How to Submit

Submitting your thesis/dissertation using York University's Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) application is a quick and easy process.

The instructions below outline the step by step process of using the application. Please refer to the Thesis, Dissertation and Submission Guidelines on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for details on the policies and process leading up to the point of final submission, including formatting and other requirements. To view the York University ETD collection, visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies section on YorkSpace.

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started
    1. Technical Requirements
    2. Technical Assistance
    3. Preliminary Steps
    4. Navigating
    5. Stopping During the Submission Process
    6. Getting Help
  2. Step by Step Instructions
    1. Beginning Your Submission
    2. Updating Details
    3. Uploading Files
    4. Reviewing Details
    5. Submitting for Review
  3. What Happens Next?
  4. Resources

Getting Started

Technical Requirements

You can access the ETD application from any computer with an internet connection. Recommended browsers include Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera.

Technical Assistance

Instructions for converting your thesis to a PDF file are available on the YorkSpace Resources Site.

Preliminary Steps: Setting up the ETD record

An ETD record will be set up for you by a staff member in the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). FGS will need to receive the following before you will be able to access your record:

  • Oral Examination Report (normally provided by the Dean’s representative on your Examining Committee as soon as possible following your defense);
  • Revisions Approved Memorandum, if applicable (if your thesis/dissertation was approved with specified revisions). A blank form is usually provided to you by FGS prior to your defense. You will need to ensure it is completed and returned to FGS;
  • Library and Archives Canada Theses Non–Exclusive License form (.pdf), signed and dated;
  • Copies of copyright permissions, if applicable.

Once all of the above items have been received, you will receive an email from a Thesis Coordinator  letting you know that your ETD record has been created and inviting you to log in using your Passport York ID. Click on the link provided in the email to take you to


You’ll notice that there is a navigation bar across the top of the screen. You can click on any of the “tabs” to move back and forth through the process.

electronic thesis and dissertation navigation bar

At the bottom right of each screen there are also arrows you can click on to move on to the next step (or move back).

electronic thesis and dissertation navigation arrows

You will not lose data by moving back and forth.

Stopping During the Submission Process

You can stop and save your work at any point in the process, and resume your submission simply by logging back in. To save your work, click on the navigation arrow at the bottom right of your screen. The information you have entered will be stored until you log back in.

As long as the status of your ETD record is “Open”, you can continue to make edits, updates and changes. Only once you have clicked on “I accept and send for review” on the “Submit for Review” tab will your record be closed.

If for some reason you need to request that your submission be re-opened (for example if you notice a mistake or forgot to add something), please email a Thesis Coordinator .

Getting Help

If you’d like more information or instructions for any of the fields you are being asked to fill out, just click on the question mark icon next to the field.

electronic thesis and dissertation getting help

If you still have questions, you may wish to contact:

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Step by Step Instructions

Beginning Your Submission

On the first screen you will find welcome text, along with the title of your thesis/dissertation and some other information from your student record (such as your degree name and program).

To begin entering your details, click on the title of your thesis/dissertation. Alternatively, you can click on the “Update Details” button on the bottom right, or on the “Update Details” tab in the navigation bar.

electronic thesis and dissertation beginning your submission

Updating Details

On the second screen, “Update Details”, you’ll notice that there are some fields already filled in, and others that you will need to complete.

electronic thesis and dissertation updating details

The fields that are already filled in are automatically pulled from your Student Information System (SIS) and Graduate Event Module (GEM) records. You cannot edit these fields yourself, so if you notice an error, please contact a Thesis Coordinator at a Thesis Coordinator .

In the second section, you’ll find the following fields for you to complete:


Click on the arrow to see the drop down menu. You will be able to select English, French, or Other (a thesis or dissertation normally should be written in English, but approval may be given to write in French or the language of any Aboriginal/First Nations people in North America).

electronic thesis and dissertation choosing a language


Copy and paste your abstract into this field (the abstract must be provided in English regardless of the language of your thesis or dissertation). Please note the maximum number of words allowed (Master’s thesis 150 words; doctoral dissertation 350 words).


