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This is the "Submitting to the Library" page of the "Dissertation & Doctoral Project Formatting & Clearance" guide.
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Dissertation & Doctoral Project Formatting & Clearance  

After you successfully defend your dissertation or doctoral project, what happens? This is a guide to submitting your dissertation or doctoral project for the formatting check and final copy.
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Submitting to the Library Print Page

What was the hardest part about writing your dissertation?


Who to Contact for Help

Louise Colbert-Mar

Erin Schmidt

Shawna Hellenius

Nicole Hughes

Scott Zimmer

Joe Tally


Submitting Your Dissertation to the Library

  1. CONTACT ACADEMIC & ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES for an informational meeting. Review any questions about your program's or university's requirements for completing the dissertation clearance process. Ensure you are meeting deadlines relevant to DEX and related fees.

  2. FINAL ORALS: successfully complete the final orals for your dissertation and make all edits requested by your committee.

  3. FORMAT your final draft: follow both APA and Alliant's style guidelines. See "Formatting - 6th Ed. APA Guidelines" and "Formatting Manual & Forms" tabs above.

    If you need an editor to help with formatting or writing, see the "Editors" tab above for recommendations.

  4. LIBRARY DISSERTATION CLEARANCE FORM: obtain program director, chair, and committee member approval of the revised document in writing on the "Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Clearance Form." See "Formatting Manual & Forms" tab above.

    Note that ‘Section 1’ of the Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Clearance Form’ must be signed by the dissertation/doctoral project committee and the Program Director after all final edits have been made and approved. Committee signatures on this form indicate that the student has successfully defended the dissertation and that the final written dissertation/doctoral project as submitted to the library is acceptable in content and format.  The Program Director signature indicates that the student has successfully completed all program requirements related to the dissertation (e.g., submitted departmental forms or any supplemental documentation the program requires for the dissertation/doctoral project).

  5. CATALOGING FORM: Complete the "Alliant Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Cataloging Form," found under the "Formatting Manual & Forms" tab above.

  6. CONTACT THE LIBRARY: Phone or send an email to the person listed under "Who to Contact" on the left side of this page to schedule a preclearance meeting. Schedule this appointment at least seven business days in advance. When you meet with the dissertation clearance representative, bring the following two items:

    • Signed "Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Clearance Form" (scanned copies are acceptable).

    • Completed "Alliant Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Cataloging Form."

      During this meeting, the DCR verifies that the ‘Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Clearance Form’ has been signed by the dissertation/doctoral project committee and the Program Director.  If the form is not signed, the student is ineligible for final library clearance.  Scanned or faxed copies of original signatures are acceptable.

  7. SUBMIT: After this meeting, you can then upload an electronic (pdf) copy of the manuscript to ProQuest.  See "Submitting to ProQuest ETD" tab above.

a)      As soon as you upload, library staff is notified that your
         dissertation is
ready for review.  This review does not
         include proofreading.

b)      Within three business days of your submission, you
         will receive e-mail
notification of revisions you need to
         make, if necessary. 
Make the changes and re-upload.
         Repeat until all necessary revisions
have been made
         and the library approves the format.

c)      If this three-day period must be extended due to
         unusual circumstances, the DCR will notify the
         student about when he or she can expect feedback.

d)      The student repeats this process until the document is
         acceptable.  Allow three business days for review of
         any revised, reuploaded version of the manuscript. 
         The time frame for completing the entire clearance
         process will vary depending on the time of year (e.g.,
         allow more time as graduation or other due dates
         approach), the extensiveness of problems,
         responsiveness of the student to initial feedback, etc.

  1. ACCEPTANCE! Once the manuscript has been accepted, The DCR officially verifies that the electronic version has been uploaded to ProQuest and cleared.  Library DCR completes ‘Section 3’ of the Library Dissertation/Doctoral Clearance Form and sends the form to the Registrar, retains a copy, and e-mails a copy to the student, the dissertation chair, the Academic Affairs Staff member associated with the Program, and the student’s Program Director..
  1. PUBLICATION! The Library DCR approves and delivers the electronic copy of manuscript to UMI/ProQuest.

Additional Personal Copies of your Dissertation

Want personal copies of your dissertation?

  • You can purchase bound copies through ProQuest/UMI (University Microfilms).

  • You can make copies on any paper of your choice and find a local bindery to do the binding.

