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Dissertation & Doctoral Project Formatting & Clearance: Formatting Manual & Forms

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.

1. Alliant International University Dissertation/Doctoral Project Style and Format Manual

The APA Publication Manual is primarily for submitting papers for journal publication, so it lacks guidelines specific to dissertations and doctoral projects.  To fill this gap, Alliant has created systemwide guidelines for you to follow. This document provides details on those guidelines.  You will need to refer to both manuals to format your dissertation correctly.

The 2020 Alliant manual incorporates elements of the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual, just as the 2014 manual incorporates elements of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual. The main areas of change in APA7 and the 2020 manual include headings, tables, figures, and citation formatting. When the Alliant manual differs from APA, follow the Alliant manual. If the Alliant manual is silent on an issue, then follow APA. The formatting requirements in the Alliant manual supersede program-specific dissertation manuals, but program manuals’  other content is not affected.

Which manual should I use? You may follow either the 2014 or 2020 manual if you are submitting your dissertation on or before 1-19-2021. If you are submitting your dissertation on 1-20-2021 or after, you must follow the 2020 manual. If you are unsure when you will be submitting, or have concerns about the switch between manuals, please contact University Librarian Scott Zimmer ( 


2. Library Clearance Form - Dissertations/Doctoral Projects

The Library Clearance Form must be signed by the dissertation/doctoral project committee and the Program Director after all final edits have been made and approved.  Present this completed form to the Library Dissertation Clearance Representative during the preclearance meeting.  If the form is not signed, the student is ineligible for final library clearance.  Scanned or faxed copies of original signatures are acceptable.


Note: wet signatures or Adobe Acrobat's electronic signature feature are required. If you use wet signatures, then you can fax the form or scan it and submit by email. ONLY USE THE FILLABLE PDF IF YOU ARE CERTAIN THAT ALL OF YOUR COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND PROGRAM DIRECTOR HAVE THE NECESSARY SOFTWARE AND COMFORT WITH TECHNOLOGY THAT ARE REQUIRED TO USE IT.


 July 1, 2019: AdobeSign alternative for Library Clearance Form now available. If you would like to use AdobeSign to circulate your Library Clearance Form to your committee and program director, the option is now available. This is not required; it is an option you may choose, but if you prefer, you may still use the PDF clearance process described above. If you decide to use AdobeSign, here is how it works:

  1. You start the process by following this link and submitting the online form: CLICK HERE TO INITIATE LIBRARY CLEARANCE VIA  ADOBESIGN.
  2. Library staff receive the form information and use it to create a AdobeSign workflow (generally within one business day).
  3. You are the first stop in the workflow. You will get an email with a link to the AdobeSign form, where you will fill in your required information.
  4. Once your information is filled in, the form will go to each of your committee members and your program director, and then to the Dissertation Clearance Representative (DCR) for your campus, who is the same person reviewing your dissertation in Proquest.
  5. Once the dissertation has been accepted in Proquest, the DCR will sign the AdobeSign clearance form and transmit a copy to the registrar's office.

3. Cataloging Form

This form helps the library to accurately categorize your dissertation or doctoral project so that other researchers can locate and use your work. Please fully complete the form and deliver it to the DCR during your preclearance meeting.

You only need to submit ONE of these forms.

  • If you wrote a dissertation, use the dissertation form (the first one)
  • If you wrote a doctoral project use the doctoral project form. (the second one)
  • No need to submit both forms.

4. Dissertation Manuscript Template

In response to commonly asked questions, the library has provided the following Microsoft Word dissertation template for students to use if they find it helpful. DISCLAIMER: it is not official or required, nor is it fool-proof. All dissertations, regardless of whether they use the provided template or not, must follow the guidelines contained within the Formatting Manual. While library staff are not able to assist with using MS Word or the template, many helpful tutorials can be found at

Who to Contact for Help

Louise Colbert-Mar

John Wright

Katherine Hernandez

Dean Jones

Kristen Bahler

John Wright

Dean Jones



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What resource was the most helpful while researching and writing your dissertation?

What resource was the most helpful while researching and writing your dissertation?
Your Dissertation Chair: 48 votes (43.24%)
Your Librarian: 4 votes (3.6%)
Happy Hour: 8 votes (7.21%)
Your Family: 10 votes (9.01%)
Your Friends & Cohort: 13 votes (11.71%)
Your Personal Therapist: 2 votes (1.8%)
Your Editor: 5 votes (4.5%)
Your Writing Center: 0 votes (0%)
Google: 15 votes (13.51%)
InterLibrary Loan: 6 votes (5.41%)
Total Votes: 111