Click on the arrow to see the drop down menu. You must select at least one subject that best describes the overall subject of your thesis or dissertation. You have the option of selecting up to two additional secondary subjects from the other drop down menu boxes.

electronic thesis and dissertation choosing a subject


Enter as many terms or search phrases as you like. Please use a comma to separate each keyword or string of keywords. Tip: the more terms you provide, the more likely it is that users will find your work in their searches.

electronic thesis and dissertation choosing keywords

When you are finished updating your details, click “Save Details” on the bottom right to move to the next screen, or to save and return later to make further updates.

electronic thesis and dissertation save details


Uploading Files

File Format and Naming Convention

Before uploading your files, you will need to save your thesis or dissertation as a PDF file (.pdf), which must be compatible with Adobe Acrobat version 5.0 or higher

This PDF document should contain the full body of your thesis/dissertation, including:

  • title page;
  • abstract;
  • dedication (optional);
  • acknowledgements (optional);
  • table of contents;
  • list of tables, figures and illustrations (if applicable);
  • all chapters and written body of the thesis/dissertation;
  • references or bibliography;
  • all appendices.

You may upload only ONE PDF file.

Your document must be saved using the following naming convention:


Replace “Lastname” with your last name and “Firstname” with your first name. So, for example, if Jane Smith completed her PhD in 2014, she would save her documents as


The “year of copyright” refers to the date that appears on the title page of your thesis/dissertation (this is the year you successfully defended).

To upload your file, simply click on the “upload primary file” button.

electronic thesis and dissertation upload primary file

A box will open giving you the option to choose a file from your computer or a disk, USB key or other source.

electronic thesis and dissertation upload browse for file

Once you have chosen the file, click on “upload.”

Supplementary Files

In addition to the PDF of your thesis or dissertation, you may have supplementary files to add. Supplementary files refer to items that are part of the approved, examined thesis/dissertation that cannot be included in the PDF, such as multi–media, sound, video or hypertext

A list of acceptable file formats includes:

  • Documents: Portable Document Format (.pdf), Text (.txt), Hypertext Markup Language (.html, .htm), Open Document Format (.odt, .odp, .ods);
  • Images: Portable Network Graphics format (.png), Tagged Image File format (.tif), JPEG (.jpg);
  • Data: Comma–separated values (.csv) or other delimited text, Extensible Markup Language (.xml);
  • Video: 8–10 bit uncompressed AVI (.avi);
  • Audio: Free Lossless Audio Codec or WAVE (.flac or .wav).

If you wish to upload a type of file that you do not see on this list, please email Digital Initiatives @ York .

Keep in mind that a supplementary file is NOT an appendix. Regular appendices can be included in the PDF document of your thesis/dissertation.

To upload your file, simply click on the "upload supplementary files“ button.

electronic thesis and dissertation upload supplementary files

A box will open giving you the option to choose a file from your computer or a disk, USB key or other source. You may upload as many files as necessary, but no single file can exceed 500 MB. If you have a file that exceeds this size, please contact a Thesis Coordinator .

electronic thesis and dissertation browse for supplementary file

Once you have chosen the file, click on “upload.” To upload more than one file, simply click on the “upload supplementary files” button as many times as necessary.

When you have finished uploading all files, click “Review Details” on the bottom right to move to the next screen, or to save and return later to make further updates.

Reviewing Details

This is an opportunity for you to do a final confirmation that all of the details are accurate and your record is complete. Please make sure that all uploaded files are attached (they will be listed at the bottom of this screen).

As always, you can use the navigation bar at the top or arrows in the bottom right corner to go back and update any information.

When you are certain that all the information is correct and complete, click on “Submit for Review” at bottom right.

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Submitting for Review

The final step in submitting your thesis or dissertation is agreeing to the York University Copyright License.

