Dissertation & Thesis Information

Electronic Thesis & Dissertation (ETD) Help 

The Graduate School has partnered with the University Libraries to offer virtual office hours for graduate students seeking assistance with their dissertations and theses.  

Staff can help with submittal deadlines, formatting questions, publishing options, reuse of copyrighted or previously published materials, reuse of social media content, the UAlbany open access repository Scholars Archive, and more. 

These sessions are an open format where students can ask specific questions concerning their individual dissertation and thesis submissions.

Additionally, topic specific sessions will also be offered throughout the semester relating to publishing permission, open access, contracts, fair use, and copyright.

Please visit our ETD Help calendar to view the available sessions.


Research & Writing Resources

University Library Resources

To get started, familiarize yourself with the Graduate Students Library Guide

The University Libraries offer several print books on writing a thesis or dissertation. We suggest the following two e-books on the topic: 

Use the search page to find additional options.

The University Libraries has also published this list of resources for researching, writing and publishing.  

We recommend these guides and tip sheets from the University Libraries: 

The structure of your thesis or dissertation should be determined based on your discipline’s style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) but must also follow the Graduate School’s overall formatting requirements. 

Note: If you choose to link to works using a URL, we recommend using a permanent URL to guarantee access to readers. The University Libraries offer perma.cc, a free service for creating permanent URLs for content on the open web. You can find more information in the Libraries’ citation guide.

For discipline-specific questions, please reach out to your Subject Area Librarian.  

You may also want to visit the University Libraries’ Frequently Asked Questions website.

Library Access 

Please note that access to University resources — including library services and databases — is limited to currently enrolled students. 

Students with Incomplete grades without future enrollment will be limited in their access. Students who have graduated have access to alumni services at the University Libraries

The Libraries recommend the Unpaywall browser extension to streamline finding open access versions of peer-reviewed journal articles.

Before your current enrollment ends, be sure that you’ve downloaded or have confirmed access to the literature you may need to complete your work. Feel free to contact the Library for assistance. Students can also visit the main University Library and obtain a guest pass for the day. Guest passes are not available for the Science or Dewey Libraries. 

Other University Resources

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD)

The University at Albany has an institutional membership in NCFDD, which has great resources for doctoral students. Activate your NCFDD account. Students must use their UAlbany email address for the registration.

One of the available resources is the Dissertation Success Curriculum. The curriculum is designed to provide the skills, strategies, and support that advanced graduate students need to overcome the three biggest obstacles to finishing their dissertation: perfectionism, procrastination and isolation.


The Versatile PhD

The University has also an institutional membership to Versatile PhD. The Versatile PhD mission is to help graduate students, ABDs and PhDs identify, prepare for and excel in professional careers. They serve many of the leading North American research universities, including their PhD students, post-docs and alumni, by providing unique and instructive content, networks, job analytics and readiness tools. Students must use their UAlbany email address for the registration.



See what software is available for download onto your computer by visiting the ITS Software Catalog. You can also view where campus-specific software is publicly available for use in classrooms or computer labs.


Research Regulations

Research involving human subjects, animal subjects or biohazardous materials must be approved by the appropriate research review committee before the research begins. 

If applicable, please contact the appropriate University compliance committee: 

The approval forms are considered administrative and should not be included in your PDF submission. However, you should include blank copies of the survey instrument and informed consent forms used as part of your research, if applicable.

Copyright, Fair Use & Permission to Reuse Material

The University Libraries offer a Copyright Guide, which includes a section on Fair Use. Columbia University offers a Fair Use Checklist

Under U.S. Copyright law, you are the copyright owner of your thesis or dissertation as soon as it is in a fixed format. You do not need to register your copyright or include a copyright notice with the work to enjoy copyright protection. 


Copyright Registration

As noted above, as the author of your thesis or dissertation, you are the copyright holder automatically. However, some students opt to register their copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office as an extra safeguard in case they need to pursue legal action against someone. 

To do so, you can file your copyright through the U.S. Copyright Office, where it subsequently becomes available in the Library of Congress. You can find their fee structure on the Copyright Office's website.
Copyright can also be filed retroactively, so this does not have to be an immediate consideration.  

