Graduate College

GPP: Degree completion

Degree completion

The final culminating experiences for graduate degrees vary by program. In many master’s degree programs a thesis is required, in other programs the culminating experience is an applied or professional project. In all PhD programs, as well as in most professional doctoral programs, dissertations are required. Theses and dissertations are officially documented and archived. Theses and dissertations are submitted to UMI/ProQuest, which makes their content available to the public. Information on the dissertation later appears in Dissertation Abstracts International. For this reason, all theses and dissertations must undergo Graduate College format review. The Dean of the Graduate College reviews the content to affirm the quality and originality of the scholarly work.

Scheduling a defense and format review

At least 10 working days prior to the planned defense of a thesis, dissertation or equivalent, students schedule the defense through their MyASU. See Graduation Deadlines. Students work with their supervisory committee and the academic unit’s graduate support staff to identify a suitable date and reserve a room. When a defense date and location have been identified and the defense has been scheduled through MyASU, students submit a complete draft copy of the thesis/dissertation to be defended by uploading the document to the Graduate College Dropbox link. The defense will be published on the Graduate College Master’s/Doctoral Defense Schedule website that updates every Monday.

The Format Manual is a comprehensive guide to formatting a thesis, dissertation or equivalent document and it always overrides a Style Guide if the two conflict. Students must use the Format Manual to prepare their thesis/dissertation. Questions regarding the Format Manual requirements should be directed to

The Graduate College's Formatting Tool uses the Format Manual guidelines to generate a template into which you insert your document's text. The formatting tool is designed to help students with the basic format requirements such as margins and spacing, and greatly improves the format review process for students.

UMI/ProQuest submission

Students are required to create a new user account specific to the submission of their document and must use

their ASU email address. UMI/ProQuest requires all students to submit a PDF version of their final document. The ASU Graduate College requires that the PDF document is in compliance with the formatting standards presented in the format manual. Students will receive final format approval only after the submitted PDF document has successfully passed a format review. Students have an opportunity to order bound copies of their document for themselves through UMI/ProQuest.


Students must apply for graduation through MyASU in accordance with the University Registrar policies. See Application for Graduation. Students must meet all University and Graduate College degree requirements prior to the conferral of their degree.

The graduation deadlines and procedures are set by the Graduate College and are available online at Deadline dates vary slightly depending on the calendar year, so students should check them carefully in advance of the semester they plan to defend their thesis/dissertation. It is very important that students become familiar with these deadlines so that graduation can occur during the expected term.