By clicking on “I Accept and Send for Review,” you are confirming that your thesis/dissertation is your original work, that your thesis/dissertation does not infringe on any rights of others and that you have the right to make the grant conferred by this copyright license. In addition, you are granting a license to York University to make copies, including electronically formatted copies, and/or distribute worldwide all or part of your thesis or dissertation, subject to the conditions outlined.

You retain copyright to your thesis/dissertation and may make it available on a personal website and pursue other sources of publication as well.

If you have questions or concerns about this license, please contact your supervisor or a Thesis Coordinator in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. You can then log back in to agree to the terms and make your submission once any queries you have are resolved.

Please carefully read this information and click on “I Accept and Send for Review” to send your thesis/dissertation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Congratulations! You have completed your submission.

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What Happens Next?

Once you send your thesis/dissertation for review, the status of your ETD record will change from “Open” to “Under Review” and you will not be able to make further changes. You will receive a confirmation email letting you know it is being reviewed.

If for some reason you realize you have made an error or forgotten to add something, you can email a Thesis Coordinator  to request that your record be re–opened. Please remember to include your student ID number in all correspondence

After your submission has been reviewed by a Thesis Coordinator in FGS, you will receive an email notifying you of one of two outcomes:

  1. Your submission has been approved and will be deposited in YorkSpace upon conferral of your degree; or,
  2. Your submission has formatting or other errors and has been returned to you for modification.

If your submission is returned to you for modification, your ETD record will be reopened to enable you to make the required changes and resubmit. The required changes will be outlined in the email you receive from the Thesis Coordinator. If you are asked to make changes to your PDF thesis/dissertation document, simply replace the previously uploaded file with the updated one. Make sure you click on “I Accept and Send for Review” on the “Submit for Review” tab to resubmit your thesis/dissertation to FGS.


At any time you can log in to your ETD record to check on the status of your submission. Simply click on the “Check Status” tab in the navigation bar.

Deposit in YorkSpace

YorkSpace is York University’s Open Access Institutional Repository (IR). It is a platform that enables York community members to post, organize and preserve their research online in an institutional context. It showcases the scholarship of the York University community through the use of a special standards–based software platform that collects usage statistics and promotes visibility on the web.

Once your submission is approved by the Thesis Coordinator and all required forms received and fees paid, your thesis/dissertation will be deposited in YorkSpace at the time of conferral of your degree, according to the publication date listed on your ETD record (normally either November 1 or July 1).

Once the thesis/dissertation is deposited in YorkSpace, it will be available for harvesting by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Theses Portal, other Open Archives Initiative (OAI) metadata harvesters, and major search engines such as Google Scholar. You retain copyright to your thesis/dissertation and may make it available on a personal website and pursue other sources of publication as well.

Delay of Publication/Restricted Access

As per York University’s Thesis, Dissertation and Supervision Guidelines, normally there is no restriction on the publication of and access to theses and dissertations. Accordingly, theses and dissertations are released after each convocation (November 1 and July 1).

In exceptional circumstances, students may request to restrict access to their thesis/dissertation for a maximum of three years. Please refer to the Thesis, Dissertation and Supervision Guidelines for more information.

If you have an approved delay on the publication of your thesis/dissertation, the appropriate date should appear on your ETD record. It is your responsibility to ensure that this date is correct before you submit for review

Request to Delay Publication.

Getting Bound Copies

Students who wish to have personal copies of their thesis/dissertation bound must make their own arrangements. Some options include:

Please note that you may be required to make minor formatting adjustments to your document to prepare it for binding. For example, many binders will require that the top and left margins are at least 1.5 inches.

Reimbursement of Production Costs

Graduate students who are members of CUPE 3903 (Unit 1) may submit reimbursement requests for thesis, dissertation or MRP production costs to the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, using the Reimbursement of Thesis/Dissertation Production Costs Form (.pdf).

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