Submitting Your Thesis for Approval

After your Thesis Director has approved the content of your thesis, then you should submit the final draft of your thesis to your Thesis Director (for a grade), and send an identical copy to your Research Advisor (for format review).  

You need to also submit this final draft to Harvard's Electronic Thesis and Dissertation submission system (ETDs) by following the instructions below.  You will submit your thesis to the ETDs twice - once at the same time that you turn in the final draft copy of your thesis to your Thesis Director and Research Advisor, and then another time, after format review is completed,  when you will upload the fully reviewed thesis for permanent storage (replacing the earlier draft copy).  

Format review is the final stage of the editing process.

  • In addition to checking page margins, page numbers and other formatting details, your Research Advisor will review the whole document, looking for errors in front matter, references and other supporting material
  • You should plan to correct any errors found in this process, and to resubmit the thesis to your Research Advisor for further review    

When you have made all the changes recommended by your Research Advisor, and they have given you final approval for the thesis, then you should upload the final manuscript of the thesis to Harvard University's Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) submission system.

To submit your final draft, and then later the fully reviewed thesis manuscript, to EDTs, please use the following steps:

  • Visit Harvard University's Electronic Thesis and Dissertation portal
  • Click the Start your Submission button
  • You will be prompted to login using your Harvard University ID and PIN

The next 5 steps should take about 10 minutes to complete:

1) Verify your personal information and add your degree and field details

2) Sign Harvard's Licensing Agreement

3) Submit details of your document, including an abstract and keywords; submit the names of your Research Advisor and Thesis Director

4) Upload your document as one PDF

5) Confirm and submit

Once approved by your Research Advisor, your document will go live and all data will be sent to the following places:

  • DASH - Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard
  • HOLLIS - unified search for most Harvard resources
  • DRS2 - Harvard Library's digital preservation repository


As required by Harvard, one library-quality bound copy of your thesis will be automatically be printed and sent to the University Archives.

  • The charge for this service is included in your tuition, so there is no out-of-pocket expense for you, and no further steps for you to take