Thesis and Dissertation FAQs

Spend a few minutes here and save yourself a significant amount of time avoiding some common mistakes.

1. Transmittal Letter

All doctoral students are required to have a transmittal letter signed by their committee chair before first submission. A template of the transmittal letter is available in GIMS under Final Exam Forms. Although this letter states that the dissertation must be “complete,” this does not mean that additional content may not be added, changed or removed. The word “complete” simply means that the formatting is complete and the dissertation includes the required sections. Once signed, the department’s Graduate Secretary will input the transmittal letter into the system. The UF Graduate Editorial Office never physically sees the transmittal letter. Without a transmittal letter, the EDM system will not allow the dissertation to be submitted for review. Master’s students do not need a transmittal letter since they defend prior to first submission.

2. Formatting Assistance

If you have questions regarding the formatting of your dissertation or thesis or you want someone to review your document for formatting errors, please visit the Application Support Center (ASC) in Hub Room 224. This service is offered by the UF Computing Helpdesk and not the Graduate Editorial Office. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You may make an appointment by calling 352-392-4357.

3. Permission to use copyrighted material

Any candidate who intends to quote or reproduce material beyond the limits of “fair use” from a copyrighted source must have written permission from the copyright holder. A copy of this written approval must be submitted to the Graduate School Editorial Office no later than the final submission date of the term the candidate graduates. A sample of this form can be found here.

4. Clearing Prior

By clearing prior, a student is given an extension between first submission and final clearance. Only students who successfully pass first submission and defend their documents by the end of the semester’s classes will be able to clear prior. If the student did not make the first submission deadline, they will have to enroll for courses the next semester and try again. When clearing prior, the student will technically be graduating the next semester, but they do not have to register for courses or pay tuition fees. The clearing prior deadline is a bit unlike the final submission deadline; Instead of having the submission deadline and the final clearance deadline separate, the clearing prior deadline is both the final submission and final clearance deadline. Because of this, we recommend submitting the document five days before the clearing prior deadline in case the editors recommend further changes. It is up to each department as to whether they will allow the student to walk in the current semester’s graduation. A new degree application for the next semester is required as well.

5. How long does the review take?

Please allow 10 to 15 business days for the editors to review your document and send you changes. The order of review is determined by the date and time the document is submitted. It is a first come, first serve process. We thank you for your patience.

6. ProQuest UMI Publishing Agreement

The ProQuest UMI form is required for all doctoral students. Master’s students do not need to complete one. ProQuest is a national publishing company, and dissertations will be sent there after they are sent to the UF Libraries system. Students have the option of having their entire document published with ProQuest or only their abstract. Please note there are different forms for each option. If a student chooses to have his or her entire document published with ProQuest, there is a further option on the form that must be selected. The two choices are as follows: traditional publishing for $25 (this fee is already included in what each student must pay) and open access publishing for $120. Only pages four and five are needed from this form and should be brought to the UF Graduate Editorial Office when being submitted.

7. Embargo Inquiries

For Master’s students. since the UF Publishing Agreement is the only publishing form required, there is only one embargo. This form will be completed at the student’ s defense. Since doctoral students have two publishing forms, there are two embargo periods they must select. One is located on the UF Publishing Agreement and is completed at the defense, while the other option is on the ProQuest UMI Publishing Agreement. These two embargo periods are cumulative. For example, if a two-year embargo was chosen for the UF Publishing Agreement, and a one-year embargo was chosen for UMI. then it would be three years until ProQuest published the document. Each dissertation is first sent to the UF libraries and then sent to ProQuest.

8. SED Survey

All doctoral students must complete the SED Survey. Master’s students do not need to complete this. Just visit to access the survey. It will then automatically notify our office when you complete it. Please save the Certificate of Completion for your own records. This survey must be completed before final clearance is given and is different than the exit survey many students complete for their departments.

9. Submitting your document on the EDM site

Students must submit an electronic version of their document on the EDM system before the  first submission deadline. Final submission must be completed electronically on the EDM site. The process must start before the Final Submission deadline and be completed before the Final Approval deadline. You must have your Keywords. Abstract, and Title entered into the EDM. as well as your dissertation or thesis and a journal article uploaded as a PDF. For questions as to whether you successfully submitted or not, please contact our office so that we may further assist you.

10. Binding

The University of Florida no longer offers binding services for students. Our office does, however, keep a list of local binders that would be able to perform this service. That list is available here.

11. Editors

The Graduate Editorial Office does not edit dissertations or theses for grammatical or contextual errors. Students may contact editors that are not affiliated with UF for assistance. Our office does keep a list of local editors that would be able to perform this service. That list is available here.