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Submission Process

Electronic Submission Timeline

This timeline represents a typical thesis or project report submission. The process for dissertations varies slightly.

STUDENT ACTION - Delivery of signature page (On or before submission deadline date): Students now have the option to use DocuSign to create and deliver an electronic signature page.  If a student chooses to use a hardcopy signature page, it can be delivered to the Thesis Office by the student or someone else the student has asked to deliver it. Anyone delivering the student’s signature page should also have the student’s CSULB email address. The hardcopy signature page is a printed piece of paper and should have all original signatures complete on the page. A template for creating a hardcopy signature page is available online.

THESIS OFFICE ACTION - Email sent to student (Within 1 day of signature page being delivered): The email includes information about uploading PDF of manuscript to online database website.

STUDENT ACTION - Upload of PDF manuscript (Within a week of Thesis Office email being sent): The manuscript must be complete in one PDF and formatted to the best of the student's ability. A payment of $95 is required at the time of uploading the PDF.

THESIS OFFICE ACTION - Initial evaluation (Within 4 weeks of date when student uploads PDF): During most semesters, the turnaround time for the initial evaluation is 2-4 weeks. However, for manuscripts submitted during the end of the Spring semester submission period, the turnaround time can be up to 8 weeks. Evaluators read through PDFs on a first-come, first-served basis from the date the student uploads the PDF and add notes for corrections needed. Evaluators upload the annotated PDF to the online database website and email the student.

STUDENT ACTION - First correction (Within 2 weeks of receiving email about initial evaluation--flexible deadline): Students are advised, but not required, to set a 2-week turnaround time to make revisions to ensure completing the submission process within the semester deadline. Students download the annotated PDF and, based on the notes in the PDF, make corrections to a version of their manuscript that is easily changed (usually a Microsoft Word document). Then they save the corrected version as a PDF and upload it to the online database website. Students can call or email the Thesis Office at any time with questions about how to make revisions.

THESIS OFFICE ACTION - Follow-up evaluations (Each within 3 weeks of upload of corrected PDF): Evaluators compare the corrected version of the student's manuscript to the notes in the annotated PDF. The student is emailed with results. There are three possible outcomes: (a) PDF needs a second correction—a PDF with notes attached is uploaded to the online database website at the same time that the email is sent to the student; (b) PDF is "cleared pending" minor corrections—the email sent to the student will contain a list of 15 or fewer corrections still needed in the PDF; or (c) PDF is "cleared"—no further corrections are needed. Note: The follow-up evaluation step and corrections by the student are repeated until all revisions are complete.

STUDENT ACTION – Follow-up corrections (Within 2 weeks of receiving email with follow-up evaluation results - flexible deadline): Students are advised, but not required, to take action within 2 weeks of receiving email about their PDF status to ensure completing the submission process within the semester deadline. Students with follow-up corrections need to upload a new PDF with corrections based on the annotated PDF from the follow-up evaluation, and they should expect to receive an email notifying them of the next step within 2 weeks.

THESIS OFFICE ACTION – Issue clearance letter (Within 2 weeks): Once a student's PDF has cleared, meaning that no more corrections are needed, the Thesis Office releases the PDF to the ProQuest database company for publication online. An email is sent to the student (with copies to the student's Thesis Chair, the graduate advisor of the department, and Enrollment Services) to confirm that the student has fulfilled all requirements. The submission process is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the very last day that my thesis can be cleared in order for me to graduate this semester?

The ultimate deadline is decided each semester by the Thesis Office in consultation with Enrollment Services. It is always during the first few weeks of the following semester, and very few students come close to missing that deadline. If the date is of concern to you, ask about it after you receive the email about the initial evaluation of your PDF manuscript. An ultimate deadline date will have been determined by that time for that semester. If a student has not made all corrections to his or her manuscript before this ultimate deadline, graduation will be pushed back and all paperwork filed with Enrollment Services for graduation will have to be updated.

I'm having trouble making the corrections asked for by the Thesis and Dissertation Office. What should I do?

During the period between submission and completion, the Thesis and Dissertation Office gives priority to all requests (email, telephone or walk-in) made by students whose manuscripts are undergoing evaluation and revision for that semester. Call, email or stop by with any questions or problems. We will work with you to help make corrections and adjust deadline dates as much as possible if other events in your life get in the way of making revisions.

Can a signature page be submitted before the first day of an official submission period?

Yes, it can. If a signature page complete with all signatures is submitted before the first day of a submission period, the Thesis Office will contact the student to acknowledge the arrival of the signature page. However, the Thesis Office will not email the instructions about uploading the PDF of the student’s manuscript to the online database until the first day of the official submission period. By completing a signature page before the first day of the official submission period, students are “first in line” for evaluation of their PDFs. Generally, PDFs submitted early in the submission period are evaluated within 1 week.

Can a signature page be submitted after the last day of an official submission period?

Completed signature pages received by the Thesis Office after the last day of an official submission period will be accepted for the next semester’s submission period. An email will be sent to the student to acknowledge the arrival of the signature page. However, the Thesis Office will not email the instructions about uploading the PDF of the student’s manuscript to the online database until the first day of the next semester’s official submission period.

Is there any way to put in a rush order for my manuscript evaluation?

PDF manuscripts are evaluated in the order they are uploaded to the online database website. No exceptions will be made. If you have commitments that require timely clearance of your manuscript (e.g., employment, doctoral program admission, relocation, or extended trip), you should make every effort to submit your fully signed signature page early in the submission period. The turnaround time is much shorter early in the semester.

Can my thesis be rejected for formatting errors?

Rejection of your manuscript for formatting errors is a rare but very real possibility. Manuscripts submitted for an initial evaluation must be professional and formatted to the best of your ability according to the University Guidelines Manual and the style guide designated by your department. The first evaluation, follow-up evaluation, and cleared pending steps provide enough time and opportunity for the large majority of students to make revisions. Manuscripts containing numerous and consistent formatting errors after undergoing these three steps will be rejected. Those manuscripts can be re-submitted for the next semester. The student's graduation date will need to be moved and Enrollment Services paperwork regarding graduation will need to be updated.