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Caltech Theses

Ph.D. theses must be submitted in electronic form as part of the graduation requirements for Caltech. This guide serves as a tool for this process.

Required Documents

Official certification of degree completion will not be provided until all the steps have been completed.  Please contact the Graduate Office for the latest requirements.

  • Grad Office information on degree tracking and degree completion:
  • Forms Available in REGIS:
    • Ph.D. Candidacy: Ph.D. Candidacy must be completed before beginning fourth year of residence.  Students should log on to the Graduate Degree Progress application within REGIS to schedule candidacy and obtain the necessary approvals.
    • Final Ph.D. Defense: Final exam committee - Students should log on to the Graduate Degree Progress application within REGIS to schedule the final exam and select an approved committee for the defense.
      • An approved committee consists of at least four total members.  At least three of the four or more committee members must be Caltech professorial faculty members 
      • The thesis advisor must be a Caltech professorial faculty member.
      • The chair of the committee must be a Caltech professorial faculty member, and cannot be the advisor.
    • Masters Application: Master's applications must be submitted no later than Add Day of spring term for a June graduation.  Students should log on to the Graduate Degree Progress application within REGIS and click on the M.S. Candidacy tab and select the option and the year in which the M.S. is to be awarded.  Then, follow additional instructions for developing a plan of study and fulfilling Institute requirements.
  • Forms Available Outside of REGIS:
    • Minor Candidacy Form: Caltech does not require a minor for the Ph.D. degree, but individual options may have minor requirements as part of their requirements for the major.
    • Proofreader Agreement:  You must turn this in with at least a draft version (editable PDF copy) of your thesis to the Grad Office before your defense and at least 2 weeks ahead of your defense date. You can make the recommended changes after you get it back either before or after your defense – discuss the best option for you with your advisor.
      •   You may send PDFs of both your thesis and the Proofreader's Agreement to the Grad Office either via email or via the Caltech Dropbox
    • Survey of Earned Doctorates (PhD only):   After your successful defense, fill out the electronic form. A certificate of completion will be emailed directly to Natalie Gilmore in the Grad Office.
    • CaltechTHESIS submission:  Deposit the final version of your thesis after your defense, and once all final edits have been made. Upload both a PDF and the original format (Word, LaTeX, etc.) of your thesis - the original format one can be a zipped file if necessary.

Ph.D. Degree Tracking

A requirement of all PhD programs at Caltech is that the student must prepare, submit, and successfully defend in an oral examination a written dissertation, known in the vernacular as a "thesis". 

Caltech theses have a common format and there are regulations regarding the contents, submission, proofreading, and final disposition.  Please use the Grad Office's "Regulations for the Format and Presentation of a Graduate Thesis" (Updated Jan. 2016) as your primary guideline in formatting your thesis.

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations, following the correct format, meeting deadlines, working with their advisor and dissertation committee to schedule the examination, providing timely copies of the thesis, and making requested revisions. 

Ph.D. Candidacy must be completed before beginning the fourth year of residence.  Students should log on to the Graduate Degree Progress application within REGIS to schedule candidacy and obtain the necessary approvals.

Each thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Office for proofreading a minimum of two weeks before the scheduled defense. It is highly recommeded that you give the proofreader more time if you are submitting in April through May.

In order to complete the PhD degree requirements, the student must not only pass the oral thesis defense but also submit a final, approved version of the thesis as well as the necessary steps listed below and follow the checkout procedures

Official certification of degree completion will not be provided until all the steps have been completed.