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Dissertations: USC Electronic Submission Process

This guide provides information on locating, borrowing, and purchasing doctoral dissertations. If you are unable to locate dissertations using these instructions, ask a librarian in any USC library for assistance.


For specific questions regarding the status of your dissertation electronic upload, contact the USC Digital Library via email at

Spring 2016 Presentation

Useful Links

USC theses/dissertations published since Fall 2006 are stored in full-text, pdf format on the USC Libraries Digital Library site. For citations, abstracts, and full-texts of USC theses/dissertations published since 1932, search the database ProQuest Theses & Dissertations. Hard copies of all theses/dissertation published before Fall 2006 are located in Grand Library and can be found by searching the libraries' catalog via USC Libraries home page at



Proquest Contact Info

For students who have already submitted a thesis/dissertation to Proquest and need additional information regarding use, publication, or access, call Proquest at 1-800-521-0600.

Electronic Submission Process

The following describes the typical submission process of theses and dissertations to USC Libraries:


Step 1: Student works with Thesis Editor's office in the Grad School (or the appropriate coordinator in their school or department) to get a final version of thesis/dissertation/project.

Step 2: Thesis Editor (or appropriate coordinator in another school or department) approves final version and submits student's name & profile ID to USC Libraries system.

Step 3: System generates e-mail to student instructing them to login to the Thesis Dissertation Submission site to deposit their PDF.

Step 4: Student logs in and electronically agrees to allow USC to store, reproduce, and make the work publicly available.

Step 5: Student inputs metadata including:

  • name & e-mail
  • document title
  • defense date
  • school
  • program
  • abstract
  • advisors' names
  • limited restrictions: selection of  0, 6, 12, 18, or 24 month restriction; students are allowed up to two years of an embargo on their dissertation's/thesis's release by USC to the public

Step 6: Student uploads approved PDF. Approved files in other formats such as .mpeg or .avi may also be uploaded.

Step 7: When the student completes the process, their TDS account is closed and an automated e-mail is sent to librarians to review the submission.

Step 8: Librarians check the validity/completeness of the uploaded file and makes any needed modifications to the metadata (such as spelling corrections, normalization of names, and capitalization).

Step 9: If all is in order, Librarian approves the submission.

Step 10: The student and the Thesis Editor's office are sent an automated e-mail indicating the student is clear to graduate.

Step 11: The Graduate School sends the signature page to Technical Services. Librarian checks the signature page to the student's file submission and metadata.

Step 12: The signature pages are sent to Special Collections at the end of each term.

If you have any questions regarding these procedures, contact the USC Digital Library at


Electronic Theses & Dissertations Digital Repository Agreement

Each student who submits a thesis or dissertation agrees to the following terms and conditions when uploading their file to USC Libraries.


This Digital Repository Agreement is between the University of Southern California on behalf of its USC Libraries (“USC Libraries”) and you the Student (“You”), and covers the terms and conditions for the deposit of your scholarly work (“Work”) in the USC Digital Repository maintained by the USC Libraries. Together, we agree on the following:

* That You accept the following terms and conditions for the Work you are about to upload to the USC Libraries.

* You grant to USC Libraries a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license to electronically store, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, and publicly display and distribute the Work. You grant to USC Libraries the right to use your name in connection with the Work.

* USC Libraries will maintain your Work on its USC Digital Repository or at such other areas as it may determine.

* USC Libraries is not liable if someone uses your Work in a way You do not approve. In such event, You are free to pursue legal remedies against such a third party, but you agree not to seek legal redress against USC Libraries, its Trustees, employees or agents.

* No intellectual property or any other rights shall be transferred to any third party as a result of this Agreement.

* You affirm that you own the rights to the Work you are about to upload and You obtained the proper clearances to do so. You agree that the Work You are about to upload to the USC Libraries does not violate copyright, trademark or patent laws, is not pornographic, plagiaristic or defamatory, is not spam, and does not violate anyone’s privacy rights.

* You agree to notify the USC Libraries of any facts or circumstances You become aware of that would make these representations inaccurate in any respect.

* You understand that the Work deposited in the USC Digital Repository will be accessible to a wide variety of people and institutions via the World Wide Web, and by agreeing to place the Work on the USC Digital Repository, You recognize that it may also appear on search engines and in an open media registry, and on other partner institution’s web repositories primarily for researchers and scholars.

* To the maximum extent permitted by law, in no event will either party be responsible for any incidental, consequential, indirect, special, punitive or exemplary damages of any kind, including damages for lost goodwill, lost profits, lost business or other indirect economic damages, whether such claim is based on contract, negligence, tort (including strict liability) or other legal theory, as a result of a breach of any warranty or any other term of the this agreement, and regardless of whether a party was advised or had reason to know of the possibility of such damages in advance.