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NOTE: Effective immediately, all submissions of theses and dissertations must be done electronically.  The thesis manual will be updated accordingly during the fall term, but the necessary information may be found at the ETD page.

Thesis Manual

The Thesis Manual was prepared by the Graduate College to provide guidance for the student and advisor in the formal preparation of the thesis, and should be consulted before the student begins compiling the document. While there are a number of format and presentation requirements that should be followed, the Graduate College allows for deviations for accepted disciplinary manuscript practices, and the guidelines allow flexiblity for many of these deviations.  Consult the manual for more information, and also consult with your advisor and department.  A checklist is provided in the back of the Thesis Manual, and it  should be carefully reviewed.

Policy on Non-English Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations should be submitted in English (excluding quotes in another language).  On occasion, other languages may be used when there are sound academic reasons.  Read the Gradaute College Policy on non-English Theses and Dissertations.  The title page and abstract must always be in English.

Doctoral Dissertations - Publication Type

Should you choose the Traditional or Open-Access Option?

Doctoral dissertations are submitted to ProQuest for publication.  ProQuest offers two options, what they term "traditional" and "open-access" publication.  Traditional publication means that a dissertation is available for order by individuals, and when ordered, a physical (paper) copy is sent to that individual.  Authors receive royalties if a certain minimum of sales is reached.  Open-Access publication involves posting the dissertation on a website for any individual to read. 

Open-Access publication of dissertations is desirable as it allows free access to current research to anyone who may have an interest - other researchers and fellow students as well as the public at large.  However, besides the higher cost to the author to choose this option (see the Publishing Agreementand the Thesis Manual for details), and a loss of potential royalties, open-access publication may not be to the author's advantage under certain situations.  Some journals and publishing houses will not publish material from a document that has been displayed open-access since they claim that the content has already been published. In addition, as the dissertation ultimately will be made available online through the UIC library, there is little need to pay the extra cost of having it made available on another website.  Another concern is the use of previously published work in the dissertation, and the permissions needed to now display that work as open-access.

Students will need to review the circumstances and make their own decisions.  It would be wise to seek council with your advisor and others in your discipline.  While there are many positive reasons to allow open-access publication, there are also reasons that choice may not be best for your immediate and future goals.


Thesis/Dissertation Questions

The Thesis Manual (see above) should be consulted on questions of format.  Additional questions should be directed to your advisor, Director of Graduate Studies, or program thesis coordinator since the format is mainly approved by the program (see Department/Program Thesis Format Approval Form above).  Issues that the Thesis Manual may not fully address and that your program can't answer, as well as questions on the submission of the thesis to the Graduate College not stated in the manual, may be addressed to the Thesis Coordinator in the Graduate College.  (See Graduation and Deadlines for the term deadlines.)

James Kollenbroich, PhD
Thesis Coordinator
Room 613 University Hall
(312) 996-3958