Academics | Candidacy & Defense

Thesis Signatures

Thesis submission is handled electronically, including the collection of signatures. The full thesis submission process can be found here and is also outlined below. Consult the Last Semester Timeline for additional information on candidacy and thesis submission.

For tips on how to approach an online thesis defense, click here.

How does online thesis submission generally work?

  • Once your thesis defense announcement has been registered with the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) via, it will be posted online by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, provided it is approved by GPS.

  • The GPS office will then generate an electronic Approval of Candidacy form and Thesis Title Page through AdobeSign. Both you and your graduate program administrator will be notified when this is ready.

  • If your committee changes prior to your defense, please ask the department chair, program director, or director of graduate study to notify GPS as soon as possible. The new committee will need to be approved and we will need to generate a completely new Approval of Candidacy form and Thesis Title Page form to be completed via AdobeSign.

  • On the day of your defense, you should fill out the electronic Original Approval of Candidacy form. It will then go to your committee for signing after your successful defense. Once the committee has signed the Original Approval of Candidacy, the AdobeSign process will come back to you for the next steps.

  • Once your thesis has been approved in its final form, you will return to the AdobeSign form and complete your Thesis Title page. Once completed, it will be sent to your committee again to sign and recognize that your final thesis is approved for submission. Your committee can sign in parallel. Your graduate administrator will receive notifications for every signature and you will receive a notification when the title page has been signed in full. Please contact your graduate administrator if you would like an update on the progress of your thesis title page.

  • When all of the committee members have signed the Thesis Title Page, the GPS office will receive a final copy of the form to be validated when you finalize your thesis defense.

  • You’ll get notifications in each phase. Once all committee members have signed both forms, you’ll receive a final PDF via email. To prep for upload to you will need to separate this PDF into the two documents. Because the PDF is protected, you’ll follow some specific instructions here (PC) or here (Mac) to do this. To separate the pages of a protected PDF, go to print, then select "Microsoft Word to .pdf" as the printer name. Once you’ve separated the pages into the two documents, upload to as outlined in the processes here.

  • Once your thesis is final and everything has been verified in, you must fill out the webform here. This replaces what is normally a visit to GPS and Office of the Registrar for final submission.

Additional Questions?

Please contact your department coordinator or the Enrollment and Academic Records Manager at if you need additional assistance.

Updated June 2022