Theses & Dissertations | LSU Graduate School

Theses & Dissertations

Thesis & Dissertation Submission Processes

Before proceeding, please review the Steps to Graduation, as the graduation process generally begins the semester before you intend to graduate. Before submitting a thesis or dissertation, students are required to complete his/her final examination and all revisions. We suggest that you schedule and hold your defense as early as possible in the semester of graduation.

Early in your writing process, review the Thesis & Dissertation Handbook. It contains the complete formatting guidelines, includes information on preparing and uploading your document to the Digital Commons site, and summarizes other important information related to graduation. You can also view the Formatting Your Theses & Dissertations workshop presentation slides.

The LSU Digital Commons digital repository archives makes accessible research, publications, data, and other institutional records produced by LSU faculty, students, and units. As graduate students, you can choose to make your work openly accessible from the time an editor approves it or you can place an embargo on it (withhold your document from public circulation for a specified amount of time).

Carefully choose your period of embargo based on your plans for publishing all or part of your document. The Graduate School will not permit changes in the embargo period following document approval. Since you receive no warning when your period of embargo is about to end, make a permanent note of the final embargo date for yourself in case you wish to renew it. The options for embargoing your document are one, three, or seven years. You may elect to restrict your document to LSU email addresses only. 

See below—Format Your Document, and Download Templates and Guide Sheets—to download the helpful NEW templates and guide sheets.

NOTE: The IRS requires publication as a condition of LSU’s tax-exempt status. To qualify for exemption, we must operate for the public good and publication must be timely. The IRS considers conference presentations, posters, internet publication, etc., as publication. View pdf for more detailed information.

Preparing and Submitting Your Thesis or Dissertation

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

Right before your defense, submit your completed document to iThenticate and report the results to your committee chair. iThenticate is a professional plagiarism detection and prevention technology used worldwide by scholarly publishers and research institutions to ensure the originality of written work before publication.

Graduate students and faculty members should email the Faculty Technology Center (FTC) at ftc@lsu.edu to gain access to iThenticate.

LSU A&M is committed to ensuring that its websites are accessible to people with disabilities. As members of the LSU campus community, we have an accessibility responsibility, particularly those who prepare documents. 

Students documents must be remediated prior to uploading it to the web. Visit lsu.edu/accessibility to learn more about accessibility and other resources to assist with the task of making your document accessible. 


Common Links

Make committee revisions and secure final approval of your document from your committee and major professor. After the defense, inform the committee chair and your department’s graduate coordinator of your name as shown on the mainframe and the final title of your document. This information must be correct on the Thesis/Dissertation Approval form.

Confirm that the following required forms for document approval have been submitted to the Graduate School: Application for Degree and, for doctoral students only, Survey of Earned Doctorates, Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form (must be sent by your department), and Declaration of Co-Authorship in Doctoral Dissertations.

The Graduate School has provided four Microsoft Word templates in the required LSU format for your thesis or dissertation (see buttons below). Each features slight differences to serve students in Humanities, Sciences, or Studio Fine Arts. For students who need it, we also include a LaTeX template. Choose the template that will best suit the norms of your field. Each one can be edited to accommodate your specific document.

The Humanities, Sciences, and Studio Fine Arts templates are each accompanied by a Guide Sheet (see below) that will supplement the information supplied on the templates themselves. You may wish to print out the guide sheet and keep it nearby as you work through the blending of the template and your document. Guides are divided into the specific sections in your theses and dissertations.

The Thesis & Dissertation Handbook, which contains the complete formatting guidelines, is available on this website and is recommended reading for all. Even if you choose to use a template, the handbook contains valuable information that will answer most of your questions.

Downloadable Templates:


Handbook & Guide Sheets:

Thesis & Dissertation Handbook
Studio Fine Arts Guide Sheet
Humanities Guide Sheet
Science Guide Sheet 

Visit Digital Commons to create an account.

  • Do not create more than one Digital Commons account and do not create a new submission to upload document revisions. 

  • Note that your “lsu.edu" email address expires one year after graduation. Please use a long-term email address (ex: Yahoo/iCloud/Gmail) when creating your Digital Commons 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.

Select the appropriate submission link below to complete the Digital Commons submission form.

  • Following the approval of your document, you will need to decide whether you would like to release it to the public immediately or, if you plan to publish all or part of it, restrict access to it for a period of one, three, or seven years. You may also elect to restrict access to LSU email addresses only. 
    • The previously used Request for Restricted Access to Thesis/Dissertation form will no longer be accepted by the editor. This step is only completed through your Digital Commons account.

  • 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.

  • Do not upload the document until it is in LSU formatting style. Otherwise, the editor will return it to you.

  • Attach your document and click ‘Submit’. 

  • A confirmation page will appear and shortly after you will receive a confirmation email.

  • You will be notified via email by the reviewer if additional corrections are needed. In response, you must never upload a new document. Instead, you must re-upload the original submitted document containing only the requested changes.

  • A substantial number of formatting corrections may affect the editor’s ability to meet the final deadline for approving all documents. This may delay your anticipated graduation date.  

  • All document revisions must be submitted by logging into your Digital Commons account

  • Instructions on how to submit revisions and reset your password can be found on the Submission Aid.

  • For all students graduating during the current semester, the process is complete after receipt of the emailed approval notice.

  • If you decide to register for Degree Only for the upcoming semester, you must have completed and submitted your thesis or dissertation by the degree-only deadline but preferably two weeks before the deadline. Submitting the document in advance gives editors a sufficient amount of time to review the document, and the student enough time to make any required revisions. Editors must have the final document approved, and registration must be completed by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline noted in the Graduate School Calendar.