Once your thesis has been accepted by your department and Faculty, and all other degree requirements have been met, you will need to provide the University with an electronic copy of your approved thesis. 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 you have already published, provided that this published material describes work done during your graduate 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.


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

Submission process

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

  • You must submit a copy of your thesis (.pdf format only) and any supplementary files (Library website) via UWSpace for review by GSPA. Detailed submission instructions can be found on the Library's thesis submission guide.
  • The Library and Archives Canada ‘Thesis Non-Exclusive License’ has been incorporated into the University of Waterloo ‘Thesis Non-Exclusive Distribution License’. The license-granting 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, you will be contacted by email. Revisions must be made and the updated thesis resubmitted to UWSpace for final approval before you can be degree complete.
  • Once the thesis submission is approved, you will receive a confirmation email.
  • Retain a copy of GSPA/UWSpace approval email to submit to W Print 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 W Print at the University of Waterloo.

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