For a more in-depth discussion of copyright, fair use, open access, and more, you may want to explore the Authors Alliance resources on copyright fundamentals.


Reusing Published Material that You Authored 

As of September 7, 2021, the University at Albany has an Open Access Policy. Under this policy, UAlbany authors give the University a nonexclusive, irrevocable right to distribute their scholarly articles for any noncommercial purpose.

By granting permission to UAlbany prior to committing to any contractual arrangement with publishers, UAlbany authors retain rights that might otherwise be signed away, restricting the author’s ability to open their research. Instead, scholarly articles now may be made openly available in the University’s repository, Scholars Archive, or an open access repository (or publication) of the author’s choosing without publisher permission. 

You may find information about support for taking advantage of the policy at the Library’s Open Access Author Services page.

Students who have had materials accepted by publishers after the policy’s implementation will not need to provide permission to reuse their own materials in their thesis or dissertation if the following is true:

  1. The student deposits the “accepted manuscript version” to an open access repository (e.g., Scholars Archive or one within the student’s discipline).
  2. The student uses the “accepted manuscript version” of the article in the dissertation or thesis.
  3. The student properly cites the repository version of the work (including the article URL) in the dissertation or thesis (typically within the chapter where the “accepted manuscript version” materials are used).

If the student secures a waiver of the policy’s grant of rights and has not submitted the “accepted manuscript version” to a repository, then the student will need to secure permission from the publisher to include the published materials in their dissertation or thesis if not otherwise permitted under the publisher’s terms.

Students who have had materials accepted for publication prior to the Open Access Policy (September 7, 2021) may need to secure permission from the publisher to include the published materials in their dissertation or thesis if not otherwise permitted under the publisher’s terms.

Review your contract with the publisher to determine if you retain authorship and if you can reuse those materials in your dissertation or thesis. If not, formal permission from the publication is required and must be uploaded as part of your ETD submission. Additional information can be found in the formatting guidelines below. 

Journal articles under consideration don’t require permission to be included in your ProQuest submission. Only formally accepted or published materials require permission of reuse.


Social Media 

As with the use of other third-party materials, your ability to use content off social media content in your research depends on your use.

You also need to consider the type of account profile the user has set up. If the account is private, we recommend you obtain permission. If you do not have permission, we recommend redacting the user’s name and handle. 

Additionally, please review the social media platform’s terms of service and copyright information. 

Previous UAlbany Dissertations & Theses

You can read a dissertation or thesis previously submitted by another UAlbany student. However, the location depends on what publishing options the student chose. 

You can explore UAlbany-authored open access theses and dissertations from 2008 onward in Scholars Archive.

For dissertations published before this time, if the student did not place restrictions on publication, then the dissertation or thesis can be viewed using the ProQuest database. You’ll need to log in using your NetID and password. 

You can also visit the University Library’s database finder and type in “Dissertations & Theses @ SUNY Albany” to access previous submissions. 

Informational Videos and Presentations

The University Libraries has created helpful videos discussing various subjects for graduate students. Below are the video links, the presenter, and details regarding the materials covered in each video.

Copyright for Graduate Students

Author Tools & Tips for Graduate Students

Managing Your Scholarly Identity

  • Managing Your Scholarly Identity with Jesús Alonso-Regalado, Subject Librarian for History, Latin American Studies and Romance Languages
    • ORCID iD
    • Google Scholar
    • Institutional Repositories
    • Academic Social Networks
    • Social Media

Formatting Requirements and Tutorials with Colleen Davis, Julie Deden, and Regina Testa


These templates are available for general student use. Please check with your department about discipline-specific formatting, as departments may have more specific requirements. You must also review and follow the “Submission Information" listed below.  

Please note that the purple text boxes can be deleted in the Dissertation and Thesis Template documents, which include prefatory pages and a landscape page example.

The structure of your thesis or dissertation should be determined based on your discipline’s style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) but must also follow the Graduate School’s overall formatting requirements. 

For discipline-specific questions, please reach out to your Subject Area Librarian


Submission Information 

The Graduate School is in the process of transitioning the dissertation and thesis publishing to Scholars Archive.

