Below is a brief outline for how to file your dissertation.  The following steps for filing your dissertation should be taken in order:

  1. Make a final appointment with UC San Diego’s Graduate Division and file your dissertation by the specified deadlines
  2. Contact Patrick Walls at SDSU to schedule your final approval meeting (which should take place within a couple days after your final appointment with the Graduate Division)
  3. Submit final dissertation to the JDP
  4. Meet with Patrick Walls at SDSU for final approval
  5. Submit dissertation to SDSU Montezuma Publishing

Filing Dissertation at UC San Diego

Upon successful completion of the dissertation defense and once the dissertation is FINALIZED, make a final appointment with the Graduate Division at UC San Diego.  Appointments can be made online using the Graduate Division Calendar at*  Please refer to the site prior to making an appointment as there are specific guidelines to be followed.

*NOTE: Appointments may be made at least one full day in advance, but not more than 60 days in advance, so plan accordingly.

Final appointments will need to be scheduled anytime AFTER the end of Spring quarter at UC San Diego but BEFORE June 30 of that year (see below “Important Deadlines”).  This gives students a 2-week window to complete their final appointments. Note: If you would like to schedule your appointment for the Monday following Spring Quarter, please contact Sara Miceli ( directly to request a walk-in appointment. Be advised that Sara is not able to meet with all students on that Monday so it will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Once you schedule your final appointment, you will receive an email from UC San Diego’s Graduate Division with detailed instructions on how/what to prepare for your final meeting. You can also refer to the Dissertation & Thesis Submission website:

For any questions regarding the final appointment, you can contact the Graduate Academic Affairs Advisor, Sara Miceli (

Important Deadlines

Please note that we follow the deadlines at UC San Diego for filing the dissertation, however students are still required to apply for graduation at SDSU (refer to the Graduation webpage).   Students must be registered for PSY 899 at SDSU when submitting the final copy of the dissertation and will need to apply for graduation at SDSU for the semester in which the final copy will be submitted.  Even though students will apply for summer graduation, they will NOT have to register for any units during the summer term but ONLY IF the following requirements are completed by the deadlines listed below.

Summer Graduation (no registration fees)

  • Last day of UC San Diego Spring Quarter (mid-June)
    • Successful defense of dissertation
    • Committee members and both JDP Co-Directors have signed the JDP Form 5
  • Starting the first day AFTER UC San Diego Spring Quarter ends and no later than June 30
    • Final meeting with the Graduate Division at UC San Diego

If a student does not meet the criteria listed above by the specified dates, they will need to register for either the SDSU Summer or Fall term at their own expense.  See below for more information regarding the two additional options:

Summer Graduation (registration fees required)

Student does not need to reapply for graduation but will be required to register for 1 unit of PSY 899 at SDSU at their own expense.  For SDSU tuition and fees information, visit  Extended deadlines to still graduate during the summer term are as follows:

  • Last day of UC San Diego Summer Quarter (early September)
    • Successful defense of dissertation
    • Committee members and both JDP Co-Directors have signed the  JDP Form 5
    • Final meeting with the Graduate Division at UC San Diego

Fall Graduation (registration fees required)

Student will need to reapply for graduation and pay the $100 application fee again.  They will also be required to register for 3 units of PSY 899 at SDSU at their own expense plus the mandatory student fees.  For SDSU tuition and fees information, visit   Deadlines for Fall graduation are as follows:

  • Last day of UC San Diego Fall Quarter (mid-December)
    • Successful defense of dissertation
    • Committee members and both JDP Co-Directors have signed the JDP Form 5
    • Final meeting with the Graduate Division at UC San Diego

Submitting Dissertation to JDP

AFTER the final appointment with the Graduate Division at UC San Diego, submit the final copy of your dissertation by e-mail to both Program Coordinators, Lynsey Miller ( and Kristin Deveraux (, making sure to copy this email to both the SDSU Co-Director, Dr. Vanessa Malcarne ( and the UC San Diego Co-Director, Dr. Lauren Brookman-Frazee (  Please follow the guidelines listed below when submitting the final dissertation:

  1. The file should be a PDF document.  The title of the file should be Final Dissertation – [First and Last Name].
  2. The subject line of the email should read [Your name] Final Dissertation.
  3. The body of the email should read:

“Attached please find a copy of my final dissertation titled “[Insert Dissertation Title here]”.  It has been approved by [Name of Grad Division Advisor at UC San Diego who approved dissertation].  I understand that my posted graduation date must be after the completion of my pre-doctoral internship.  In order to ensure compliance with this requirement, I have listed the necessary internship information below:

  • [Name and location of internship placement]
  • [Internship start and end dates]

I understand that the SDSU Graduate Division Evaluator will not post my degree without this information and a confirmation email from the SDSU Program Coordinator.”

