Depositing the Dissertation as a Commercial Work

Work submitted under the commercial publication option must be conventionally published, commercially available, and identical with the defended dissertation. The commercially published work may be a book, a set of professionally bound reprints that are numbered throughout, a government report, a lab report, or some other publication. It must also be available from a distributor such as a bookstore, government printing office, journal publisher, etc., and contain the Library of Congress number. GSAS does not accept the so-called "author's publication" for work not previously commercially published, nor does GSAS consider photocopied material to be published material. GSAS also does not accept commercially published work that was not included in the dissertation at the time of the defense. The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences reserves the right to deny submission of any dissertation under this option that is not in accordance with these regulations.

Copyright Permissions

Before beginning the deposit process, all students who would like to be considered for the commercial publication option must submit their copyright permissions to dissertations [at] Depending on the copyright permissions granted by the publisher, students can deposit their work in two ways:

Modified Deposit

If authors have received copyright permission to republish and/or display the content of their commercialized work in a dissertation or thesis, they are required to follow specific formatting guidelines below and email their final version to dissertations [at] for formatting review. These submissions are not deposited to ProQuest and are submitted to Academic Commons repository.

Special Formatting

If the defended dissertation is wholly composed of separately published articles, GSAS will accept a PDF of reprints of the articles, including the title page (front cover) of the volume of the journals in which the articles were published. In addition, this PDF copy must include a title page and abstract as described in the formatting guidelines. If the titles of the articles are different from the overall title of the dissertation as defended, all must be included on the title page. The title page must include the full legal name of the author (as it is recorded on the Registrar's official records) and the year of conferral.


The requirement that the dissertation be available to scholars may also be satisfied by depositing a commercially published work that is identical to the dissertation as defended. This type of dissertation must be submitted as a PDF to gsas-dissertations [at] for formatting review two weeks prior to your desired deposit completion date. If the entire dissertation as defended has not been commercially published by the time of final deposit, the author may not deposit under the commercial publication option.


With this option, the dissertation is digitized and catalogued, and the fee payable at deposit is $85 USD. You may use a credit card to pay the $85 processing fee through this form. All credit card transactions must be conducted via this web page. Do not send any credit card information directly to any Columbia University staff member.

The Dissertation Office will also accept US Postal Money Orders, bank money orders, or certified checks made payable to Columbia University. Please note that we cannot accept cash, personal checks, international postal money orders, or checks/money orders drawn on a foreign bank or in foreign currency. If you prefer to pay via money order or certified check (drawn in US dollars on a US bank), you may do so by bringing the payment to the GSAS office in 107 Low Library, or by sending the payment to:

Dissertation Office
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Columbia University
107 Low Memorial Library, Mail Code 4304
535 West 116th Street
New York NY 10027

Other Requirements

Approval Card

All students who pass the dissertation defense should receive a blue-colored Approval Card. This card tells GSAS that any revisions required 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, please contact the administrators for your doctoral program, who may 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 PhD Students: Submit your Approval Card to the Teachers College Office of Doctoral Studies.

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 US Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the US 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 gsas-dissertations-internal [at] 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.