Thesis & Dissertation

The UW Graduate School has many specific policies and procedures surrounding the dissertation and thesis which can be found on this website. Some particularly helpful resources:


  • 1 or 2 months before your desired defense date, clear it with all your committee members (especially your GSR).
  • At least 3 weeks before your defense date, contact your department's Graduate Program Coordinator to inquire about necessary forms and signatures, if any, and to ensure that your exam is announced to the BMSD community.
  • At least 3 weeks prior to your exam, submit the online exam request.
  • Send out reminders to your committee 1 week and 1 day before your defense.
  • The day of your defense, pick up your Final Exam Warrant from your department's Graduate Program Coordinator and return it to him or her as soon as possible after the exam. The Warrant is a document used by your committee to officially record the exam outcome.


  • Secure your Reading Committee which is made up of three members of your thesis committee.
  • Submit preliminary drafts of each chapter to your Reading Committee, well before you defend.
  • Submit a draft of your complete dissertation for preliminary review at the Graduate School, where your margins and formatting choices are checked.
  • Once your Reading Committee approves your thesis, get them to sign multiple copies of the thesis signature page which you create.
  • You will need to submit at least two copies to the Graduate School; you will probably want extra bound copies for your advisor and for yourself.
  • Schedule an appointment for Final Submission with the Graduate School, and submit the two copies of your dissertation no later than 60 days after your defense but before the last day of the quarter.
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