Sometimes a student will begin a new position before their degree is officially conferred, and their employer will request official confirmation that they’ve finished their degree. In this case, the Graduate College can provide written verification once the student has completed all degree requirements. This includes all coursework, internship completion if applicable, passing the thesis defense, and thesis submission and approval. Typically, the last step in finishing your degree is thesis submission and approval – by both the Graduate College and thesis committee.  

To ensure the Graduate College can provide degree verification in a timely manner, please complete this workflow form. (To share this link, you MUST use: If you have questions about thesis formatting or the submission process, please reach out to Erin Kaufman (

As a first step, consult with your research or thesis supervisor for guidance on how “prior publication” is handled in your department, discipline, or field.

The thesis should be a stand-alone manuscript, meaning that if the thesis work is published in multiple independent articles, they can be included as chapters.  An introduction and conclusion to the thesis should be prepared. You must reformat the article and/or article excerpts in accord with Graduate College formatting requirements. The thesis must be a cohesively formatted document.

While most scholarly journals allow prior publications to be used in theses, check with the journal in which the article was published to confirm whether a copyright permission is required to reproduce the work in the thesis. If you reproduce or adapt a published (or accepted) journal article or portions of a journal article in your thesis, you must cite the published work in the thesis making sure to adhere to the journal’s policy regarding the appropriate formatting for the citation.

All thesis students are billed a one-time, $145 nonrefundable thesis fee by the Graduate College to cover processing and review costs. Thesis students are also charged a $10 publication fee, which covers archiving of the thesis. For an M.F.A. hard-copy thesis, this fee includes the binding of one copy of the thesis, which will be placed in the UI Libraries. These fees are billed to your student account (U-bill) when you complete your Application for Degree.

The make-up of your thesis has implications for how you complete the ProQuest registration process.  For example, during the registration process, ProQuest will ask if any portion of your thesis has had its copyright registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.  If you have included a prior publication in the thesis and you’ve signed over your rights of copyright to the publisher, this would apply to your work.

For a $75 fee, ProQuest will register the copyright on your thesis with the U.S. Copyright Office, on your behalf.  Importantly, there is a difference between holding the copyright and having the copyright registered.  By virtue of being in 'fixed form', you already hold the copyright to your thesis, whether you choose to register the copyright or not.  Although your thesis is automatically copyrighted, there are certain limited benefits to officially registering the copyright.  Registering the copyright establishes a public record of the thesis and works to prevent the unlawful reproduction, use, or distribution of the work.  The copyright fee covers the U.S. copyright fee, as well as the costs to ProQuest of the copies required by the Copyright Office.  Note: If you have included co-authored works in your thesis, ProQuest will not register copyright on your behalf.  Information on filing a copyright directly with the U.S. Copyright Office can be found here.

No.  When submitting your thesis to ProQuest, you may choose either Traditional or Open Access Publishing. If you choose Open Access Publishing, ProQuest will charge you a fee of $95.  All theses are made available to the public through Iowa Research Online, the University of Iowa Libraries' Institutional Repository.  Because your thesis will be made available to the public via the UI Libraries, select Traditional Publishing.  There is no need to pay an additional $95 fee for Open Access Publishing.

Students do not automatically receive copies of their theses, but must instead order bound copies if they wish to have them. Because they take less time to process and are less expensive (typically costing $30–45), the Graduate College recommends ordering bound copies through Thesis on Demand. You can find more information about ordering through the Thesis on Demand website.

Neither the Graduate College nor ITS supports LaTeX templates. If you need resources for LaTeX, check with the departments, such as mathematics or engineering, that regularly use it for their manuscripts and publications.

The scientific/scholarly abstract is a summary of the research/work that answers the following questions (very broadly). What is the topic of your research? How did you conduct it? What are you trying to prove? What did you learn? What is the significance of your research? Think of it as an executive summary of your work. All PhD and Master's degree students must to submit a scientific/scholarly abstract. DMA and MFA students are exempt from this requirement.

The public abstract is translational and functions as an "elevator pitch" for your research. It is a summary of the research/work that is targeted to a general audience and written in lay terms. Writing a public abstract is a professional development opportunity to gain experience in articulating the value and/or purpose of your research to broader audiences, including legislators, the media, and members of the public. Every thesis must include a public abstract.

As you craft your public abstract, eliminate jargon, and explain acronyms, abbreviations, or terms specific to your discipline. Write in the active voice, and keep sentence structure simple.  If you don’t need a particular word to convey your message, delete it.  Organize your thoughts clearly.  If you are unsure about the level at which your public abstract is written, use a readability formula to see whether the writing is suitable for a general audience.