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Research Guides

Dissertations and Theses

Please Note:

  • Embargo (delayed release) options determine when a dissertation, thesis, or capstone project will be made publicly available online. Graduates should review these options with a trusted advisor prior to deposit. The initial embargo selection (0-2 years) may be changed at any time after submission, with the option to renew as the embargo nears expiration.

  • If you are submitting digital components beyond a PDF (e.g., a website), please review the guidelines for documenting digital projects and view instructions for depositing digital work.

  • Authors retain copyright for all work submitted to CUNY Academic Works and ProQuest. Graduates may elect to assign a Creative Commons license to their work.

  • Library deposit is the final degree requirement and must be completed after any required defense or final examination. Any and all revisions must be completed and formally approved prior to depositing.

Steps to Deposit

  1. Apply for graduation in CUNYFirst. See deadlines. View screenshots and detailed instructions for this action in CUNYfirst. Login to CUNYfirst and select Student Center from the main menu. Under Academics, click on My Academics and select "Apply for Graduation.” Click on the “Apply for Graduation” link located next to your current Graduate Center degree program. You will be prompted to select a graduation term. Students filing for the February degree date should select the preceding Fall term; students filing for the May/June degree should select the current Spring term; students filing for the September degree should select the Summer term. This will notify various offices at the Graduate Center, including the Library, that you plan to deposit a dissertation, thesis, or capstone project for the next degree date. Students can “View Graduation Status” to see when each program has been applied, approved (all degree requirements met), or awarded (degree has been conferred).
  2. Complete exit surveys. These surveys are voluntary but are important tools for understanding your experience at The Graduate Center. For doctoral graduates, the NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates serves as the exit survey and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. For master’s students, please complete only the CUNY Graduate Center Exit Questionnaire for Graduating MA Students. These survey results are critical for the assessment of our graduate programs and for understanding your post-graduation employment plans. The data from this survey are also used by policy-makers when making decisions about funding graduate education, developing new programs, and supporting existing ones. Completing these surveys is a service to the institution, to your peers, and to future doctoral graduates. All information collected will be aggregated and kept confidential.
  3. Prepare your manuscript according to the library's format guidelines. Consult the library's format guidelines when preparing your manuscript for submission. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of deposited work. Final version must be free of typographical errors and correct in every detail of style and format.
  4. Obtain program's approval. Your manuscript or digital project must be approved by your program's Executive Officer (doctoral) or Director (master's) prior to uploading. Any revisions required by your committee or advisor must be completed and approved before submitting to the library. The deposit is not considered complete until the program's approval has been verified by the library.
  5. Upload files. Submit the advisor-approved version of the dissertation, thesis, or capstone project to CUNY Academic Works as a PDF or MS Word document. Doctoral dissertations must also be submitted to ProQuest (see the step-by-step instructions). You will need to create an author account; the library will communicate using the email address you use to create your author account. The Dissertation Office reviews uploaded documents for compliance with the library's format guidelines and either approves the deposit or requests format corrections. Corrections must be completed in order for the submission to be accepted by the library.

Congratulations! Your deposit is complete and has been accepted by the library. Notification that the library deposit has been completed will be sent via email to the graduating student and the Registrar’s office will be notified. After the close of the deposit period (shortly after each deadline), you'll receive an email from the Registrar's Office including diploma information, graduation, alumni privileges, etc.

Online/Digital Components

Does your dissertation/thesis include a significant digital component that the library should archive?

If so, please read the Digital Projects page well in advance of your deposit and consult the library's Digital Project Documentation Guidelines. The library can provide guidance in determining what to submit to the library; please contact the Dissertation Office to set up a consultation.

Master's Degree Programs and Deposit

Library deposit is a degree requirement for all doctoral programs. Some master's programs at the Graduate Center do not require a library deposit in order to complete the degree. See detailed list below; direct questions to your degree program or the Office of the Registrar.

Degree Program Deposit Requirement
Astrophysics (M.S.) Must deposit thesis.
Biography and Memoir (M.A.) Must deposit thesis. Capstone projects not deposited.
Classics (M.A.) Must deposit thesis/capstone project.
Cognitive Neuroscience (M.S.) Must deposit thesis.
Comparative Literature (M.A.) Must deposit thesis/capstone project.
Data Analysis and Visualization (M.S.) Must deposit thesis/capstone project.
Data Science (M.S.) No deposit required.
Digital Humanities (M.A.) Must deposit thesis/capstone project.
International Migration Studies (M.A.) Must deposit capstone project.
Liberal Studies (M.A.) Must deposit thesis/capstone project.
Linguistics (M.A.) Must deposit thesis.
Middle Eastern Studies (M.A.) Must deposit thesis. Capstone projects not deposited.
Nanoscience (M.S.) Must deposit thesis.
Philosophy (M.A.) No deposit required.
Political Science (M.A.) Must deposit thesis.
Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (M.S.) No deposit required.
Women and Gender Studies (M.A.) Must deposit thesis.