Thesis submission

Once the thesis has been accepted by the department and Faculty, and all other requirements for the degree have been met, the student must provide the University with an electronic copy of their approved thesis as a final University degree requirement. Theses must be prepared and submitted as outlined below.

The thesis itself becomes the property of the University but other concurrent forms of publication are allowed. There is no restriction on the use in the thesis of material that has already been published by the student provided that this published material describes work done during the graduate student's enrolment at the University of Waterloo and that appropriate permission is obtained. The use of external laboratories or other facilities for research contributing to the thesis may be allowed with the prior approval of the department and Faculty.

Theses approved by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) will be indexed by the University Library and by Library and Archives Canada, and will be accessible electronically.


Students must have their thesis approved by GSPA by the end of term in which they defend, in order to avoid the need to register for a subsequent term. If a student does need to register in a subsequent term, the tuition refund schedule outlined in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar applies (e.g. if the thesis is approved prior to the 100% refund deadline, the student may be eligible for a 100% tuition refund).

Submission process

Following final acceptance/approval from the Examining Committee, the thesis must be submitted to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) for final approval. The thesis will be reviewed once the GSPA has received the 'Thesis Acceptance' form from the Faculty/department. Once approved by the GSPA, the thesis is deposited in UWSpace, the university’s institutional repository for the research and scholarship produced by its faculty, students, and staff.

  • Students must submit a copy of the thesis (.pdf format only) and any supplementary files (IST website) via UWSpace for review by GSPA. Detailed submission instructions can be found on the UWSpace website.
  • The Library and Archives Canada ‘Thesis Non-Exclusive License’ has been incorporated into the University of Waterloo ‘Thesis Non-Exclusive Distribution License’. The granting of the license is completed electronically as part of the UWSpace submission process.
  • Theses submitted to UWSpace will be reviewed within 3 to 5 business days of GSPA receiving the 'Thesis Acceptance' form from the Faculty/department.
  • If any revisions are required, the student will be contacted by email. Revisions must be made and the updated thesis resubmitted to UWSpace for final approval.
  • Once the thesis submission is approved, the student will receive a confirmation email.
  • Retain a copy of GSPA/UWSpace approval email to submit to Print + Retail Solutions if paper copies of your thesis are required.


The University will not consent to any restrictions being placed upon the circulation or availability of a thesis following its deposit to UWSpace, unless a student's interests (e.g., patent rights) would be jeopardized by publication.

In the case where a student’s interests would be jeopardized by publication:

  • The publication of the thesis within UWSpace can be delayed for a period of four months, one year, or two years from the date of UWSpace approval. These restrictions should be discussed and agreed upon between the student and supervisor(s) at the time of defence. The student must select the appropriate restriction option from the drop-down list located under the "Restriction Terms" title on the "Describe Item" page in the UWSpace submission interface
  • Any request for extension to an approved restriction must be submitted using the Request to restrict circulation of thesis form (Graduate Studies forms website), and must be received in Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs at least two months before the date of release. If no further extension is requested or approved, the thesis will be released in UWSpace.

Paper copies

Students may choose to have any personal copies of the approved thesis bound privately or through the services provided by Print + Retail Solutions at the University of Waterloo.

Back to top