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YSPH Submission of Dissertation Guidelines


  • December Graduation – October 1st, or the following business day if this falls on a weekend or holiday
  • May Graduation – March 15th, or the following business day if this falls on a weekend or holiday

Submit unbound copy of dissertation to Graduate School Registrar’s Office by the date listed above. In addition, you must also submit a “Petition to Graduate” Form (entitled "Dissertation Checklist Petition"), which is available at the Graduate School website along with many other important forms.

4- 6 Months Prior to Deadline:

  • Pick up a packet of information and forms from Melanie Elliot, 47 College Place, Suite 108.
  • Discuss reader selection with your advisor and hold regular meetings with your dissertation advisory committee to review the progress of the dissertation and to meet the deadlines.  Guidelines for Reader Selection are:
    • There must be at least three readers.  Two of the readers must have Graduate School Appointments, at least one reader a member of the YSPH faculty.  Other readers including senior faculty from the department or University are strongly encouraged. 
    • The outside reader should not have co-authored a publication(s) with members of the student’s Dissertation Advisory Committee and/or the student within the preceding three years.
    • All readers must be recognized authorities in the area of the dissertation. 
    • CV’s must be provided for any non-Yale or non-YSPH faculty members.  Members of the Dissertation Advisory Committee are not eligible to serve as readers. 

4-6 Weeks Prior to Deadline (no later than September for December graduates and no later than February for May graduates):

  • Notify DGS (via Melanie Elliot) of intent to submit for upcoming deadline.
  • Complete “Submission of Dissertation Form” and obtain signatures from committee members that your dissertation is ready for review by your readers. You must give them at least one month to read it prior to asking them to sign the “Submission of Dissertation Form.
  • Give names of proposed readers to Melanie Elliot to verify they meet the guidelines listed above.
  • Once the form is signed by everyone on your advisory committee and reader list is approved by your advisor, submit the form (and any necessary CV’s) for approval by the Graduate Studies Executive Committee. 
  • This committee meets monthly and it is important to submit the above information no later than September (for Dec. grads) or February (for May grads) meetings so that there is ample time for the Graduate Studies Executive Committee to review and approve the readers and then for the DGS and Melanie Elliot to prepare the necessary paperwork for the Graduate School.

Before Deadline (After Readers are Approved):

  1. Deliver unbound copy of dissertation to the Graduate School Registrar’s Office, Room 246 Church Street, 3rd Floor by the deadline above. 
  2. File “Petition for Degree” with the Graduate School Registrar’s Office (along with other required forms) and pay any necessary fees. Please be sure to bring your checkbook or cash since you cannot use a credit card and need to pay two separate fees by the deadline above.
  3. Deliver or mail (use a service that provides delivery tracking) a softbound copy of your dissertation to your readers. You may also ask your readers if they would prefer an electronic version of your dissertation. If so, this will save you the expense of printing. It is acceptable for some readers to want an electronic version and others to want a hard copy. Please let Melanie know which readers wish a hard copy vs. an electronic copy and please send Melanie an electronic copy to email to the readers that have chosen that option. (You should not email the electronic version to a reader).

NOTE: Melanie Elliot will be submitting an approved list of your readers to the Graduate School Registrar’s Office. The Graduate School Dissertation Office will email your readers a letter with the reader evaluation form This communication will inform the readers that they have 30 days to complete the evaluation and return it to the Graduate School. Late evaluations could detain students from graduating on time. Please inform your readers of this timeline.

After Dissertation is Submitted (strongly encouraged to do these items during the month the readers are reviewing dissertation):

  1. Determine a date and time for the oral presentation of your dissertation. This presentation must be in a public seminar and is scheduled after the submission of the dissertation to the readers and preferably prior to the receipt and consideration of the readers’ reports. Please email all your committee members, all your readers and your divisional representative to the Graduate Studies Executive Committee to determine a date for your presentation whereby most of these individuals will be able to attend. The minimum guidelines for faculty in attendance are: at least one member of the Dissertation Advisory Committee supervising the dissertation (preferably your advisor), at least one reader and at least one member of the departmental Graduate Studies Executive Committee (preferably the divisional representative for your division). 
  2. Reserve a room for this presentation. Contact Kelly Edwards at 785-7335 to secure a classroom on the 1st floor of LEPH or Room 216 in LEPH. 
  3. You must contact Harold Golston via email at to secure any audio-visual equipment you may need. It is important that you contact Harold as soon as you know the date and location since AV equipment in YSPH is limited. Most classrooms are equipped with AV equipment, but it is best to check with Harold. Harold can loan you a laser pointer that also advances your slides and he has a MAC adapter. These are popular items so you must reserve them as soon as you know when your presentation will be. 
  4. Inform Melanie Elliot of the details of your presentation so that flyers can be posted and emails sent inviting the YSPH community to attend. 
  5. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your presentation. Plan to reserve the chosen room for 30 minutes prior to your presentation for set up and approximately 30 minutes after your presentation for clean up. 

Final Steps

Please note: After the readers return their comments to you, you may want to make minor changes to your dissertation. These changes must be editorial changes and not substantive in nature. To do this, you must have your advisor or the reader that suggested the change(s) send an email to Barbara Withington at stating that you would like to make this minor change. Once received by Ms. Withington, she will allow the student to submit a new unbound version of the dissertation. In addition, many students will make these minor editorial changes before getting the dissertation hardbound. It is not necessary to incorporate minor editorial changes into the dissertation for the Graduate School or the hardbound version but some students prefer to do this. The deadline for doing this is usually November 30 for December graduates and April 30 for May graduates. Please check with Melanie to confirm the deadlines. 

1. Once your dissertation is fully complete, you may choose to get a copy HARDBOUND for your advisor and yourself. This is optional. Binders that have done this in the past are: Criscuolo Binding, 356 Humphrey Street, New Haven, Phone: 624-2720 OR Old Book Bindery at 272-2463 (ask for Bill). I believe that Tyco and Kinko’s can also provide this service. This service generally takes 2-5 days. 

The front cover should carry the imprinted title, name of the author, and the year; The bound edge should carry the name of the author and the year. The cover should be dark blue or Yale blue. To see an example of a hardbound dissertation, see Melanie Elliot.

rev. 1.10.2020