Instructions for Final Submission of PhD Doctoral Dissertations

Completion of the technical reading process is required before submission to the library. If you have any questions about the technical reading process, you can email Once you have completed the technical reading process, the technical reader coordinator will email the library stating that you have met all the requirements.

The following steps must be completed before the library will notify the PhD department that you are formally eligible for graduation. If you have any questions or need help, please contact us at or phone (630) 752-5101.


1. Ensure that your dissertation is complete and properly formatted

Front matter: Your dissertation must contain the following pages, in this order: fly leaf (blank sheet), title, certification (typed names of your faculty advisors on the PDF; actual signatures should be only on any paper copies), disclaimer, dedication (optional), epigraph (optional), abstract, table of contents, illustrations and tables (if any), acknowledgements (optional).

End matter: Your dissertation must contain a blank endpaper (blank sheet).

Margins: 1 ½ inches on the left side of each page, 1 inch on the other three sides. Page numbers, running head, or tables cannot print inside these margins.

Pagination: Paginate front matter using lowercase roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv and so forth). Paginate the body of your dissertation, including bibliography, appendixes, etc., using arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, and so forth). Use your word processor’s tools for creating tables of contents and cross references in order to ensure that pagination remains consistent when you create the PDF file in step #2, below.

Formatting: To align text, use tabs instead of the space bar. Insert page breaks to start a new page. Use section breaks to change the format between pages.

2. Convert your dissertation to PDF format and submit the following items to the library

a) Submit your PDF file with the library dissertation form.

b) Wait for the library to review and approve the form and PDF before proceeding to submit to ProQuest ETD.

3. Submit to ProQuest ETD.

ProQuest ETD is a company that lists and sells dissertations in its Dissertations & Theses Database. ProQuest is the primary means by which your dissertation will become known and read by others beyond Wheaton.

Go to, click on “Students: Submit,” and follow the instructions provided. The version you submit to ProQuest ETD must be identical to the PDF you submitted to the library.

During the submission process you will be asked for a dissertation subject category. Please select Religion, Biblical Studies (0321), or Theology (0469). Of the publishing options, most Wheaton students choose ProQuest ETD’s “Traditional Publishing” with “no restrictions.”

You now have a choice to publish a) your abstract only or b) full text in ProQuest’s database. If you choose to publish your full text work with ProQuest ETD, you are granting ProQuest a non-exclusive right to display, copy, and profit from sales of your work.

If you prefer to publish only the abstract with ProQuest, follow these steps in ProQuest ETD’s “Access options” section:

1) select “No – I have patents pending, or another reason why I need to delay access to the full text of my work”
2) select “6 months” as the delay period (the library administrator will change this to “never”)
3) In Note to Administrator add “Personal preference to not publish full text”
4) Select “other” as the reason and;
5) add the explanation “Personal preference to not publish full text”.

You are required to pay the ProQuest ETD cost of one microfiche copy to be placed in the college archives. You may also pay for copies in various formats for your own use. (For a less expensive option for bound copies, the library will bind personal copies at cost.)

4. Complete your submission to the library

a) The PhD department requires three bound paper copies. The PhD department copies must be on white bond, 20 pound weight, acid-free, minimum 25% cotton / rag content, with a watermark.

b) No paper copies are required by the library. You may submit copies to be bound for your own use, if desired. Your personal copies may be printed on any paper you choose, including regular copy paper. Print one side only. Wheaton College closed its copy center in June 2019. Please consult this information about printing vendors options for students.

c) All necessary payments (as listed on the library dissertation form).

To submit printed copies for binding:

  • Package securely and send through campus mail, addressed to Library Administrative Office
  • Package securely and send through postal mail, addressed to Library Administrative Office, Wheaton College, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton, IL, 60187.
  • Deliver in person to Room 221, Library. To ensure that we will be available when you arrive, please email or call (630) 752-5101 to make an appointment.

5. A note about copyright

As the author of your dissertation, you automatically own the copyright to your work.

You do not need to register your copyright with the U.S. copyright office, although you may want to do so for the following reasons. First, registration creates a public record of copyright, which will provide other parties with a means of contacting you to ask permission for uses of your work that exceed the standard provisions granted in U.S. copyright law. Second, registration is required if ever you wish to bring suit against another party for violating your copyright.

If you wish to register your copyright, ProQuest can assist you, or you may register directly at There is a registration fee.

In submitting your full text work to ProQuest ETD for publication, you are granting ProQuest a non-exclusive right to display, copy, and profit from sales of your work. You remain the copyright holder, and you are free to enter into other arrangements with other parties in the future, including other publishers.

The copy of your dissertation that you supply for the library’s collection may be used by others according to the provisions granted in U.S. copyright law, in the same manner as all other library materials.