Steps to Completion

These steps are to assist with the completion of a Thesis, Dissertation, or Doctoral Project. They do not replace the Graduate School deadlines. Information regarding theses, dissertations, and doctoral projects can be found under "Center for Graduate Student Success" and then clicking on "Completing Students." 

Step 1 Deadlines, Templates, and Instructions

Be familiar with the deadlines to ensure you will be able to complete in that semester. There will be no exceptions to the deadlines. Failure to meet a deadline will result in graduation being deferred. It is best to begin writing in the template and be aware of the instructions and resources available on the website. 

Step 2 Committee Form

Committee Form must be on file with the Graduate School prior to submitting your proposal/prospectus. If your committee is changed at any point, a new committee form must be sent to the Graduate School. 

Step 3 Proposal/Prospectus Form (completed by your committee)

Must propose one semester prior to thesis, dissertation, or doctoral project defense. Must be completed by your committee. It is recommended that you verify that the form has been completed and sent to your Degree Auditor. Please do not submit your proposal/prospectus into Aquila.

Step 4 Apply For Graduation

See deadlines for the last day to apply for graduation. Application is completed via SOAR. Please submit your completed application along with your receipt to your Degree Auditor.

Step 5 Commencement Form (Doctoral Candidates Only)

The purpose of the form is to provide the Documents Specialist with information that will go into the commencement program. Make sure spelling, grammar, and content are accurate. It is best to have it thoroughly checked by your committee chair as there will be no changing of content once the form is submitted.

Step 6 Result of Oral Defense Form (completed by your committee)

Must defend and submit form by the deadline. Please verify with your committee chair that the form has been completed and submitted.

Step 7 Signed Title Page

The graduate school requires one signed copy of your title page that contains original signatures in black ink. The title page can be found on the first page of the template. Your title page can be delivered to the Graduate School (McCain Library 211) or emailed to the Documents Specialist ( If your school will require a bound copy of your dissertation, thesis, or doctoral project, you are required to provide a physical title page on 100% white cotton paper.

Step 8 Turnitin Report and Submission in Aquila

Turnitin Instructions and Aquila Instructions can be found under the "Instructions and Videos" tab located under "Theses, Dissertations, and Doctoral Projects".

After running the report, your committee chair must email the Documents Specialist verifying that they have seen and approved of the report. The percentage in your Turnitin report cannot exceed 25%. If the percentage goes over, your committee chair must provide an explanation for the high percentage.  

You are required to submit your document into Aquila by the initial submission deadline. At this stage of the process, your document should be completed and formatted into the template and all content and grammar should be polished. No content changes will be allowed after the initial submission into Aquila. If you need to revise your document for content or grammar after doing the initial submission, your document will be rejected and you will need to defer to next semester. Only formatting concerns and graduate school revisions will be allowed at this stage. Also, submitting an incomplete document or submitting only a proposal/prospectus will result in your submission being rejected. 

Step 9 Completion of Final Submission Checklist

Your document has been accepted into Aquila without additional revisions. Must complete all required portions of the Final Checklist in order for your dissertation, thesis, or doctoral project to be finalized.

Step 10 Survey of Earned Doctorates (Doctoral Candidates Only)

Doctoral Candidates are required to complete this survey and should do so during their graduating Semester.


If you have questions about formatting your thesis, dissertation, or nursing capstone project or you want to schedule a template tutorial, contact Michaela Donohue, Communications & Documents Specialists, at 601.266.4372 or via email.