Thesis Registration

This document contains the steps you need to complete all the paperwork associated with formally registering your thesis at the end of your doctoral work. It was originally adopted from an overview handed out to the graduate students, but has been modified to contain accumulated wisdom and experience of graduate students who have gone before you.

In general, questions should be directed to JoMarie Carpenter. If you learn something new or find something outdate, please update this document!

Below: Let T be your targeted registration day. Each step is annotated with a rough estimate of how early you should accomplish it by, relative to T.

  1. Planning (T-30). Schedule a defense date. Check with Pat Mitchel to be sure the time slot is open, and make sure that you register your thesis well enough in advance of this date (20 non-holiday business days during the school year, 25 during the summer). Note that this date is not formalized until it is approved by the Dean. You should also check the graduate calendar to make sure that (a) the date you choose to defend is permitted and (b) you register with enough lead time for that date.
  2. Forms (T-30). See JoMarie to obtain a packet with the following forms:
    • Ph.D. Advisor form
    • Computer Science Department (CSD) Approval for Ph.D. Thesis Registration form
    • Appointment form for Ph.D. Final Oral Examination
    • Ph.D. Thesis Registration Committee Email address form
    • Department Statement of Completion
    • The ProQuest Information packet for Publishing Your Doctoral Dissertation
    • Electronic Thesis & Dissertation (ETD) Authorization form
  3. Thesis format (T-21). Before making copies of your thesis, check with Eileen Pullara, Department Administrator, to make sure you've included all appropriate acknowledgments of grant support. Also be SURE to consult the thesis preparation manual and make sure you've met all the criteria. Many of these are automatically covered if you use the department LaTeX style templates, which you should be using.
  4. Thesis Distribution (T-14). Give a copy of your final thesis to each member of your committee. Once this is done, you should not make any further changes to the thesis until after your defense. Formally, you can make changes up till you register it. It's important to note that the registered version of the thesis is the version you will defend, so do not consider it to be a draft.
  5. Signatures (T-14). Complete the Ph.D. Advisor and the CSD Approval forms, and get them signed. Complete the Appointment form and submit it, along with the copy of the thesis, to the Chair for signature. Your closed exam should be scheduled for one hour after the public presentation. Note that this form requests approval for the date; it's not confirmed until approved by the Dean. You will want to get these signatures as soon as possible, since it can be hard to get signatures from your committee members, especially if they are off-site.
  6. Publishing (T-7). See the ProQuest Information Packet for information about publishing your dissertation, and fill out these forms. In there, you will find a potentially confusing set of options and requirements. Breaking these down, you have to (1) choose between "Traditional" and "Open Access" publishing, (2) decided whether to have them file copyright for you, and (3) decide whether and how many printed copies of your dissertation to order from them.
    1. Traditional publishing is covered by the $70 you will pay to the Bursar (see next step). You would be crazy to pay for "Open Access" publishing: this is a one-time fee you pay for them to make a PDF downloadable from their website. If you want to distribute your thesis, just put a PDF on your website! You should also note that the University of Rochester will host a digital copy for you for free at Email for more information. Bottom line: do Traditional Publishing.
    2. I do not know about copyright, but it is probably not worthwhile for you to do it. I think a formal filing would give you better recourse to sue someone who stole your dissertation. However, no one is ever going to read your dissertation, much less steal it to make money from it. Checks against such theft are provided by the consequences of plagiarism imposed by the academic community, not legal threat.
    3. I highly disrecommend purchasing printed copies from ProQuest. The copies are very expensive (~ $50 each) and are of relatively low quality. Instead, you should submit and print your thesis yourself using an on-demand service like, which provides high-quality printed books for a much cheaper price (around $20). These can be ordered on demand at any point in the future, and printing is as easy as uploading a PDF and selecting a few options. See this page to learn more detail about publishing on
  7. Payment (T-7). At some point before the actual formal registration, you need to spend $70 at the Bursar's office for the storage and archival of your Dissertation. This is not optional. Take pages 4, 5, and (optionally) 6 of the ProQuest packet to the Bursar. They will provide proof of payment. Note that this is often called the "Microfilm fee", and it includes the cost of "Traditional Publishing" with ProQuest. You might see this listed in different places at different prices (e.g., $55, $65), but as of November 2010, the correct price is $70.
  8. More forms (T-7). Take the following to JoMarie: (1) 1 single-side copy of your dissertation, (2) 3 copies of your title page and abstract, and (3) photocopies each of the Ph.D. advisor form, the CSD approval form, and the Appointment form. She will provide (1) a Department Statement of Completion, (2) a current Academic Advising Record, (3) a list of your committee members' email addresses, and (4) a spring-back folder in which to register your thesis.
  9. Registration (T). Take the following items to the College of Arts & Science Dean's Office (Lattimore 222):
    • one copy of your thesis in a spring-back folder
    • two copies of the title page & a version of your abstract that contains your name
    • Department Statement of Completion of Ph.D. requirements
    • Appointment form
    • Email Address form
    • Ph.D. Advisor form
    • Academic Advising Record
    • completed Doctoral Dissertation Agreement Form with receipt attached
    • ETD Authorization form
    • (optional) certified check or money order for the copyright fee, if you elected to have ProQuest manage that for you
  10. Announcement. At least 10 days beforehand, email your abstract to Pat Mitchel so that your talk can be publicized, as required. Be sure that your committee members and the committee chair receive a copy of this.
  11. Defense. Immediately after successfully defending your thesis, you will be provided with a number of documents:
    • diploma card (specifying how you want your name to appear on your diploma)
    • a survey
    • a UR Research Authorization Form
  12. Final copies. Once you have completed your revisions, bring the following items to Pat McLane (Carol G Simon Building, Room 2-316) by the deadline (noted on the graduate calendar). If you do not meet this deadline, you will need to register and pay for the following semester.
    • one corrected, unbound, single-spaced hard copy of your dissertation
    • a digital copy of your thesis source (i.e., the LaTeX files and build system) on CD or flash drive
    • the documents provided to you after your defense (diploma card, survey, and research authorization form)
  13. See this page to learn how to print your own copies for much less.
-- MattPost - 2010-11-04

This topic: Main > TWikiUsers > MattPost > MattPostLeftBar > ThesisRegistration
Topic revision: r8 - 2011-01-03 - MattPost
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