Please create a Scholars Archive account before you’re ready to formally submit your dissertation or thesis. You will want to review the resources and agreements under which your work will be shared before you begin your submission.

When you are ready to begin your submission, the Graduate School suggests converting your document to a PDF before uploading it to Scholars Archive to avoid any formatting issues. 

As the author, you will retain the copyright in your thesis or dissertation. You will be agreeing to a non-exclusive license with Scholars Archive and ProQuest EDT when you submit your dissertation or thesis. This means you are giving permission to UAlbany and ProQuest to distribute your work on your behalf. You retain all of your copyright, meaning you can use and publish your dissertation as you see fit.

You can view the Scholars Archive and PQDT agreements in the Scholars Archive submission information. Once you have created your account, you will log in and see both licenses on the Submission Information page.

Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines & Forms

Note: Administrative forms should not be uploaded as part of your PDF. These forms should be submitted directly to the Graduate School ([email protected]). 

Master's Thesis Guidelines & Forms

Note: Administrative forms should not be uploaded as part of your PDF. These forms should be submitted directly to the Graduate School ([email protected]).

Deadlines & Timeline

ETD Submission At-a-glance

  1. At the thesis/dissertation defense, you will present your manuscript to your committee. Your committee will read and review your manuscript before approving it for submission to Scholars Archive.  
  2. You will submit your ETD through Scholars Archive. The Graduate School will review your ETD for formatting requirements. Manuscripts that do not meet the requirements will be returned for revision until all requirements are met. 
  3. When all requirements are met, your thesis/dissertation will be posted in Scholars Archive and ProQuest. You will receive an email notifying you that your work is posted and how you can print a copy of your thesis/dissertation 



You cannot submit your dissertation or thesis until you have defended it and your committee has approved it.  

The submission deadline refers to the electronic submission of your faculty-approved dissertation or thesis. The deadlines are as follows: 

  • Fall: December 1 
  • Winter: January 12
  • Spring: May 1 
  • Summer: August 1 

You cannot make academic content edits after the initial submission.  

However, you can make required formatting edits after the initial submission and this will not affect your degree conferral term.



When scheduling your defense and planning your degree completion, please take the following factors into consideration:

  • Electronic Submission Deadline: Review the published deadline for the semester in which you plan on completing your dissertation or thesis. Your defense date should be scheduled with this date in mind. We recommend that defenses not be scheduled too close to the electronic submission deadline.
  • Committee member availability: Provide your committee members with enough time to coordinate their schedules and determine their availability for document review and defense scheduling.
  • Departmental coordination: Contact your department to determine if you'll need certain resources or facilities.
  • Committee Requested Edits: After defense, your committee members may determine that edits are required before final approval of your dissertation or thesis. This will affect your electronic submission date, which is why we recommend not scheduling your defense too close to the submittal deadline.
  • Employment or Post-doctoral Positions: If you have secured employment or a post-doctoral position, you will need to ensure that your degree is awarded before your start date.
  • Formatting Review: The format review process can take time, depending on the number of edits that are necessary. Submissions near the semester deadline are considered peak processing time and will add additional time to the review.
Submitting & Revising in Scholars Archive

Your thesis or dissertation is a significant work of scholarship. The Graduate School is pleased to partner with the University Libraries to enhance the web presence of our graduate programs and showcase student work at UAlbany to a broader audience using Scholars Archive.

By sharing your ETD openly, you are better contributing to your discipline’s body of knowledge and fostering a more equitable, sustainable scholarly landscape.

Connecting this important scholarship to a wider readership that can read, use, and build upon your work advances science. Doing so also widely advantages your work: wider visibility can lead to greater impact.  

More broadly, this effort aligns with the University’s support of open scholarly practices, as evidenced by the University’s 2021 Open Access Policy.


Initial Submission

After your Committee has approved your manuscript at your defense, incorporate any necessary edits and then submit your thesis/dissertation to Scholars Archive to begin the publication process.

Submit via Scholars Archive.

If you are a first-time user, you’ll need to create a new Scholars Archive account. We recommend using a stable, non-UAlbany email address for your username, since UAlbany email addresses close after one year of non-enrollment. You’ll also need to create and keep your own password.

