Submitting the Thesis

To be eligible for convocation, all students in a thesis degree program must present and defend a thesis embodying the results of their research. The topic must have been approved by the student's supervisor.

Information on thesis requirements is found in the Graduate Program Manual or the University Calendar.

The supervisor should submit the Notice of Examining Committee & Examination Date at least three weeks prior to the thesis defence date.

The student must complete the Thesis Approval/Program Completion form and take it to their/her/his defence, and then fill out the  University of Alberta Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License and send it to FGSR.

1: Format Your Thesis

The FGSR Minimum Thesis Formatting Requirements document (below) establishes the minimum academic criteria for master's and doctoral theses. Also consult department-specific guidelines and your supervisor. You are encouraged to use the Thesis Title Page Template (below) which has drop-down menus with current degree and department names.

These specifications ensure your thesis is compatible with the standards of the University of Alberta Libraries and Library and Archives Canada (National Library).

FGSR Minimum Thesis Formatting Requirements 

Thesis Title Page Template [Word Document]

Preface Samples [PDF Document]

Thesis Submission Checklist [PDF Document]

Locate Adobe Acrobat Resources

Copies of your thesis will need to be supplied to all examining committee members at least three weeks (four weeks for doctoral external examiners) in advance of your final examination. This will give committee members adequate time to appraise the thesis.

2: Prepare and Submit Thesis Approval/Program Completion Form

Complete the student portion of the Thesis Approval/Program Completion form found in the FGSR Forms Cabinet and take it to your final examination if you are a Master's thesis-based or Doctoral student.

Please Note:

If registration should not be removed for the proceeding academic term due to scholarship/awards purposes, please advise your FGSR Program Advisor with a note attached to the Thesis Approval/Program Completion form indicating that registration is required for that particular term.

If students or departments submit the Thesis Approval/Program Completion form to FGSR after the set deadline, the form is considered submitted in the next submission period and students will require normal registration in proceeding term. Fees will be assessed according to the registration.

"Received at FGSR" means the form has been date stamped by the FGSR Office.

The Approval/Program Completion form deadline is not the thesis submission deadline.

Information on the conduct of exams and the final completion of this form, is found in the Graduate Program Manual or the University Calendar.

3: Make Required Revisions to Your Thesis

After your final examination, you will make any required revisions as directed by your examining committee.

After your supervisor has approved your revisions and signed the Thesis Approval/Program Completion form, the form is given to the Graduate Coordinator/Department Chair to complete the program completion section and will send it to the FGSR. FGSR must receive this form by the listed deadlines in order to avoid future registration and fees.

4: Apply to Graduate

Graduate students must apply to graduate in Bear Tracks before submitting their thesis.

Once in Bear Tracks, go to Academics>My Academics>Graduation and follow the directions.

Students who fail to apply will not be eligible for convocation.

5: Submit Your Supporting Documents and Thesis to FGSR

Theses must be submitted within six months of the date of the final oral examination.

There are thesis submission deadlines for each convocation period and registration requirements when submitting your thesis. We recommend you submit your thesis a minimum of 3-5 working days before any deadline, as corrections may be required. Please review the various deadlines below for more details.

Your thesis must be in a software application that can be converted to PDF/A (Archive), eg MicrosoftWord, WordPerfect, etc. You will need to convert your thesis to a single PDF/A file and submit it to Thesis Deposit. Once in Thesis Deposit, the FGSR will review your thesis for acceptance. Follow the steps below.

5.1 Confirm Thesis is Formatted Correctly

Before converting your thesis to PDF/A, confirm that it complies with the FGSR Minimum Thesis Formatting Requirements and department-specific guidelines. Refer to Step 1: Format Your Thesis.

5.2 Convert Thesis to PDF/A (Archive) and save with appropriate naming convention

Your thesis needs to converted to a single PDF/A file, even if it was originally saved in one or more files.

How to Save as PDF/A (Archive) [PDF Document]

Your final PDF/A must be named as follows: 
lastname_firstname_ middleinitial(s)_submissionyearmonth_degree.pdf
(Example: Smith_Jill_M_201404_PhD.pdf)

  • To convert your thesis to PDF/A, you may need to use Adobe Acrobat (not the freely available Acrobat Reader).
  • For information on where to access Adobe Acrobat and other resources, go to the Adobe Acrobat Resources page.


5.3 Prepare and Submit Supporting Documents

Complete and send the following documents to the FGSR (2-29 Triffo Hall), or scan and email the document to the Program Services Unit. For more contact information click here.

These documents must be received prior to electronic submission of your thesis.

1. University of Alberta Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License

  • print and complete one form (print, fill out and sign this form by hand)
    this form grants permission to University of Alberta Libraries to include your thesis in its collection
  • the student, as author, still retains copyright grants the National Library permission to publish and disseminate your thesis either by interlibrary loan or sale

2. Copyright Permission Letters

If you have copyright permission letters allowing inclusion of another person's work in your thesis, the letters must be included.
Copyright Office Resources

3. Thesis Approval/Program Completion form

This form (signed after the final examination and completed by the Graduate Coordinator), must have been sent to the FGSR. Confirm with your department that this form has been completed and sent to the FGSR.

NOTE: Restricting Access to a Thesis: Students who want to restrict access to their theses for an embargo period must complete and submit the Request to Restrict Access to a Thesis form (found in the FGSR Forms Cabinet) to the FGSR. The request must be made before submitting the Thesis to the FGSR. See the Graduate Program Manual or the University Calendar.

5.4 Register with Thesis Deposit and Submit Thesis

Before submitting your thesis to Thesis Deposit, you must register with Thesis Deposit(see procedure below). You must use a computer with:

  • Internet access using either a broadband or dial-up connection
  • Windows, Macintosh or UNIX/Linus operating systems
  • Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 8.x or later, Safari or other modern browser

Go to Thesis Deposit, using the procedure Submitting Your Thesis Electronically in Thesis Deposit

5.5 Thesis Submission Review by FGSR

Staff in the FGSR review your electronic thesis in Thesis Deposit to make sure it meets the minimum required specifications.

If not approved:

  • an email from the FGSR will be sent to the email address used when registering with Thesis Deposit, notifying you that your electronic thesis has been rejected. You will be required to make any modifications instructed by the FGSR, log back into Thesis Deposit and re-submit.
  • you must continue to check your email after each submission in case there are any corrections required. Your submission is not complete and you will not meet the deadline until your thesis is approved by the FGSR. (It may be necessary to check your spam/junk folder.)

Once approved:

  • an email will be sent to the email address used when registering with Thesis Deposit, confirming that your thesis has been successfully submitted and approved and outlining the final required steps.

Submission Deadlines

Spring convocation: Apr 1 before 4PM (thesis submission), May 6 before 4PM (apply to graduate) Fall convocation (for example after a leave of absence): Sep 30 before 4PM (thesis submission and apply to graduate)