Congratulations on a successful dissertation defense. Now that the adrenaline has worn off there is still plenty to do before you can “officially” graduate. This is a checklist that will help you navigate the post-defense / pre-graduation tasks:

  • Work through final revisions or additions with your Chair
  • Hire a Style Editor who knows your institution’s  guidelines/requirements (optional)
  • Study your institution’s Dissertation Handbook guidelines and formatting instructions
  • Finalize your abstract including required text and shorten it to 350 words
  • Format your page numbers according to your institution’s guidelines
  • Format your tables and figures to be the correct size and resolution
  • Number your tables and figures
  • Align your headings with your table of contents, list of tables, list of figures
  • Confirm you have all proper copyright permissions for figures, illustrations, and embedded content
  • Spell check the entire document including your tables and figures
  • Scrub any personal identifiers from the appendices
  • Match every reference with your in-text citations
  • Format your reference list for alpha order, spaces, capitalization, commas
  • Write your acknowledgements and bask in realization that you have had an incredible support network throughout this journey
  • Learn how to embed your fonts in the final version of the document
  • Draft and practice your graduation speech – it may be recorded!
  • Get professional photos of yourself and collect photos from your defense to post on your electronic dissertation page created by your institution
  • Create a website or LinkedIn profile where you will link your e-thesis/dissertation
  • Gain all final approvals from your Chair, your Librarian, and any others required
  • Upload your electronic dissertation! … and take a well-deserved nap

Enjoy your dissertation journey!