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Submitting your Thesis or Project to the Library

This guide contains all of the information that you will need to submit your thesis, project, or dissertation to the library.

ADA compliance: What is it and why is it important?

When working on your thesis, project, or dissertation, PLEASE NOTE that it must be made accessible. What does "accessible" mean? It means that the file will be accessible to screen readers and other assistive computer technologies. This means MORE people can possibly access and reference your paper online. If you still have any questions PLEASE watch this short  video on ADA issues.  *For assistance, email and let Amy Dyess know what you have tried and where you are stuck. Amy provides ADA formatting assistance Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM by email and virtual meetings.

For instructions on how to make your own files ADA compliant, please visit our Document Accessibility Guide.

How to Get Help with ADA Compliance

If you are anticipating graduating this semester, you will need to make your thesis or project American Disability Act Compliant before it can be uploaded to the Library. The ScholarWorks team will make theses and projects ADA compliant for students who submit at least a draft of their work by the ADA Compliance Deadline, November 15th. An ADA compliant version of the files will be returned to students no later than December 6th . 

PLEASE make sure to follow all of these instructions carefully to submit your thesis or project to the ScholarWorks team. If you miss a step or forget something, it could delay the processing of your file.

Please send the following in an email to If your thesis/project is too large to send via email, please upload it directly to Sharepoint: Fall 2021 ETD files. (You will be required to log in with your CSUSM user name and password without the 'cougars' portion of your email address.)

Your full name

The name of the program that you are in.

The Word file for your Thesis/Project. Drafts are accepted, and please include a title page!

Below is a list of types of formats or extra files that are sometimes included in theses and projects. If you are planning to include any of the items in the below list, please make sure to send them in the appropriate format. If you do not know if a specific file type should be included, check with your advisor. You and your advisor should determine what content should be included in your thesis or project. 

  • Tables: make sure that the tables are editable and are not images
  • PowerPoint slides: email the original slides in addition to your thesis/project
  • Survey or Form: email the original PDF or Word file in addition to your thesis/project
  • Companion Website: please include a link to your website
  • Podcasts, videos, or other multimedia files: please include a link to the files or email them in addition to your thesis/project
  • Worksheets: Make sure that the worksheets are editable and a part of the Word document. Do NOT take an image of a worksheet and insert it into your thesis/project.
  • Official correspondence such as permission letters, approval emails etc.: email the original Word file or PDF of the correspondence. Do NOT insert an image of the correspondence in your thesis/project. 
  • IRB Form: IRB Forms are the only exceptions to inserting images of forms into your thesis/project. Please take a picture of each page of your IRB form and insert it into the thesis/project.


Thesis and Project Signature Page

Once you have completed your defense and have received your signed, departmental signature page you can email your signature page to along with your final and completed file including all edits and changes. The ScholarWorks team can merge your final file with your ADA compliant signature page and email you one, merged file that can be uploaded to the Theis/Project Upload. For the ScholarWorks team to merge the files, you MUST have made any necessary changes or edits to the ADA file the ScholarWorks team sent to you. 

Fall 2021 Timeline

Timeline for ADA Compliance
When Student Action
November 15th You must submit at least a draft of your Thesis or Project by November 15th for your document to be made ADA compliant for you. Email the file to .
As your file is being made ADA compliant Keep track of any changes or edits you make to your draft. You will need to transfer these edits into the ADA compliant file the ScholarWorks team emails to you.
December 6th The ScholarWorks team will have emailed you the ADA compliant version of your thesis or project by December 6th.
After your Defense and you have your final, edited version of your Thesis or Project

You can email the ScholarWorks team again with the final version of your Thesis or Project and include your signed, departmental signature page. The ScholarWorks team will do a final ADA check and make your signature page ADA compliant before merging it for you.

They will email you an ADA compliant PDF that you can then upload. Further editing will be nearly impossible, so please make sure that it is your final and complete file

For this step you MUST have made any necessary changes or edits to the ADA file the ScholarWorks team sent to you.


Missed the ADA Deadline?

If you missed the deadline to submit your thesis or project for ADA compliance, please visit the Document Accessibility guide for step by step instructions on how to make your file ADA compliant.