Preparing and Submitting Your Thesis or Dissertation

The LSU Digital Commons digital repository archives and makes accessible research, publications, data, and other institutional records produced by LSU faculty, students, and units. As graduate students, you will upload copies of your completed thesis or dissertation. You can choose to immediately make your work open access or withhold your document from public circulation for a specified amount of time.

Before proceeding, please review the Steps to Graduation, as the graduation process generally begins the semester before you intend to graduate. You must have successfully completed your final examination and any required revisions before you can submit your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School. We suggest that you schedule and hold your defense as early as possible in the semester of graduation.

The Graduate School has a handbook, Formatting Electronic Theses and Dissertations, which provides instructions for preparing, formatting, and submitting your document. You will need to prepare your document according to these instructions. Instructions are also available on our website on how to convert your thesis or dissertation into .PDF format.

Ready to Go?

When you are ready to prepare your manuscript for submission, complete the following steps in order. 

  1. Make any revisions that are required by your committee and secure final approval of your document from your committee and major professor. Plan to submit your document before the semester deadlines listed in the Graduate School calendar
  2. Read the Formatting Electronic Theses and Dissertations to learn about the various parts of your document, how to format it, and how to submit it.

Prepare

  1. To begin the turn-in process after you have completed all revisions and have formatted your document correctly, confirm that all required forms for graduation have been submitted to the Graduate School by logging in to myLSU and selecting “Graduate Milestones” under “Student Services." A walkthrough is available to help you navigate this section. 
  2. You will need to decide whether you would like to release your document to the public upon final approval or restrict access to your document. Theses and dissertations can initially be restricted for one year, three years, or seven years with no approval required. Upon your document restriction's expiration, your document will automatically become publicly available for download in Digital Commons. If you would like to request an extension on a current restriction, please send a request to gradetd@lsu.edu that includes the Digital Commons URL of your document. Please be aware that extensions are awarded in seven-year increments, and that documents cannot remain restricted for longer than 21 years from the time of their submission.

The Digital Commons Process

In order to submit your document for review, you will first need to create a Digital Commons account and heed the following instructions:

  • Do not create more than one Digital Commons account and do not create a new submission to upload document revisions.
    • All document revisions must be submitted by logging into your Digital Commons account and choosing the "submit revisions" option.
    • If you have forgotten your password, reset it.
    • If you have forgotten the email address you used to create your Digital Commons account, please email gradetd@lsu.edu for assistance.
  • Note that your “lsu.edu" email address expires one year after graduation. Please use a long-term email address such as gmail.com, outlook.com, etc. when creating your account.
  • Use your full name as shown in your university records. The name you use must match the one that is on your approval sheets and on the LSU database.
  • Choose "Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College" as your Institutional Affiliation. 

Completing the Submission Page

Convert your final document to a .PDF and click the appropriate submission link at the bottom of this page. Fill out the Digital Commons submission form, attach your document, and click submit at the bottom of the page. Upon successful submission, you will be brought to a confirmation page and will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter. If additional corrections are necessary, and/or when the document is approved, you will be notified by email by the reviewer. Only your first submission on Digital Commons will be reviewed by the Graduate School, so if you make an error, please edit your existing submission. Do not upload multiple revisions of your document. Instructions are available for editing your prior submissionIf substantial formatting corrections are needed at this point, you may not be able to meet the submission deadline for the current semester and may have to graduate in the following semester.

Finishing Up

For master’s students graduating during the current semester, the process is complete after receiving the emailed approval notice. For doctoral students, it is complete after receiving the approval notice and completing the Survey of Earned Doctorates. For students registering for Degree Only for the upcoming semester, further steps are necessary to complete Degree Only registration.

Ready to Submit?

If you are submitting your document to the Graduate School for the first time, click the appropriate button below:

Submitting Revisions

If you have already submitted your document to the Graduate School using the above buttons and now need to submit revisions that were requested by the Graduate School's editor for approval, view the ETD Revision Process.