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Dissertation Calculator

based on the Dissertation Calculator (University of Minnesota) -- "breaks down the dissertation process into manageable deadlines and provides you with important resources and advice"

Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) at UCF

Step 1: Define Your Research & Form Your Committee

  • Define your research
  • Consult with your adviser to compose a committee
  • Ensure your program is informed of your committee composition
  • Register for Thesis or Dissertation hours through your program

Step 2: Learn about Thesis & Dissertation Resources & Requirements

Step 3: Set Up Your Thesis or Dissertation Document with Proper Formatting

  • Review the resources on the Formatting the ETD page
  • Set up proper formatting in a Microsoft Word* file using "Heading Styles" and "Captions" (these are required for Word users)
  • Determine when you will need to use your discipline-specific style guide and when to use UCF's Thesis and Dissertation Manual 

Step 4: Conduct Your Research & Begin Writing

Step 5: Submit Your Document for Initial Format Review

Review the Thesis and Dissertation Format Review Checklist to ensure your document is ready for review

In order to qualify for a format review, submissions must include the following: 

    • PDF bookmarks
    • Proper page numbering
    • Correct title page format 
    • An abstract
    • Clickable links in the following sections: table of contents, list of figures, and list of tables (if figures and tables are used)
    • A significant amount of content should be present (at least several chapters)
  • Unformatted documents, outlines, and largely incomplete documents will not be accepted for review
  • The content of the thesis or dissertation does not need to be completely finished to be submitted for initial review (use placeholders for missing content)
  • Format approval is not required upon initial submission; if you do not receive format approval from the initial review you will be notified to resubmit for additional review (see next step)

Step 6: Resubmit for Additional Format Reviews as Needed

  • Initial format review comments are typically returned within five days
  • Notification of review completion is sent to your knights email address
  • It is the student's responsibility to check the Thesis and Dissertation Servicessite for format review comments after a review is complete
  • Be sure to RESUBMIT if format approval is not achieved (most students require more than one review to receive approval)
  • As necessary, submit your Microsoft Word file to the Thesis and Dissertation Servicessite Format Help page for technical troubleshooting help

Step 7: Doctoral Students: Complete the NORC Survey of Earned Doctorates

Doctoral students must complete the NORC Survey of Earned Doctorates at

  • The College of Graduate Studies will receive an email confirmation upon your completion of the NORC SED survey
  • This is an annual census conducted by six federal agencies of all individuals receiving a research doctorate from accredited U.S. institutions
  • Survey data is used to track the number of graduates in various fields; the educational paths of scientists, engineers, and humanists; movement of graduates into the labor market; and similar information
  • Additional information is available on the Survey of Earned Doctorates page.

Step 8: Prepare Your Defense

Confirm your defense date with your committee

  • Create your defense announcement using the example in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual 
  • Send your announcement to your program at least two weeks prior to the defense date. NOTE: some programs and colleges have very specific announcement policies 
  • Send your final thesis or dissertation to your committee before your defense date and follow up to receive feedback 
  • Have your committee chair complete the Review for Original Work (through NOTE: the adviser is responsible for scheduling this submission and for reviewing the report results with the advisory committee
  • Your committee must agree that your Review for Original Work results are satisfactory before signing your Approval Form
  • Review the Approval Form page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site and make any corrections or updates to your name, defense date, and title; hit enter after each correction to save

Step 9: Submit Your Thesis or Dissertation Release Option eForm

  • Review the dissemination (release) options for your thesis or dissertation in the Graduate Catalog Dissertation Policies or Thesis Policies section
  • Discuss the dissemination option, title, and defense date for your thesis or dissertation with your adviser

Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form at myUCF by navigating to:

    • Student Self Service 
    • Find Graduate Students section (scroll down on the Student Center page; do not use "Graduate Students" link in left-hand menu)
    • Find "Choose Graduate Form" drop down menu
    • Choose TD Release Option from menu
  • This form must list the term in which you will be submitting your thesis or dissertation; if the correct term is not listed, please check your Intent to Graduate
  • This form must be submitted at least one week prior to your defense to allow time for processing
  • The release information will appear on your Defense Approval Form in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site one business day AFTER the TD Release Option form is processed  
  • Your Defense Approval Form must display the release information so it can be approved at the same time they approve your defense
  • If changes are needed to the release information, the student can resubmit the TD Release Option form in their myUCF Student Center
  • The committee chair can also request a change of the release information by emailing

Step 10: Defend Your Thesis or Dissertation

  • Print your Approval Form from the Thesis and Dissertation Services site and collect your committee's signatures at the defense, if possible
  • Do not use the Approval form if the release option information is missing (see Step 9 above)
  • Do not use the Approval Form if your committee information is incorrect; contact if incorrect committee is listed
  • Contact your program and college staff to make arrangements to gain signatures from your program director and college dean
  • Ensure that your signed Approval Form is submitted to the College of Graduate Studies by the final submission deadline listed in the Academic Calendar

  • The committee may request changes before they will sign the Approval Form, but the signed form must still be submitted by the final submission deadline 

Step 11: Submit Your Final Thesis or Dissertation & Other Requirements

Doctoral students must complete the NORC Survey of Earned Doctorates if not completed previously (see Step 7 for details)

  • The College of Graduate Studies will receive an email confirmation upon completion of the NORC SED survey
  • Resubmit for format approval at least one week prior to the final submission deadline (if you did not previously receive approval)
  • Submit your final, bookmarked PDF thesis or dissertation file to the Final Submission page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site by the final submission deadline
  • NOTE: Final submissions cannot be changed or replaced unless requested by the College of Graduate Studies, so please submit the proper file
  • Your file will not be approved until the College of Graduate Studies receives your Thesis or Dissertation Approval Form
  • Once all final submission information is processed, your milestones will be marked as "completed" and this will serve as your notification of completion
  • Milestones are viewable in your myUCF Student Center under Graduate Students then Thesis and Dissertation Status