Thesis and dissertation

A page within Graduate Education

All students completing a thesis or dissertation must adhere to the University Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines for formatting. Theses and dissertations will be archived at the Murphy Library and, if you approve, published online at Minds@UW and ProQuest. Students completing seminar papers and projects must also follow these guidelines if they wish to have their papers archived and/or published online. 

Formatting your document (before your defense)

It is the student's responsibility to ensure the document submitted meets all standards as laid out in the University Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines. Careful attention to formatting details will speed up the editing process. Failure to do so could result in missing semester deadlines for graduation.

Click the button to the right to download the Guidelines. The document includes templates for the title, signature, and abstract pages. Below there is a button that links to videos to assist you with formatting. You should also review the list of common errors. 

Ed.D. students

The information below is specific to MS students completing a thesis or project. For information on your process, visit the Dissertation completion page

Committee chair signature (after committee approval)

After you have defended your thesis, project, or seminar paper and completed any edits requested by your committee, your committee chair (advisor) should sign the signature page to indicate the committee's approval of the final content of your manuscript.

It is recommended that your committee chair signs the signature page digitally, but a hard copy is also permitted. If you print a hard copy, be sure to use archival-quality paper (minimum 20 lb, 25% cotton fiber paper content).

Order editing, printing and binding

Once the signature page is signed by your committee chair, you are ready to order editing, printing and binding for your manuscript. 

Select either the Online or In-person order option below and follow the process for completion of an editing and binding order. If you are facing significant economic hardship, email to request a waiver of the editing fee. 

Complete the Editing and Printing Order Form via Qualtrics. Once you have completed the form, you will gain access to the online payment processing page. Please save the receipt sent to you by PayPal.

Download and complete the In-Person Order FormPrint the completed form and pay fees with cash or check at the Cashier's Office, 121 Graff Main Hall. Submit completed form (with a receipt for payment attached) and your signed Signature Page to the Provost's Office, 227 Graff Main Hall.

Submit documents

After you have ordered editing and binding, you will submit your thesis, project or seminar paper for editing.

If you have a hard copy of your signature page, drop off, or mail the signature page via campus mail or USPS to: 

UWL Provost's Office
227 Graff Main Hall
1725 State St.
La Crosse, WI 54601
Attn: Signature page

If you have a PDF version of your signed signature page, email that to

Email your document (in Word format) to You may include a blank or unsigned page as a placeholder for the signature page. 

You will hear back from us within 3 days, with instructions about how to proceed with the editing process. Check your email spam/junk folder if you have not heard from us, and email to follow up if need be. 

Editing and final approval

The editor will review your document for proper formatting. This process typically takes several rounds of revisions.  Failure to carefully follow the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines will significantly extend the editing timeline and may result in failure to meet completion deadlines. 

After the document has been approved by the Editor as meeting the formatting guidelines, it will be reviewed by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. They will sign the signature page when they approve.

Once signed by the dean, Graduate & Extended Learning will generate a final digital version of the document, including the completed signature page, which will be shared with you. We will also send it to Murphy Library, for submission to Minds@UW, unless you indicated you do not wish it published in that online repository. At this time you may submit your manuscript to ProQuestETD, if desired. 

Graduate & Extended Learning will notify you, your advisor, and college office of final approval via email. Once the college office has received this notification, you will be processed for graduation.