Steps to Completion

These steps are to assist with the completion of a Thesis, Dissertation, or Nursing Capstone Project. They do not represent a complete timeline of forms and Graduate School requirements nor replace the Graduate School deadlines.

Step 1 Deadlines, Templates and Forms, 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 the semester before your graduating semester. If your committee is changed at any point, a new committee form must be sent to the Graduate School.

Step 3 Proposal/Prospectus Form

Must propose one semester prior to thesis, dissertation, or capstone 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.

Step 4 Apply For Graduation

See deadlines for last day to apply for graduation. Submitting past the deadline will result in you having to pay a late fee. 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 is 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

Must defend and submit form before deadline. Form is to be completed by your committee. Please verify with your committee 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 department will require a bound copy of your dissertation, thesis, or capstone project, you are required to provide a physical title page in 100% white cotton paper.

Step 8 Turnitin Report

The Committee Chair and/or Department Chair must submit the originality report and approve of the percentage of the originality report. Students should verify with their academic unit that the originality report has been submitted to the Documents Specialist. The originality report submitted must be less that 25%. If the percentage goes over, the committee chair and/or department chair must provide justification for the high percentage. See "Instructions and Videos" for instructions on how to run your document through Turnitin.

Step 9 Initial Submission in Aquila

You are required to submit your document into Aquila by the deadline. At this stage of the process, your document should be formatted into the template and all content and grammar should be polished. After the initial submission, the only thing that the Documents Specialist will look at is formatting. Failure to put your document into the template will result in your document being withdrawn and your graduation deferred. Also, revising content and/or grammar at this stage, unless directed by the Documents Specialist, will also result in your document being withdrawn and graduation being deferred. You can find instructions on how to submit your document into Aquila under "Instructions and Videos."  

Step 10 Final Submission in Aquila and Completion of Final Submission Checklist

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 capstone project to be finalized. Final Checklist can be found under "Instructions and Videos."

Step 11 Survey of Earned Doctorates (Doctoral Candidates Only)

Doctoral Candidates are required to complete this survey and should do so during their graduating Semester. Survey of Earned Doctorates link can be found under "Before you Begin" on the Web Page and in the Final Checklist.