  • Alliant Campuses have used the following binderies. You must work with them separately from Alliant.  We do not request copies on your behalf:

Valley Library Bindery
1203 E Divisadero St  Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 237-5224
(They can work with you by mail and accept electronic files that include the signed approval/signature page.)

Golden Rule Bindery
242 Bingham Dr. #101, San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 471-4331

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Announcing New Dissertation Clearance Procedure

This new Alliant International University Dissertation/Doctoral Project Style and Format Manual was approved by the Faculty Senate and the Academic Council in April, 2014. 

Dissertations and doctoral projects submitted after September 17, 2014, must conform to these guidelines.


What is different about these guidelines?

Previously, each program had its own format guidelines, set of forms, etc.  This process created a single university-wide format, so that all Alliant dissertations and doctoral projects have a common look and feel.

The university also now requires only one form in order to submit the final dissertation or doctoral project to the library.  The student and committee complete this form after the student successfully defends the dissertation and makes all required revisions.

The format and guidelines for the document are similar to those of most programs in the university, but everyone is likely to notice some differences (many minor) from what they did previously.  Here are the most important features to note about the new guidelines:


  • APA Style throughout (with minor exceptions)
  • Standard front matter
  • No signatures on title page
  • All electronic submission; students not required to submit copy for binding
  • 1” left margin (because no binding required)
  • No binding fee
  • Student submits a single form signed by committee and PD with the electronic dissertation after successful defense and after committee has formally approved any required revisions of the document

The library will only require one form when the student submits the dissertation.  What about all the other forms we use?

Many programs have their own forms that faculty sign as the student progresses through the doctoral process (e.g., a form indicating the student has successfully defended, etc.).  These are program-specific forms and should be retained by the program to document that the student has successfully completed the program requirements for the dissertation or doctoral project.  The library staff will not collect these forms. 

Where can I find the new guidelines and forms?

They are located on this site.

Our program already has a manual or set of guidelines that covers the dissertation process.  Is our manual now irrelevant?

Most program manuals cover the entire dissertation process – not just dissertation format and style.  Most of the program manual is likely to still be applicable. 

I can’t find material on how to cite references, create tables, etc., in this manual.  HELP!

As indicated in the Alliant manual, dissertations and doctoral projects should use the style guidelines provided in the current version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (current version: 6th edition, American Psychological Association, 2009).  You will find this information in the APA Publication Manual. The Alliant manual focuses principally on parts of the dissertation/doctoral project document that the APA Publication Manual does not address.

My program manual says something different about the format of the dissertation than these guidelines.  Which do I follow?

You must follow the university guidelines listed on this site.

I’m a PD.  Does this mean our program guidelines should be revised?

For most programs, yes. The format and final clearance sections should be revised as needed to be consistent with the university guidelines.

I’m a PD and see that I now have to sign the final clearance form.  Does this mean I have to read all the dissertations in my program?

Not unless this is already required as part of your program’s quality control process.  Your signature means that the student has completed all program requirements for the dissertation (e.g., has held a successful defense, has submitted departmental forms related to the dissertation, has submitted any supplemental material the program requires for the dissertation [e.g., documentation of IRB approval]). 

Do the new guidelines require that documents be reviewed by a professional editor?

No.  The new guidelines do not stipulate HOW a student should ensure that the dissertation is formatted appropriately.  They only state that the student is responsible for producing a document that is formatted correctly and that faculty are responsible for checking that the format is correct before they approve the final document.  

Do the new guidelines cover what should be included in a dissertation or doctoral project, who can chair a project, etc.?

The new guidelines do not cover either: (a) matters related to the competencies assessed by the dissertation/doctoral project, (b) the specific content of the dissertation or doctoral project; (c) the process by which the faculty and program assess whether the dissertation or project meets the quality requirements of the program.  Those decisions are part of the academic program and can differ depending on the program, field, degree, etc.  

The new process is all-electronic.  What about getting a bound copy?

Students are free to arrange binding for themselves, at their own expense, if they wish to have bound copies of their document.  The university will no longer require a copy for binding. 

Is there still a dissertation fee?

Students who follow the new format guidelines and process will not have to pay a dissertation fee.  The old fee was applied to binding, which is being discontinued.

What about the dissertation/doctoral project proposal process?

This manual only covers the dissertation/doctoral project format and the final university clearance processes.  The academic program determines the procedures students should follow in proposing their projects.


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