Loyola University Chicago

The Graduate School

Final Copy Submission Process

Students are required to submit to the Graduate School a final, approved electronic copy of the text and other necessary material in proper format. Deadlines for format check and final copy submission are published on the Graduate School website. In addition, in order to ensure that all theses and dissertations are accessible to the academic community and the interested public, all dissertations and theses must be published through ProQuest. 

Students must submit final copies with approved revisions within one semester of a successful defense (e.g., if a student’s defense falls within a Fall semester, their final copies must meet the Spring semester submission deadlines). After one full semester a student may be discontinued and be required to apply for reinstatement (Approved May 4, 2021). 

Step 1: Application to Receive a Degree

When you think you are ready to defend and turn in your dissertation or thesis, you must Apply for Graduation in LOCUS at least a semester in advance of your expected degree conferral to alert the Graduate School of your intent to graduate. The deadlines to apply are as follows, NO EXCEPTIONS:

  • May degree conferral:  December 1 of the previous year
  • August degree conferral:  February 1 of the same year
  • December degree conferral:  August 1 of the same year

Step 2: Make sure your document is formatted correctly

Using the Format Manual for Theses and Dissertations, you should make sure your document is formatted so that it observes all the necessary requirements.  Generally, the Graduate School observes the style set out in Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed.

Formatting takes A LOT of time, so budget accordingly. The earlier you begin the formatting process, the easier it will be to properly format your manuscript.

Step 3: Format Check by the Graduate School

Before you submit your final copy, every thesis/dissertation must be submitted for a format check by the staff of the Graduate School. Dissertation writers can turn in a manuscript for format check before the dissertation has been defended, but you should be substantially finished with the work. Thesis writers can submit a representative chapter from an unfinished work for format check, but the submission must include all front and back matter.

You must electronically submit your manuscript for a format check to the Graduate School's ProQuest ETD website ON OR BEFORE the published format check deadline for the term in which you expect to receive your degree. The format check deadlines fall roughly as follows (specific deadlines are set at the beginning of the semester that comes before the degree conferral month):

  • May degree conferral format check deadline:  March 1st
  • August degree conferral format check deadline:  June 1st
  • December degree conferral format check deadline:  October 1st


On or before the format check deadline, please also submit the following items as supplemental pdf files in ETD (do not submit them by email):

  • One electronic copy of your completed, formatted manuscript
  • Formatted approval sheet, with your director's name and space for their signature. You will ultimately replace this file with a scanned copy that's been signed by the director after the defense and after all final edits have been made. This form acts as confirmation that your director has read and approved the final copy. 
  • Extra title page, formatted as described in the Manual
  • One extra abstract, formatted as described in the Manual 

After you submit your dissertation/thesis for a format check, you will be notified of any corrections at your LUC email account. If you would prefer to use a different account for email correspondence, please include that email address with your format check package. Please allow a few days for a response.

Note: Your electronic submissions come directly to the Graduate School through the ETD site. Only administrators in the Graduate School will be able to view your dissertation/thesis.

Step 4: Turn in Approval Ballot for Text and Oral Defense 

After you have defended your dissertation, your Graduate Program Director must upload your Approval Ballot for Text and Oral Defense, signed by all of your committee members, to the Graduate Student Progress System (https://gsps.luc.edu).

This is the time to make the corrections requested by your committee members at your Oral Defense, as well as to make sure that all of the formatting changes required by the Graduate School in the format check have been completed.

Step 5: Turn in Final Copy Submission

Once your dissertation has been defended, formatted correctly, and approved by your committee, you will need to electronically submit your final copy to the Graduate School for approval. You will also need to replace the Approval Sheet with a scanned copy that has been signed by your director. 

Your final electronic submission must be uploaded ON OR BEFORE the published final electronic copy deadline for the term in which you expect to receive your degree. The final electronic copy deadlines are as follows:

  • May degree conferral final electronic copy deadline: April 1st
  • August degree conferral final electronic copy deadline: July 1st
  • December degree conferral final electronic copy deadline: November 1st

If your materials are complete or inaccurate, the Graduate School will contact you with a list of required corrections. If required corrections are too extensive or take too long to complete, you may not graduate and the Graduate School will not confer your degree. For this reason, please make every effort to format your manuscript correctly, include all of the materials listed above, and to meet the published deadlines.  Also, please keep in mind that a dissertation or thesis is only one of your degree requirements, and that the Graduate School will not confer your degree unless you meet all of these requirements.