Once you sign in, you will be directed to the Submission Instructions and Agreement page. There, you will be prompted to agree to the terms of the ProQuest Traditional Publishing Agreement. You will also be prompted to select the Scholars Archive Standard Author Agreement or Creative Commons licensing.  

Note: These agreements do not take your copyright or constrain your ability to publish your work elsewhere. They simply give permission to UAlbany and ProQuest to distribute your ETD on your behalf.  

Select “Continue.” Carefully read and complete the Submission Form. Required fields are clearly indicated.

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • You must upload your thesis or dissertation as a PDF.
  • Enter the Title of your thesis/dissertation in the Scholars Archive title field in Headline Capitalization. Capitalize nouns, pronouns, and verbs, and all other words of four or more letters.
  • Because you are logged in, your name should automatically appear in the Author field. Click the figure with the pencil to reveal a drop box to make any edits. Your name in Scholars Archive should reflect the name used in your academic record at UAlbany. Students can use chosen identity markers if they are reflected in the student information system.
  • If you have an approved embargo term the Graduate School will enter this information on your behalf. You can choose to immediately release your work after it is approved for publication or “embargo” it for six months, one year or two years. See the "Embargoes: accordion for information on how to submit embargo requests. When the embargo expires, your work will automatically be published.
  • Enter in Keywords and/or add Subject Categories to help make your thesis/dissertation easier to find.


Supplemental Files

The Additional Files field can be used to upload supplemental content files to accompany a manuscript, such as charts, images, appendices and datasets are some of the additional files that may be uploaded along with an ETD.  

Supplemental files can also include permission forms that require signatures for the publication of ETDs. These can be hidden by the submitter when an ETD is uploaded or by the administrator when the ETD is reviewed.  

Once you upload a document to the supplemental area, you cannot delete it. You will need to email [email protected] to request documents be administratively deleted for you.  

Supplemental files are not governed by embargoes or access control limitations; if an ETD is uploaded and placed under an embargo, any supplemental files that are not hidden will be available to the public. 

Students who participate in our Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition may want to consider uploading their presentation video as part of their Scholars Archive submission as a supplementary file.



After you submit your thesis/dissertation, you will receive a confirmation email. To view the status of your submission, submit revisions or contact the ETD Team for help, click on the link in the email.  

When the Graduate School has reviewed your thesis/dissertation for formatting errors, you will receive another email. Click the link in that email to review and submit any revisions.  

To revise your thesis/dissertation, follow the link in the revision request email from the Graduate School to navigate to the page in Scholars Archive where you can review any needed revisions and revise your thesis/dissertation.  

The View Decisions page provides links to one or more decision letters addressing needed revisions. If you have received multiple letters, view them all here.  

Review the revisions requested by the Graduate School. When you have made these changes, upload your corrected thesis/dissertation.  

When you are done correcting your work, click “Revise thesis/dissertation” to upload your corrected document.

After clicking “Revise thesis/dissertation,” you will be returned to your original submission form. Scroll down to “Upload Full Text” and click “Upload file from your computer.”

Upload your updated thesis/dissertation. After you click “Submit,” you will again be sent to a page listing the information associated with your thesis/dissertation.  

If any formatting issues are identified in your corrected document, you will be contacted again and go through the same process until your document is accepted.

When all edits are complete, you will receive a final email indicating that your thesis/dissertation has been accepted to appear in Scholars Archive. 


An embargo delays the formal publishing of your submission for six months, one year or two years. 

Students can request an embargo if they plan on submitting their dissertation or thesis for publishing with a journal or formal publication, or requesting a patent.  

Embargoes are an option to increase incentive for downstream publishers to publish your work before it becomes available on Scholars Archive. Any embargo applied in Scholars Archive will also be applied in ProQuest.

An online form is available for Embargo Requests. Embargo requests must be endorsed by the student’s committee chair. Committee chairs will be copied automatically once the online form is submitted by the student.

