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Tutt Library Research Guides


Thesis Submission Guidelines and Policies: Electronic Thesis FAQs

Many departments require a Senior Thesis, Capstone or Final Project as part of graduation requirements. This guide details how to submit these materials to Digital CC, the College's digital repository.


FAQs for Electronic Thesis Submission


How will my department know that I have submitted my thesis to Digital CC?

Your advisor(s) as well as the office assistant in your department will be notified by email the moment you successfully submit your thesis to Digital CC. Some departments require submission by a certain time and date, and some will not issue final grades until it is electronically deposited. If you include your email when you self-submit your thesis, you, too will be notified by email.


What file formats can be submitted?

For text, we need a PDF/A. The "A" stands for archival. Saving it as a PDF/A instead of a regular PDF imbeds internal information in the file that assures that it will open and look exactly the same in the future. If you have your thesis saved on a Mac, you'll need to copy it to a PC and save it as a Word File. Then you can save it as a PDF/A.

If you are submitting a video, please make sure it is in MP4 format.  If your video is over 500 MB in size, it is too large to submit through the form.  You will need to contact Lisa Lister at llister@coloradocollege.ed or call her at 389-6242 to make alternative arrangements to submit your film.


Why do I need to convert my thesis into a PDF/A instead of just a PDF?

The "A" in PDF/A stand for archival. Files saved as PDF/A's have embedded formatting and font information within the file, so that the thesis will always look the same. (Macs will only save a"plain" PDF, so make sure you save your thesis as a Word file on a PC, and then convert it to a PDF/A).


How do I convert a Word file into a PDF/A?

First, if you are a Mac user, you should save your file as a Word file on a PC, because Macs cannot save a files as a PDF/A. Converting a Word file to a PDF/A only takes a few steps. Follow the instructions here.


What if I have accompanying files?

You can submit up to 5 accompanying files.  These could be datasets, videos (mp4, mov, wmv), audo files (mp3, wav) or photographs (tiff or jpeg).  There is a special step on the form to attach these files.  If any one files is over 500 MB in size, it will not submit through the form.  You will need to contact Sarah Bogard at sarah.bogard@coloradocollege.ed or call her at 389-6875 to make alternative arrangements.


If I make one big Word file, my pagination gets thrown off. Can I convert each Word file to a PDF/A and then merge them?

YES! First make sure each separate Word file is converted to a PDF/A (see instructions above if you aren't sure how). Then use the free utility called PDF-SAM. SAM stands for "Split and Merge", so this program allows you to merge multiple PDFs into one. PDF-SAM is located on the library lobby computers and lab computers. You can download it onto your laptop. Here are step-by-step instructions


What about margins?

Standard margins are fine for electronic submission. If you are submitting a print copy, you need to have a 1.5" left margin to accommodate the binding process.


Should the thesis I submit electronically have a title page?

YES!   It is recommended that you submit a cover page as a part of your thesis. The cover page should have the thesis title, your name, the department's name, your graduation date (month and year) as well as the words "Colorado College".

View our sample title page.


Do I have to also submit a print copy for binding?

Some departments may require that you submit a copy in print, which will then be sent to a bindery and eventually be housed in the department. Tutt Library, however, no longer wants to receive print copies of theses, but very much wants you to submit a copy electronically!

Some students wish to have print copies bound for themselves or their parents. All print copies are turned in to the department Office Assistant, accompanied by any money owed.; Make sure you leave a 1.5" left margin to accommodate binding.

If you need to submit a print copy, make sure you carefully read and follow these guidelines


What if I have a problem or question that is not in this FAQ list?

Contact the Digital Innovations Librarian, Sarah Bogard, call 389-6875, or email 

You may have a good relationship with your liaison librarian if you have been working together with him or her on your thesis. Your liaison will also be glad to help.

You may also contact the Research Desk at 389-6662 for assistance.

Collections & Digital Archives Librarian

Sarah Bogard's picture
Sarah Bogard
Tutt Library
Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: