Doctoral Program Policies and Procedures
Doctoral students on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus should follow their individual program policies and procedures in order to successfully complete their program in a timely manner. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of all relevant deadlines and to plan accordingly. Frequent communication with your committee members is essential to ensure that all requirements are met/scheduled in a timely manner to ensure timely completion of all necessary steps. Deadlines cannot be altered and missing one will delay your graduation. Relevant doctoral program handbooks describing requirements can be found here:
The culmination of the doctoral experience is completion of the dissertation.
Dissertation Format Guidelines
Dissertation format guidelines vary by discipline as follows:
Helpful Guides When Researching/Writing The Dissertation
Mardigian Library Resources for Doctoral Students
Human Subjects Protection Program/IRB Information
Graduate Student Research Grants
Student Research Travel Grants
Obtaining Copyright Permission
Using Microsoft Word For Your Dissertation
Information Technology Services Student Computer and Software Resources
Dissertation Submission Procedures (after final revisions have been made)
The Graduate Studies Office does the final check of dissertation formatting once content has been defended and any revisions have been made. All dissertations should be submitted electronically (in both Word and PDF format) to the Graduate Studies Office along with a Dissertation Submission Form. Please note: the deadline to submit the final electronic copy accompanied by the Dissertation Submission Form is ten business days before the “Last Day to Complete All Requirements” date published on the Registrar’s Office site.
To maintain the usability and appearance of your work, please review Best Practices for Producing High Quality PDF Files and Preparing Your Manuscript Guide. Electronic submission ensures the highest quality copy of your manuscript, with color images preserved. The most important consideration when submitting electronically is to be sure that fonts are embedded in the PDF submitted. Please Note: Adobe Acrobat Professional is available through the Showcase (As of Summer 2013, for $55).
The Graduate Studies Office will do a final check for format and notify the student, graduate program director, and committee chair via university email account once approved. This final PDF digital copy will be the copy of record and will be submitted to Deep Blue, a digital repository that is part of the University of Michigan Library, by the Graduate Studies Office after the degree has been conferred. You will be asked to provide up to six bibliographic keywords that describe the content of your dissertation, including subject, concepts, theory, and methods. These will help others to find and retrieve your dissertation.
Deep Blue allows for a maximum of three files no larger than 50 MB each to be uploaded. Students might opt to include supplementary digital materials with their dissertation such as an audio file or spreadsheet or even a software program written as part of the dissertation. Depositing not just the finished work but related materials (data, images, audio and video files, etc.) can create a "director's cut" that gives context to your work and promotes further scholarship.
Commencement and Regalia Information
The University of Michigan-Dearborn holds two commencement ceremonies each year in April/May and December. However, degrees are conferred three times a year. In addition to conferrals that take place during commencement ceremonies at the end of the Fall and Winter terms, degrees completed during the Summer term are conferred at the August meeting of the Board of Regents and are distributed by mail. All candidates who complete the degree requirements in August may choose to participate in commencement ceremonies at a later date. If you plan to participate in commencement, you must order your regalia (hood, gown, and tam) from the bookstore at least six weeks before the ceremony. The hood and gown can be rented or purchased. The tam must be purchased.
Deadlines by which a candidate must defend a dissertation and complete all degree requirements are published for each term. The deadline to have the degree conferred in the same term as a final term of enrollment is approximately six weeks before the end of a semester. All students who wish to be considered for graduation and commencement participation must complete a Degree/Diploma application. For complete information and deadline dates, please see Applying to Graduate/Doctorate Students.
Dissertation Release/Embargo Options:
From the inception of the modern doctorate in the early 19th century, a central purpose of doctoral education has been to prepare students to make significant scholarly contributions to knowledge. The dissertation is submitted as public evidence of your scholarly accomplishment meriting the conferral of the doctoral degree. In keeping with this long-standing tradition, which is consistent with the university's public mission, it has always been the university's expectation that every doctoral dissertation and abstract will be released upon conferral of the degree. Only in specific circumstances may release of a dissertation be deferred, and then only for a limited period of time.
Doctoral dissertations and abstracts are normally made publicly available upon degree conferral when they are deposited electronically in Deep Blue. If a doctoral student wishes to postpone public release of the final dissertation, also called a dissertation embargo, the student should discuss this option with his or her faculty advisor and the rest of the dissertation committee. The student is responsible for requesting an embargo of the dissertation, and the request must be approved by the chair (and co-chair, if any) of the dissertation committee.
Two dissertation embargo options are available:
University of Michigan only access. A student may choose to restrict access to the dissertation to members of the University of Michigan community (those with a uniqname and a Kerberos password) for up to one year from the date of degree conferral. The title and abstract will be displayed in online listings of the University of Michigan Library, but the content of the dissertation will not be available to view or to download.
Full restriction. A student may seek permission from the Graduate Studies Office for an embargo that restricts all access to the dissertation for up to one year from the date of degree conferral. Permission will be granted only when:
- The student (or his or her collaborators) is applying for a patent on research contained in the dissertation and does not wish to make the contents public until the patent application has been filed; or
- The dissertation includes information that is covered for a limited period of time by a confidentiality agreement or contains third-party proprietary information.
Dissertations that are fully restricted are not included in the online listings of the University of Michigan Library and the title and abstract are not available to the public or the university community. A full restriction cannot be extended beyond one year. Unless the graduate requests and is granted permission for an additional year of University of Michigan only access, the dissertation will be fully released.
Restriction Renewal Request: At the end of the one year University of Michigan only or full restriction embargo period, graduates may ask the Graduate Studies Office to postpone full public release for an additional year at the University of Michigan only access level. Full restriction cannot be renewed. Permission from the Graduate Studies Office is required to renew an embargo. Permission will be given only for specific reasons, such as the graduate’s intention to publish work from the dissertation in a journal or book with a publisher that restricts consideration of manuscripts derived from dissertations that have been made available online. (Please note that most publishers do not have restrictive pre-publication policies.) It is the graduate’s responsibility to request a renewal of the University of Michigan only dissertation embargo. Permission is not guaranteed. Graduates may ask for up to two annual renewals, for a total of three years of University of Michigan only access (or one year full restriction renewed into two years University of Michigan only access).
A student may independently choose among several levels of embargo for the copy of the dissertation that is deposited electronically with ProQuest.
Embargo requests must be submitted before the final dissertation submission deadline with which the student is working. See links below for the appropriate forms:
Other Publishing Information
Your Rights As An Author
Publishing With ProQuest - Students are encouraged to submit the final digital copy of their dissertation to ProQuest, the world's larges permanent archive of doctoral dissertations. Abstracts of dissertations submitted to ProQuest are listed with the Library of Congress collections and are published in Dissertation Abstracts International.