An approved doctoral dissertation is required for the Ph.D. and J.S.D. degrees. The doctoral dissertation must be an original contribution to scholarship or scientific knowledge and must exemplify the highest standards of the discipline. If it is judged to meet this standard, the dissertation is approved for the school or department by the doctoral dissertation reading committee. Each member of the reading committee signs the signature page of the dissertation to certify that the work is of acceptable scope and quality. One reading committee member reads the dissertation in its final form and certifies on the Certificate of Final Reading that department and University specifications have been met.
Dissertations must be in English. Approval for writing the dissertation in another language is normally granted only in cases where the other language or literature in that language is also the subject of the discipline. Such approval is routinely granted for dissertations in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, in accordance with the policy of the individual department. Dissertations written in another language must include an extended summary in English.
Students have the option of submitting the dissertation electronically or via the paper process. Directions for preparation of the dissertation for electronic or paper submission are available at the Office of the University Registrar dissertation web site at http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/registrar/students/dissertation-thesis. If submitting via the paper process, the signed dissertation copies and accompanying documents must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar on or before the quarterly deadline indicated in the University's academic calendar. A fee is charged for the microfilming and binding of the paper dissertation copies. If submitting via the electronic process the signed dissertation signature page and title page must be submitted to the Student Services Center and one final copy of the dissertation must be uploaded, and approved by the Final Reader, on or before the quarterly deadline indicated in the University's academic calendar. There is no fee charged for the electronic submission process.
Students must either be registered or on graduation quarter in the term they submit the dissertation; see "Graduation Quarter" in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this Bulletin for additional information. At the time the dissertation is submitted, an Application to Graduate must be on file, all department requirements must be complete, and candidacy must be valid through the term of degree conferral.