If you feel like you’ve completely emptied your tank toward your PhD, you’re not alone. After all, depending on the discipline, around 30-40% of PhD candidates never complete their program. So kudos to you for making it this far. The thesis submission process is the final hurdle, which means you’re nearly there.
To get through this last step as smoothly as possible, it’s worth knowing what to expect. There are some details that your thesis advisor or program head might not share with you, so we’re cluing you in to help you effectively prepare to submit your dissertation.
1. After Your Defense, Your Committee Could Ask You to Revise Your Dissertation
Picture this: you’ve just delivered an excellent defense of your dissertation. The committee nods approvingly. But don’t put away your red pen just yet. Despite your successful defense, your committee may request additional revisions to your dissertation.
These revisions can range from minor tweaks to more substantial changes. Whatever they request, understand that the committee’s intention isn’t to belittle your work or cause you stress.
It’s their responsibility to ensure your dissertation meets the highest academic standards and adheres to all university and program requirements, so it’s not unheard of for committees to request that candidates make a few changes to their document before final submission.
Revisions aren’t bad. Should the committee request revisions, you’ll be given revision advice and a fixed timeframe to complete the work — usually at least a couple months, depending on the university’s policy.
Feedback from your committee is invaluable in helping you refine and enhance your final document. Make sure to save your notes from your defense for future reference.
2. Your Dissertation Will be Reviewed by a University Editor
After you’ve made the necessary revisions requested by your committee, your dissertation will then go to a university editor or reviewer. This professional editor will examine your dissertation for adherence to the university’s formatting guidelines, style guide, clarity of language, and overall coherence.
The editor might spot discrepancies or errors that you and your committee missed during the revision process. As a result, don’t be surprised if your dissertation comes back to you for more edits. This stage could involve some back and forth until you’ve successfully addressed all the issues the editor flagged. Make sure you’re clear on deadline requirements and that you respond to any edit requests in a timely manner.
This step in the process helps to ensure that your dissertation presents your research in the best possible way. Remember that your research forms the core of what impacts the image of your faculty and university, which is why it’s held to a high standard.
3. The Final Review and Submission Process Could Take 4-6 Weeks
This one might come as a surprise, too. Submitting your dissertation isn’t as simple as clicking the ‘send’ button on that email. Due to university bureaucracy and the volume of candidates applying to graduate each term, processing your dissertation often takes several weeks — an average of 4-6 weeks, from our experience.
The length of this process can vary depending on the workload of the reviewers and the requirements of your program. Keep close track of the process and respond to any requests, but don’t let the waiting game up your stress levels.
4. You’re Responsible for Uploading Your Dissertation to ProQuest
This is the final lap of the thesis submission process. Once your dissertation has received the green light, you can upload your final, approved dissertation to ProQuest, EBSCO, or whatever dissertation database your university uses.
This process is crucial as it ensures your research is accessible to scholars, researchers, and the general public. And while it may feel like a mundane administrative task after all the rigorous work you’ve done, don’t underestimate its importance. Follow the required steps carefully, and check and double-check before submitting to avoid any last-minute hitches.
Many universities will require you to upload a PDF of the PhD thesis and choose a publishing option. You may discuss the publishing options with your supervisor. For submissions to the ProQuest ETD Administrator site, you can choose between Traditional Publishing or Open Access Publishing Plus. After that, enter the relevant categories and keywords to allow researchers to find your work.
Review your thesis formatting a final time to ensure it is error-free. If required, add supplementary materials like spreadsheets, video, or audio. Finally, you can register for copyright through ProQuest — for a fee. You’re now ready to hit the submit button.
5. You Have to Pay to Confer Your Degree and Print Copies of Your Dissertation
And now, one of the least-discussed aspects of the thesis submission process — the cost. Many universities charge a fee to confer your degree. Furthermore, if you wish to have copies of your dissertation printed, either for personal use or to provide to your department, it will be subject to printing fees.
While these charges may seem like an unwelcome surprise after years of hard work, they’re a standard part of the process. Budget for these costs in advance so they don’t catch you off guard.
Take the Stress Out of the Thesis Submission Process with Professional Formatting
At this point, you should have a much clearer picture of the thesis submission process. It will involve some back and forth, and patience will be key.
The final stages of your PhD journey are just as crucial as the initial steps. Being aware of these overlooked aspects can help make the process smoother and less stressful. Remember, every edit and request brings you closer to completing your doctoral degree.
We also understand that everyone needs help sometimes. We know you want to present your PhD thesis in its best form. After years of hard work, you deserve a strong finish. Our expert PhD-level editors will help get your document into excellent shape through our specialized dissertation formatting service. Request a quote here.