Thesis Office

Please Note: The Thesis Office received a record number of dissertation and thesis manuscripts for Summer 2018. We ask that students and departments have patience as the Thesis Editors work full-time to process all submissions. Many employers will accept a letter from the Graduate School Dean as proof that your manuscript is in the queue for graduation. Please be aware that this letter is not an official Certificate of Completion from the University, which can be obtained through the Registrar’s Office. To request a letter, or if you have questions or concerns about your manuscript submission, please email us at

Addendum 9/13/2018. The Registrars’ final deadline for Summer 2018 has passed as of this morning. At the final tally, the Thesis Office cleared 210 of 240 manuscripts which were turned in on or before the June 15 deadline. Thirty students who submitted on the deadline date have now been notified that they will not be cleared for Summer 2018. We have provided the guidance regarding the timeline for their clearance during the next three weeks. We currently project all students will be able to be cleared for graduation and receive a verification letter from the Registrar’s Office by October 15, 2018.

The impacted students have been advised that will not have to pay any additional fees or register for additional classes as a result of this delay. The students have been advised that will need to apply for Fall Graduation with the Registrar’s office, but there is no cost associated with filing this form.

The Thesis Office has prioritized the remaining Summer 2018 manuscripts to be immediately cleared for Fall 2018.  We have asked students with critical employment constraints to contact us directly so we can expedite the processing of the most time-sensitive manuscripts. We are providing expedited (same-day)  documentation regarding graduation status to all students to support their needs, and are asking for students to request assistance from the Graduate School to solve any problems that may have been created by this delay.

On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Graduate School,  I want to sincerely apologize for any delays in processing your students’ manuscripts this Summer.  We will work diligently to complete the clearance process for all submitted manuscripts in the next few weeks.  I thank you for your patience and assistance in tackling the unprecedented volume of manuscripts we received this summer.  Please know that my door is always open to you. If you want to meet with me to discuss a specific situation, or to provide general or critical feedback, please contact me at

Expediting Your Manuscript

Policy for Expedited Submissions: Due to the large number of requests, students who wish to be considered for having their submissions expedited must provide the following:

  • A compelling reason for being expedited including detailed circumstances and when the degree is required
  • A letter from prospective employers or others requiring proof of degree conferral
  • A manuscript without major formatting or grammar errors

In order to ensure faster processing, you must follow these recommendations in the Handbook:

  • Only include first-level subheads in the Table of Contents
  • Only include Lists if you have under 25 figures/tables
  • Place figures and tables at the end of the chapter where they are first mentioned in the text

Again, being placed in the expedite pile does not guarantee that your manuscript will be processed in time for graduation.

Tips for Reducing Manuscript Processing Time

The Thesis Office has noticed an increase in basic grammar problems in submitted theses and dissertations. A manuscript that has many grammatical errors slows down the manuscript processing time for all students. Performing a basic grammar check before submission allows Thesis Editors to quality check manuscripts more quickly, speeding up the processing time for all manuscripts and returning your individual manuscript more quickly. There are many AI editing options available to students to reduce the number of grammar errors in their manuscripts. A few of these include: *

If you have already submitted a manuscript that you suspect has multiple grammar problems, it may be possible to replace your earlier submission with a cleaned-up version. Please email us at to explore this possibility.

*Please note that The Graduate School does not endorse or guarantee these products.


A Handbook for Theses and Dissertations contains information on The Graduate School’s policies and procedures for preparing a thesis or dissertation, having it reviewed by the Thesis Editor, and uploading it as a PDF for electronic publication, which is the final requirement for graduation. The Handbook includes an explanation of the University of Utah format, examples of pages and forms, and a discussion of copyright issues.


Style Guides

A comprehensive list of department-approved style guides can be found here.


The Graduate School maintains a list of frequently asked questions. This list is also available on the ProQuest website.



Submission of a manuscript during a semester does not guarantee graduation in that semester. Factors that can result in not graduating include the following:

  • Unavailability of the student to participate in the ongoing editing process
  • Major formatting errors (see the Handbook)
  • Major problems with grammar, spelling, etc.
  • Manuscripts that have not been approved by the supervisory committee and department chair

Manuscripts submitted on the deadline but that have any of these problems will not be considered for that semester.

Please take these factors into account when planning defense and graduation dates.

The entire editing process can take 2 or more months to complete, so the earlier a manuscript is submitted, the better the student’s chance of graduating in the desired semester. 

However, students wishing to be considered for graduation in a specific semester must meet the dates in this calendar.

Semester Last day preliminary formatting submissions accepted Last day department-approved submissions over 200 pages will be accepted Last day department-approved submissions will be accepted to begin the format approval process Last day approved manuscripts will be accepted to begin the thesis release process
Spring 2018 February 16, Friday March 9, Friday March 16, Friday April 23, Monday
Summer 2018 June 1, Friday June 8, Friday June 15, Friday August 13, Monday
Fall 2018 October 5, Friday October 19, Friday  October 26, Friday December 3, Monday