Submit Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Quick Links to Info:
Overall Guidelines | ETD Submission Process | Embargos | Binding Options
Submit Your ETD - Link to ProQuest
Policy in Catalog:

M.S. Degree Requirements in the School of Marine Science Graduate Catalog
Ph.D. Degree Requirements in the School of Marine Science Graduate Catalog

Forms & Resources:

Thesis or Dissertation Final Acceptance Form (DocuSign Sample)
VIMS | W&M Institutional Repository License (DocuSign | View Sample)
SMS Graduate Survey
Survey of Earned Doctorates (PhD's Only)

Submit your ETD to ProQuest
Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Use ProQuest
Important Dates and Deadlines for Graduation

Next Steps After Defense - ETD Submission and Graduation

Overall Guidelines:

After all corrections that were suggested before and during the oral defense have been made, the electronic thesis or dissertation is ready for submission.

  • Following the student's defense, the SMS Registrar will initiate the Thesis or Dissertation Final Acceptance Form and send it electronically via DocuSign to the committee in the routing order established by the moderator at the student's defense. Typical routing is as follows: #1-3) individual committee members, #4) co-advisor, if applicable, #5) major advisor, #6) student, and #7) SMS Registrar. After each person signs the form, DocuSign will send the form automatically to the next person in the routing order. After all signatures have been received and form is complete, all signers will receive a final PDF copy of the form via email. If you have questions about the form or routing, please contact the [[registrar, SMS Registrar]].
  • All parts of your thesis or dissertation must follow the Formatting Standards for Theses and Dissertations. In preparing the draft and final versions of your thesis or dissertation, you must follow the specific standards and formatting.
  • Review the About Copyright and Submission FAQ's pages for additional information. Meet with your advisor to discuss if you will need to embargo your work.
  • You will submit your final thesis or dissertation through ProQuest. The link to ProQuest is located at the top of this webpage. The submission process is described below.
  • The deadline for submission of the thesis or dissertation through ProQuest is at least two weeks prior to the degree conferral date. For specific dates and deadlines, please refer to the Graduation webpage.
ETD Submission Process:

You will need to create an account with ProQuest. You will select College of William and Mary - School of Marine Science when you set up your account. Within ProQuest, you will select publishing options, with both ProQuest and the William and Mary Institutional Repository, create your contact information, include information about your thesis or dissertation, and upload a PDF file of your thesis or dissertation, any supplemental files, and required administrative forms.

While ProQuest can convert your file to PDF for you, it is recommended that you create a PDF so that you can ensure all of the formatting is correct once in PDF format.

Note: Please ensure that your PDF file properties are set correctly prior to uploading your document to ProQuest. Refer to the Step-by-Step Instructions for details on this important step.

Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Use ProQuest

Before you submit your ETD to ProQuest, all students are required to complete the online SMS Graduate Survey. Students no longer need to upload this survey into ProQuest.

During your ProQuest submission, you will need PDFs of the following signed administrative forms:

Within ProQuest, you can also register US Copyright, obtain a Creative Commons license, and purchase bound copies of your thesis or dissertation.

Once any fees for services and/or copies have been paid through ProQuest, you can submit your thesis or dissertation. Once you have submitted your thesis or dissertation and the administrative forms through ProQuest, you will receive a confirmation email. After your thesis or dissertation is accepted by the SMS Graduate Registrar, you will be notified via email, and your thesis or dissertation will be submitted to ProQuest. Publication to ProQuest and the W&M Institutional Repository will occur as directed in the submission process, following any requested embargo period.

Embargos and Distribution Licenses

An embargo is a delay in publication. Your title and abstract will be available for the public but the full text of your PDF document will be hidden for a specified period of time. You can embargo for a maximum of two years. After the embargo period expires, the thesis or dissertation will be openly available. You might choose to embargo because of a patent application or a pending publication in a journal. You should talk with your advisor about whether or not to embargo. You should also speak with your publisher regarding rules and restrictions of publication. You can request to embargo your document within the thesis and dissertation submission process.

  • During the submission process, you will be asked to determine embargo and distribution licenses for your work on both ProQuest and William & Mary's Institutional Repository (IR). The VIMS | W&M Institutional Repository License form is a required document. This form will have to be printed and signed by both you and your advisor and then uploaded into ProQuest as an administrative document.
  • Please note, it is required that both the ProQuest (PQ publishing options) and the Institutional Repository (IR publishing options) publishing information be filled in and that your ProQuest embargo choice MUST MATCH your Institutional Repository choice.
Do You Want a Bound Copy of your Work?

Bound hard copies of theses and dissertations are not required for submission to the university libraries. While you probably wish to have a bound copy for your own library, you may also want to provide your major advisor with a copy of the final manuscript.

  • Purchase through ProQuest - Do this during the submission process.
  • Thesis on Demand - Traditional binding options and cost calculator.
  • Lulu - A variety of print options, including choice of cover art.
  • Long's Roulette - Send your PDF for printing and binding, or send print copies for binding.
Traditional SMS Thesis and Dissertation Binding Options:

Buckram; gold imprint on the spine; cover colors - standard/dark green 490 (for MS) and royal blue 588 (for PhD).

Last Updated: August 21, 2023 by J. Hay.