Now that you have successfully defended your dissertation, your last remaining academic requirement is to complete your dissertation deposit.
Your examining committee may have directed you to make minor revisions to your dissertation. Once you have made these revisions, you are ready to begin the deposit process. Please be sure to review all the information on this page carefully before clicking any links.
There are four steps to completing your deposit -- the steps may be completed in any order, but your deposit is only considered complete when all four steps are done.
1. Complete the GSAS deposit application and pay the $85 processing fee;
2. Submit the required Survey of Earned Doctorates online;
3. Upload and submit a PDF copy of your dissertation;
4. Obtain and submit a signed Approval Card that certifies you have made all required revisions and that the dissertation has been approved for deposit by your sponsor and by your doctoral program.
There are specific formatting requirements for your dissertation; see the Formatting Guidelines for more information.
The deadline for depositing your dissertation is six months from the date of your defense. If you wish to receive your degree at a particular degree conferral (October, February, or May), refer to the Dates and Deadlines page for the relevant deadline for each conferral.
Teachers College Ph.D. Students: If the deposit takes place more than one month into the semester following the defense, TC students are responsible for an additional Dissertation Advisement Fee. Contact the TC Office of Doctoral Studies for more information.
Do not leave this process for the last day of a deposit deadline. We do our best to provide feedback regarding formatting and other matters as quickly as we can, but it is your responsibility to ensure that all parts of the deposit are completed by the deadline, including a correctly formatted dissertation. We review every dissertation that is submitted; uploading your file a few days before the deadline ensures that we can give you feedback on formatting and other matters in a timely manner.
Please note that it will take three business days for a certification letter to be produced for deposits that take place in the week before a deadline. If you need your certification letter by a certain date, it is your responsibility to complete the process in advance.
1. Complete the GSAS deposit application and pay the $85 processing fee.
You will log into the GSAS deposit application using your UNI and password. This application collects information for your diploma and your certification letters. You may also use a credit card to pay the $85 processing fee through this form.
CLICK HERE to access the deposit application for the October 2016 conferral.
2. Submit the required Survey of Earned Doctorates online.
The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is an ongoing survey sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. GSAS requires completion of this survey as part of the dissertation deposit.
Please note the following points before accessing the SED web site—failure to follow these steps may delay processing of your deposit.
When registering for the SED site:
- For institution, choose: Columbia University
- Students from TC should choose: Teachers College-Columbia Univ.
- Students from TC must include email@example.com as one of the secondary notification email addresses at the end of the survey. If you omit this, we will not receive a confirmation, and your deposit will be delayed.
If you have read and understand the information above, CLICK HERE to access the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
3. Upload and submit a PDF copy of your dissertation.
With this step, the digital copy of your dissertation is uploaded to both ProQuest/UMI and Academic Commons (Columbia's online research repository). Dissertations from Teachers College are also uploaded to Pocket Knowledge (TC's online research repository), and J.S.D. dissertations are also added to the Law Library's catalog.
Do not upload your dissertation directly to Academic Commons using their website. Following the procedures outlined below will result in your dissertation being uploaded to both ProQuest/UMI and Academic Commons.
Your dissertation must be uploaded in PDF format. If you have not already created a PDF, or if you are unable to do so, there is a PDF Conversion Tool available as part of the upload process. You will also need a copy of your abstract that you can copy and paste into a text box.
In certain circumstances, students may seek to effect a “split deposit” of the dissertation. In a split deposit, a student deposits all copyrighted materials and/or data included in the thesis in a separate file. Two files are submitted through the deposit gateway, namely:
- the full text of the dissertation, minus all copyrighted materials and/or data
- a separate appendix with all copyrighted materials and/or data
The appendix should be uploaded into the gateway as a supplemental PDF. The Dissertation Office will instruct ProQuest to suppress indefinitely the appendix so that it is not accessible to the public. All split-deposits requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
D.M.A. candidates must exclude their music score when depositing their dissertation to the Deposit Gateway. Scores should be submitted to the Music Library in adherence to the Music department's formatting standards. Please contact the Music and Arts Library for more information on how to submit this component of the dissertation.
Public Accessibility and Dissertation Embargoes
By default, your dissertation will be made publicly available online in an open-access repository. If you have questions or concerns about the digital availability of your dissertation, please click here for an FAQ on this topic.
If you choose, you may place a one- or two-year embargo on your dissertation. This option will be offered to you in the upload process under the section "Delaying release in ProQuest." If you place an embargo in this section, your dissertation will also be embargoed in Academic Commons. The title and abstract of embargoed dissertations will still be available to the public through ProQuest. Until the end of the embargo period, the full text of any embargoed dissertation will not be released to the public under any circumstances by GSAS, Academic Commons, or ProQuest.
Extending an Embargo
Under compelling circumstances, GSAS may authorize an embargo to be extended beyond two years. Alumni who wish to extend their embargo within Academic Commons should send an email to email@example.com one month before the scheduled end of the embargo, briefly outlining the circumstances and explaining the reasons for the extension. The request will be reviewed in the Office of the Dean, and if approved, the embargo will be extended for either one or two more years.
Alumni who wish to extend their embargo within ProQuest should email firstname.lastname@example.org before the scheduled end of the embargo.
Search Engine Access
During the upload process, you will be asked whether to allow major search engines to discover your work. This option only applies to the copy of your dissertation in ProQuest. All unembargoed dissertations in Academic Commons are catalogued by major search engines.
Copyright Registration Offered by ProQuest/UMI
Please note that under copyright law, you automatically hold a copyright on your work. This is why we have you include a copyright page in your dissertation. Copyright registration provides certain important practical and legal benefits in addition to those you already enjoy as the creator of an original work. Columbia provides extensive information about copyright issues through the Copyright Advisory Office. Of particular interest is this page, which explains your rights as an author of a dissertation (or any other original work). Please note that the optional service offered by ProQuest/UMI costs $55.00 and can be paid via credit card directly to ProQuest through the upload system. You also have the option to register your copyright yourself, with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Uploading Your Dissertation
Before beginning the upload process, please note the following; failure to do so may delay processing of your deposit.
On the page marked "Dissertation/Thesis Details":
- Under "Advisor/Committee Chair," provide your advisor/sponsor's name, not the chair of your disseration defense committee. If you have two co-sponsors, list your primary academic sponsor as "Advisor # 1." You have two co-sponsors if at the time of your prospectus defense or M.Phil. application your department indicated two co-sponsors.
- Under "Committee Members," do not include any names. Dissertations from Columbia are only catalogued with the author's name and the sponsor's name.
If you have read and understand the information above, CLICK HERE to access the upload system.
4. Submit an Approval Card.
All students who pass the dissertation defense should receive a blue-colored Approval Card. This card tells GSAS that any revisions given during the defense have been completed, and that the dissertation is ready to be deposited. The card must be signed by your sponsor, as well as your department chair, director of graduate studies, or program director. If you have left New York and are unable to obtain the necessary signatures, then contact the administrators for your doctoral program, who can get the signatures on your behalf. Extra Approval Cards are available at the reception area of 107 Low Library. The Approval Card is required for completion of the deposit, and should be submitted to the Dissertation Office in 107 Low Library.
Teachers College Ph.D. Students: Submit your Approval Card to the Teachers College Office of Doctoral Studies.
For questions about the deposit process, please contact Esmeralda McCormick at email@example.com.
The Dissertation Office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
107 Low Memorial Library