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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.

Step 1: Prepare your thesis or project

This process is not difficult, but there are lots of steps and details. Please use this checklist above to make sure you aren't missing anything.

  • You must have your completed thesis or project saved as an ADA accessible PDF, and should follow the style guidelines set forth by your academic program. If you are not sure what the style guidelines are, please consult with your faculty adviser. Please keep at least one back-up copy of this file in another location that is NOT on your computer.
  • When you are preparing for your defense, you should download the Departmental Signature page from the Forms section. You will need to obtain all of the signatures of your committee members. This is often done at the defense or soon after defense is completed. Your forms will be signed electronically using Adobe Sign. Please contact your advisor for more information about how to route the Certification Page and the Departmental Signature Page.
  • Download the Certification Form and obtain signatures from your Committee Chair and your Department Graduate Program Coordinator. If you have a compelling reason to restrict or embargo your thesis or project, your Committee Chair will need to approve the embargo. Your forms will be signed electronically using Adobe Sign. Please contact your advisor for more information about how to route the Certification Page and the Departmental Signature Page.
  • When your defense has been completed, and the Departmental Signature Page signed, you need to make the Signature Page ADA compliant, or email it to to be made ADA compliant, and then merge it as the first page of your thesis or project. For information on merging Adobe Acrobat files, go to the FAQ section.
  • Save the merged document in PDF format and verify it for ADA compliance. When you save the file, the name of the saved document name must use the following format:     Last nameFirst name_TermYear For example: DoeJohn_Fall2021.pdf

Step 2: Pay the Fee

There are two options available to you for paying the $25 fee.

  1. Paying Online: To pay online, you may use an electronic check. This method is free. Or you may pay using a credit card. If you use a credit card, a convenience fee will apply. MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Visa are all accepted.You will receive a receipt by email for your online payment. Please make sure to save a copy to submit to the library. 
  2. Paying on Campus: Go to the Cashier's Office and pay the $25 thesis/project fee.  The CSUSM Cashier's Officeis located in Craven Hall, 3800. The office hours are Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. At the Cashier's Office, you will receive a receipt for your payment. Please either take a picture of the receipt with your smart phone or use the public scanner on the 3rd floor of the library to make a digital copy of your receipt to be emailed to the library along with your completed paperwork.

Step 3: Gather the Documents, Submit your File

In order to submit your file online, you need to complete the Thesis/Project Upload. Make sure you have your final, ADA compliant PDF document ready to submit. You will receive an email confirmation that your submission has been received. This may take a couple of days, so plan accordingly!  

After submitting your PDF via the Thesis/Project Upload, save the scan of the library copy of the receipt along with your E-Thesis Certification Form and the ETD Submission Checklist and Email them to AND For some programs, the program coordinator will make sure the paperwork is emailed to the library. Please check with your advisor for clarification.

Group Submissions

Group projects should only be uploaded once and must include all the authors names on the signature page. It may be easiest to designate someone to submit the project on behalf of the entire group. Each student is still responsible for completing an individual ETD certification form, and for paying the fee! Gather the paperwork for all of the group members (certification form, fee receipt, and completed checklist) and email it together in one email to Carmen Mitchell AND by the deadline in order for the project to be submitted.

Group projects will not be reviewed until ALL members of the group have completed their paperwork.

Multimedia/Website Submissions

If your project or thesis has multimedia files (audio or video) or a website component, please let Carmen Mitchell know as soon as possible. For websites, it will take two business days for us to prepare a copy of your website. For captioning video files, it may take up to a week. Please plan accordingly!