Submit your final thesis or dissertation by the posted submission deadline.

Submission to the Graduate School must include:

  1. Submission to ProQuest through the UWM ProQuest “ETD Administrator” Website:
    1. Thesis or Dissertation PDF electronically uploaded in ProQuest.
    2. Thesis & Dissertation Approval and Publishing Options Form signed by you and your major professor or co-major professors and uploaded in ProQuest.
  2. Complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorates (PhD students only)

Steps to Publish Your ETD

The process of submitting a thesis or dissertation electronically includes the following:

  1. Follow Graduate School Formatting Requirements.
  2. Write and save your document (MS Word, LaTeX, Pages, etc)
  3. Go to the UWM ProQuest ETD Administrator website.
    You will create a new account the first time you log on. (This is not part of the UWM PAWS system, and therefore it will not accept your PAWS login information.) Here, you will be walked through the process of:
    1. Embedding the fonts.
    2. Converting your document to PDF format. You may need assistance in preparing a PDF for submission. ProQuest has a very helpful Resources & Guidelines site.
    3. Uploading the document to ProQuest.
    4. Ordering personal hard copies (optional).
    5. Registering the copyright through ProQuest with the Library of Congress (optional).
    6. Submission.
  4. ProQuest automatically sends you an e-mail confirming that your submission is complete. Keep for your records. It is your proof that you submitted online and before the deadline expired.
  5. ProQuest will then notify the UWM Graduate School of your submission.
  6. The Graduate School will review your document to make sure the formatting adheres to the above-mentioned Thesis & Dissertation Formatting Guidelines. The Graduate School will request necessary changes on your original work if required, and you will re-upload the revised document to ProQuest.
  7. When approved by the Graduate School, after your degree is awarded, your document will be submitted to ProQuest, who will log, index and publish your thesis or dissertation.
  8. The UWM Libraries provide free, long-term, full-text access to UWM ETDs on and off campus through UWM Digital Commons. They also receive a copy of the PDF file for access and archiving once the thesis or dissertation is submitted and approved by the Graduate School.

Your Thesis in UWM Digital Commons

After your submission to ProQuest, the UWM theses and dissertations are automatically published in the UWM Libraries’ Digital Commons. Digital Commons is the digital extension of the physical library. Historically, theses and dissertations were made available on a physical library shelf and, since the conversion to digital, theses and dissertations are now made available electronically. Your thesis or dissertation will be searchable by Google and other third-party apps through Digital Commons.

Publishing Options

By default, theses and dissertations by UWM students are made openly available via UWM Libraries’ Digital Commons. This means that they are available to read both inside and outside of UWM. Sharing your thesis or dissertation is an important part of obtaining a degree at UWM.

There are two ways to publish through ProQuest—traditional or open access.

  1. Open Access Publishing
    • Open Access means free access to scholarly research. Some open access publications are also licensed for reuse, often via a Creative Commons license.
    • Theses and dissertations can be made openly available for anyone to read via ProQuest for $95.
    • Your thesis or dissertation will still be free to read via the UWM Libraries’ Digital Commons, whether or not you choose this option in ProQuest.
  2. Traditional Publishing Traditional Publishing makes your work available for purchase by others and enables you to receive royalties based on those purchases. However, the need for others to purchase your document means that it will not receive the widest possible dissemination. Your document is, however, listed in an online database. Those who choose not to purchase it have access online only to an extract consisting of the title page and the first few content pages.


There are two possible publishing options. You are responsible for one of the following:

  1. Open Access through the UWM Library: Free.
    Traditional publishing through ProQuest: Free.
  2. Open Access through the UWM Library: Free.
    Open Access Publishing through ProQuest: $95—paid to ProQuest at time of submission.

Embargoes (Delaying Publication)

While most dissertations will be published immediately after submission, in rare cases a student will need to delay the publication of their thesis. Such circumstances may involve:

  1. Disclosure of intellectual property that preclude patents rights.
  2. Disclosure of sensitive data about persons, institutions, or technologies that violate professional ethics regarding protection of confidentiality,
  3. Pending publications.
    • An academic or commercial press has expressed interest in acquiring the rights to publish the work as a book. The works in creative writing are qualified for an embargo.
    • A part of the content has already been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal that may require an embargo. Many journals consider each submission on a case-by-case basis. To clarify the policy consult with the journal editor.

When an exception is necessary, an embargo provides a temporary, delayed public release of the work.

Embargo periods of six months, one year, or two years are available. If needed, select the embargo option on both the Approval and Publishing Options form, as well as in the publishing options section in ProQuest.


Copyright is automatically generated when an author publishes his or her work. For theses and dissertations, a student includes the copyright notice in the contents of their thesis or dissertation, and then has copyright on the work after its publication.You may wish to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to protect your rights in a dispute or to be compensated for damages caused by infringement. You can do this in one of two ways:

  1. You may register the copyright yourself by paying the registration fee ($35) and following the directions at:
  2. You may also designate ProQuest to act as your agent in registering the copyright by electing to do so during the submission process (the registration fee is $55).

For more information regarding copyright registration and the advantages, please visit the ProQuest site.

Ordering Bound Copies

ProQuest can bind your document. Follow the directions at the ProQuest Website regarding their full range of binding options. You select the binding option you prefer at the “Order Copies” step of the submission process. Orders can be placed at the time of submission, or after publication.

ETD Submission PowerPoint

ETD Submission PowerPoint