Skip to main content

Tutt Library Research Guides


Thesis Submission Guidelines and Policies: Electronic Thesis FAQs


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 email Cate Guenther to make alternative arrangements to submit your file.


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?

Converting a Word file to a PDF/A only takes a few steps. Follow the instructions in the tab above.


What if I have accompanying files?

You can submit up to 5 accompanying files. These could be datasets, videos (mp4, mov, wmv), audio files (mp3, wav) or photographs (tiff or jpeg).  There is a special step on the form to attach these files. If any single file is over 500 MB in size, it will not submit through the form. You will need to contact Cate Guenther 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". See the "sample title page" tab, above.


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

Tutt Library no longer receives paper theses, but some departments require a paper copy for the department to keep. 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. Other guidelines for print copies are in the tab, above.


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

Contact manager Cate Guenther, 389-6875,, or your liaison librarian. You may also contact the Research Desk at 389-6662 for assistance.

Digital Scholarship and Repository Librarian

Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: