Posting your thesis or dissertation to Dissertations and Theses Full Text (ProQuest) gives scholars all over the world access to your work. Because your thesis becomes fully searchable, students and researchers are able to benefit from the work you put into your project.

Before you sit down to submit your thesis to ProQuest, here are a few things to do:


Create your citation

Subject: choose from a list provided by ProQuest (see full list).

Identifiers/Keywords: terms not captured in your title or abstract. This could include the kind of theory you use in your thesis or secondary authors on which your project focuses.

Title: include terms like author names and book titles, to increase the visibility of your thesis.

For example, here is the citation from a recent thesis posted to ProQuest:

Subject: British and Irish literature; Philosophy

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature, 0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Language, literature and linguistics, Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), Howards end, Language, Tractatus, Wittgenstein

Title: Beyond the Limits of Language: Reading the Evolution of E.M. Forster's Prophets Through the Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein

You will also be asked to provide the names of your advisor and committee members, department and degree type. 


Think about copyright

Copyright issues: It is your responsibility to follow the law governing "fair use" of any copyrighted materials (photographs, reproductions of art work, poems, etc.) used in a thesis or dissertation, and to secure any necessary permissions. ProQuest will not accept a thesis or dissertation without the necessary permissions.

Access the ProQuest information sheet on copyright guidelines, including a sample copyright permission letter.

Your Copyright and Future Publishing: You own the copyright to your thesis or dissertation. When you submit your dissertation to ProQuest, you retain the copyright and grant ProQuest a non-exclusive license to distribute it. This does not count as publishing your dissertation, and you still have the right to publish all or part of it elsewhere.

Publishers' policies guide whether they will accept an article or book that was previously made available in a dissertation or thesis. For more information, please check with your publisher or consult the scholarly communication librarian. If your publisher does not accept materials made available as a thesis or dissertation, you can embargo the materials in ProQuest to resolve this issue.

Please see this ProQuest information sheet on publishing policies.

Open Access versus Traditional Publishing: ProQuest will ask you to choose one of these two options. 

Open Access allows your thesis to be viewed by scholars all over the world, increasing the visibility of your work.  Theses published for Open Access with ProQuest will be available at no charge for viewing or downloading by anyone with access to the Internet. There is a fee charged for Open Access publishing, which you will be asked to pay (the fee is currently $95.00).

Under Traditional Publishing, as the owner of intellectual property and author of the work, you contract with ProQuest to reproduce, distribute and sell copies of the work.  ProQuest then pays you a certain portion of the revenue thus generated.  This option is free.

ProQuest provides information regarding each of these publishing options and how to choose the correct option.

ProQuest/UMI notes:

"When should students publish their graduate works on an open access basis?
It depends on the nature of their research. If they are focused on ensuring the widest possible distribution of their work, or they have benefited from public funding, they would be well served by the Open Access Publishing PLUS publishing option. It is the best way to ensure world wide access to their graduate research. Conversely, if a dissertation will contain patentable or other sensitive material, they should consider using our Traditional publishing option instead."


Find more information about the benefits of each publishing model.


Format your document

You should format your document for both printing and online posting as follows:

  • Paper copies of the master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation must be on white paper, 8  1/2 by 11 inches. A left-hand margin of 1  1/2 inches must be allowed for binding. Each of the other margins should be 1 inch.
  • Do not punch holes in the left margin.
  • The thesis must be single-sided and printed in black ink.
  • The text must be double-spaced, except for footnotes and bibliographical items, which may be single-spaced (unless your department's and/or discipline's standards stipulate otherwise). In some cases, quotations may also be single-spaced, as recommended by certain manuals of style in the student's discipline (e.g., American Psychological Association, American Chemical Society, etc.). Students should follow faculty instructions and disciplinary standards (e.g., Chicago Manual of Style) for citation formats, quotations, footnotes or endnotes, etc.


  • Each page of the master's thesis or doctoral dissertation is assigned a number.
  • The Title Page is assigned the Roman numeral i, but that numeral is not shown on the title page itself.
  • The "front pages" (e.g. preface, table of contents, dedication, etc.) are numbered in consecutive Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv...), which should be placed at the bottom center of each page.
  • Beginning with the first page of the main body of the text, consecutive Arabic numbers should be used at the bottom center of each page (unless the formal guidelines in the student's discipline stipulate otherwise).

In Microsoft Word, page numbers can be added by choosing Insert > Page Number > Bottom of Page, and then choosing the option which places the number in the center.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences provides more information on formatting and pagination.


Create a single PDF file

ProQuest requires a single PDF file be submitted -- to prevent alteration of your document and to provide a uniform look to all theses and dissertations.

Embed fonts:

In Microsoft Word, click the circular Office button in the top left corner. At the bottom of the new window, click "Word Options." Choose "Save" from the sidebar on the left. Click the box that says "Embed fonts in the file."

Embedding fonts preserves the appearance of your document.

Create PDF:

In Microsoft Word, click the circular Office button in the top left corner. Click "Save As." Choose "PDF or XPS." Make sure "PDF" is chosen from the dropdown menu marked “Save as Type.”  Name the file. Click "Publish."

If you have multiple Word documents, you will need to combine them into one PDF. An easy way to do this is save them all as PDFs. Then open Adobe Acrobat and choose "Combine Files." Add all files and arrange them in order.  Click "Next." When Acrobat has finished processing the files, click "Save."

ProQuest provides a full tutorial on creating a PDF in Adobe Acrobat and a list of frequently asked questions.


Submit to Dissertations and Theses Full Text (ProQuest)

  • Go to and choose "Submit my dissertation/thesis."
  • Select "Villanova University" from the list provided. Choose your appropriate college (Engineering, CLAS, or Nursing).
  • Create an account or login using an existing account.
  • Once you create an account, ETD Administrator will walk you through a simple process that involves accepting the publishing agreement and uploading the relevant files and information about your submission.
  • After you complete your submission, your graduate school administrator will review the submission before sending it to ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing.


Get your thesis bound

If your department requires a bound copy of your thesis, the Library’s Resource Management Center can help. See their guidelines for instructions.


Helpful library links

Graduate Theses in the Villanova University Digital Library

This collection includes graduate theses and doctoral dissertations submitted in partial fulfillment of degrees obtained at Villanova University. The collection begins in 1920.  Digitization is an ongoing project of the Digital Library.This collection excludes those theses already available in ProQuest, which provides access to full-text of master's theses from the College of Arts and Sciences starting with 2006, and, selective full-text coverage from 1995 for dissertations.

Bound copies shelved in Library

The Library maintains a collection of bound theses. Request these at the main Access Services desk.

Library Catalog and WorldCat

The library catalog contains records of Villanova University theses. Try searching [thesis “villanova university”] to find a working list. You can also add the department name in your search.

Alternately, if you are searching for a thesis on a specific topic, you can limit your search by choosing “Thesis” under the Format section on the right sidebar.



Records cataloged in the catalog are automatically included in WorldCat. WorldCat, the world's largest database of library content, lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world. This means that theses and dissertations cataloged at Falvey (including yours!) are discoverable by scholars, students and other researchers worldwide.

By Alexandra Edwards, February 2012