduate Student Thesis Publication Agreement, along with the required number of print or print plus electronic copies to the Graduate Program Office.
  4. The student pays the total fees listed on the form to Student Accounts.
  5. The Graduate Program Office brings the completed Graduate Thesis Submission Form and Graduate Student Thesis Publication Agreement (signed by the Dean of the School), along with the copies of the thesis to the University Library Administrative Assistant in the University Library.
  6. When the University Library Administrative Assistant receives the forms and the copies, the process of having the copies bound will be initiated, and will take 8-12 weeks. The Assistant will authorize Student Accounts to charge the student's account, matching the fees paid.
  7. When the University Library Administrative Assistant receives the print copies of the thesis back from the bindery, the archival and circulating copies are deposited, and the other copies are distributed to the Graduate Program Office and the student, per the Graduate Thesis Submission Form.
  8. If an electronic copy was submitted, the pdf file will be made available through a persistent URL embedded in the online catalog record. If the thesis is under embargo, the pdf file will only be available to SCU-authenticated users, but not to readers outside the SCU network. Once the embargo is lifted, all users will have access to the electronic version of the thesis.

Updated May 21, 2010