Thesis and dissertation

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 published online at Minds@UW. Students completing seminar papers and projects must also follow these guidelines if they wish to have their papers archived and/or published online at Minds@UW. 

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. 

Due to public health concerns, we continue to encourage graduate programs to conduct thesis defense meetings via videoconference.

Guidance regarding how to hold an online thesis defense via video conference

Order editing and binding (after your defense)

Once you have made the changes to your thesis or dissertation requested by your committee, ask your advisor to sign your signature page, printed in black ink on archival-quality paper (minimum 20 lb, 25% cotton fiber paper content). (If getting the signature is difficult due to faculty working remotely, please email to let us know.) Drop off or mail the signature page to the Graduate Studies Office, via campus mail or USPS: 

UWL Graduate Studies Office
223 Graff Main Hall
1725 State St.
La Crosse, WI 54601

Next, select either the Online or In-person order option below and follow the process for completion of an editing and binding order.

Editing and binding fees are listed below. If you are facing significant economic hardship, email to request a waiver of the editing fee. 

  • Editing - $50
  • Binding $10/copy (You are required to provide one bound copy for the Murphy Library archive. Note that this is the cost for binding only; students are responsible for printing all copies to be bound.)
  • Postage $5/copy
  • International postage $15/copy
Online order and credit card payment expanding section

Complete the Editing and Binding 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.

In-person order and cash or check payment expanding section

Download and complete the Editing and Binding 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 Signature Pages to the Graduate Studies Office, 223 Graff Main Hall.

Submit document (after you pay for editing)

1. Email the final, committee-approved draft of your thesis or dissertation (in Word format) to

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. 

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. 

2. You will be notified when the editor has approved the document formatting and forwarded your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate Studies Director for final approval.

3. After the document has been reviewed by the Graduate Studies Director, the Graduate Studies Office will generate a final digital version of the document, including the completed signature page, which will be shared with you and Murphy Library for submission to Minds@UW

Graduate Studies Office 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. 

Prepare approved document for binding (after Grad Studies approval)

Once you have received approval from the Graduate Studies Director, you are ready for the final steps to prepare your document for binding.

Each copy of your thesis or dissertation to be bound must be printed single-sided in black. The Murphy Library copy must be printed on 20 lb, 25% cotton fiber paper; paper type for additional copies is chosen at student/program discretion.

You will need to complete a Bindery Label for each copy of your thesis or dissertation to be bound. Please follow the instructions included on this label to ensure the correct submission. 

Each copy to be bound should be placed in a separate, unsealed envelope and dropped off or sent via Campus Mail or USPS to:

UWL Graduate Studies Office
223 Graff Main Hall
1725 State St.
La Crosse, WI 54601

If you are mailing multiple copies, we highly recommend purchasing a fixed-rate mailing box to protect your pages in transit.