Please consider these items before requesting an embargo: 

  • Read your contract with the publisher and pay particular attention to any language dealing with copyright and reuse of materials. Who retains the copyright if you publish with them? Can you reuse your materials without permission? You do not want to give away your copyright. Review this sample addendum for retaining rights when you are signing publishing contracts. 
  • Once your dissertation is approved through Scholars Archive, the embargo start date will begin once Scholars Archive processes the submission. 
  • For submissions that are embargoed and subsequently have externally published materials, you do not need to provide those permissions to Scholars Archive after the fact. 
  • If you are applying for a patent, you will want to do this earlier than your defense. A dissertation defense is considered public disclosure, which may cause problems when applying for a patent. 
Ordering Bound Copies

If you are interested in ordering bound copies of your thesis or dissertation you may want to explore the following vendors. Quality and pricing may vary. (Note: The Graduate School does not endorse a particular vendor.)

Additionally, the Library Binding Council has a list of "certified library binders."


ORCID iD is a free, unique, persistent identifier that allows scholars to track and share their professional information, such as affiliations, grants, publications, peer review and more.

We recommend you create and use an ORCID for your published documents so people can find all your submissions — especially if you publish under multiple names. 

Your ORCID can be included in your Scholars Archive submission. 

Note: UAlbany’s Chosen Identity Markers Policy allows students, faculty and staff to designate a chosen identity markers (first name, gender identity and pronouns) in certain instances. We are allowing students to do this in their Scholars Archive accounts and on their dissertations and theses. However, the last name must match the primary last name on your student record. Instructions and additional information to consider before making this decision can be found Diplomas page on the Registrar's Office website.   

If you intend on publishing under a different name in the future, we suggest creating an ORCID so your publishing is connected to you, regardless of name of affiliation. 

If you recently changed your legal name and need to update the student information system, please contact the Registrar’s Office. 

Additional Considerations

899 Doctoral Dissertation & 699 Master’s Thesis Credits

Only doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy are eligible to register for 899 doctoral dissertation credits within their discipline.  

Each academic program has different requirements for admission into candidacy.  

Common requirements include, but are not limited to, research tool, doctoral examinations, residency requirements, completion of required academic coursework, a minimum GPA of 3.0 and proposal defense and/or approval. 

Please contact your academic department for information on their requirements and visit the Graduate Bulletin for program-specific requirements. 

Summer & Winter Registration 

Summer and winter registration are not generally required, even if you are completing your program during those terms.

However, some departments may require doctoral students to register for 899 doctoral dissertation credits during these terms if they are conducting research in the lab and there are resource implications. Please contact your academic department for further information. 

Master’s students who have taken the amount of 699 master’s thesis credits required for their program do not need to register for additional 699 credits. 

International doctoral and master’s students should discuss this with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) because they may be required to register during the summer or winter terms to maintain their I-20 status. 

Virtual Defenses & Electronic Signatures

Departments can schedule virtual dissertation and thesis defenses using technology supported by ITS, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The procedure is otherwise the same. 

Electronic signatures will also be accepted on dissertation and thesis approval forms.  

If obtaining an electronic or physical signature is not possible, committee members can indicate approval by sending a message from their institutional email account to the appropriate department. 

Departments should submit completed departmental approval forms with the electronic signatures and emails, as well as their completed checklist, to the Graduate School ([email protected]).

Forms are not uploaded into Scholars Archive as part of the dissertation or thesis document.


The University celebrates Commencement once a year in May for degree candidates in the current spring semester and degree recipients from the preceding summer term, fall semester, and winter term.

Graduate students who earned their degrees in the preceding summer, fall and winter will be invited to attend the May ceremonies in March via their UAlbany email addresses.

Current spring degree candidates must apply for graduation by the advertised deadline in order to be invited to Commencement. Invitations will be sent in March to candidate's UAlbany email addresses as long as students have applied for graduation.

Doctoral candidate's participation in Commencement is contingent on submitting their faculty approved dissertations by the May 1 deadline. Doctoral students are ineligible to participate if they have not submitted their faculty approved dissertation by the May 1 deadline. 

Master’s students with thesis requirements are still able to participate in the Commencement ceremony if they submit after the May 1 deadline, since master’s requirements include academic coursework that will not be graded until after Commencement.

Information regarding the Commencement celebrations can be found on the Commencement website.