Once your dissertation has been submitted to the SDSU Program Coordinator, a confirmation email will be sent to Patrick Walls in the Graduate Affairs Office at SDSU.  Please note that Pat will not submit your paperwork to UC San Diego (which is required to graduate) without this confirmation email.  Therefore, it is highly recommended that you submit your final dissertation and internship information at least one business day prior to your meeting with Pat.  If this is not possible, please contact the SDSU Program Coordinator with your proposed meeting date(s) and time(s) with Grad Division and Pat.  At the very least, students should schedule the meetings a few hours apart to allow for any last minute formatting edits and/or to give enough time for the Program Coordinator to send a confirmation email.

Filing Dissertation at SDSU

Contact Patrick Walls in the Graduate Affairs Office (SDSU) to assure all necessary items have been submitted and to make your final appointment. Even though your final appointment with Grad Division MUST take place BY June 30 (to avoid having to register at your own cost), you do not necessarily need to meet with Pat at SDSU before June 30. However, your meeting with Pat should take place within a couple of days after your final appointment with the Graduate Division.

Patrick Wall’s Email Address:

When you meet with Pat, you will need:

  • The original JDP Form 5 signed by all committee members, both graduate advisers, and Sara Miceli at UC San Diego (from the final appointment)
  • A copy of the title page and signature page for Pat to keep
  • An extra copy of the signature page for Montezuma Publishing (preferably an original)
  • A copy of the Survey of Earned Doctorate of the Certificate of Completion that you completed for UC San Diego
  • Your dissertation, either on a flash drive or you can submit it electronically to Montezuma Publishing
  • Confirmation that the JDP received a pdf copy of the dissertation (sent via email by Program Coordinator prior to the meeting)
  • A copy of the Embargo Form, if an embargo is being requested (Montezuma Publishing will publish the dissertation and not communicate with UC San Diego without the form)

Proxy Allowed? If you are located elsewhere on internship, it would be advisable to schedule the meeting when you are in San Diego for your Final Meeting with the Graduate Division.  If you think you will be unable to do this, you may elect to have a proxy attend this meeting for you.  Your proxy will need to contact Pat to schedule a meeting time and they must have all of the documentation required for the meeting.  If you elect for this option, you MUST let the Program Coordinator know as soon as possible.

Pat will then fill out a Clearance Sheet verifying the student was registered for 3 units in PSY 899 during the Spring semester and make a copy of the JDP Form 5 for the student (Pat will keep the original).  After your meeting with Pat, you can walk over to Montezuma Publishing, which is the last step in filing your dissertation.

When submitting your dissertation with Montezuma Publishing, you will need:

  • The Clearance Sheet (which you will get from your meeting with Pat)
  • An extra copy of the signature page
  • A copy of your dissertation (either on a flash drive or emailed beforehand to
  • Processing fee ($45 plus tax) – Credit card accepted

For more information about filing your dissertation with Montezuma Publishing, you can visit their website at

Once this process is complete, Montezuma Publishing will notify Pat that the dissertation has been processed to the library, Pat will obtain the SDSU Dean’s signature on the JDP Form 5 and forward the original to the Graduate Division for the UC San Diego Dean’s signature.

Degrees are only posted once Pat (SDSU) verifies with the Graduate Division (UC San Diego) that all necessary requirements have been fulfilled.  Summer degrees will be conferred in September.

Licensing Boards & Postdoc Hours

It is not possible to have a uniform date of completion appear on the transcripts from both universities.  Additionally, the actual date the degree is conferred may not coincide with the date of internship completion.  For example, if all requirements are completed after deadlines for one quarter, the degree award will technically be conferred much later.  It is suggested, therefore, that students:

  1. Plan to submit the final copy of the dissertation during the last semester of the internship.  It is advantageous to submit it during spring semester, as any summer registration costs are the responsibility of the student.  This means that the dates of completion that appears on transcripts will be much closer together.  In any event, Grad Division will hold the JDP Form 5 until all requirements are completed and typically will not accept the final copy early.
  2. Check with specific state licensing boards to determine which date they accept for counting post-doc hours.  It is likely that most states accept the date of completion of all requirements.  Since there will be more than one, probably the latest one will suffice.
  3. If there is a problem with this, find out if the licensing board will accept a letter from either the program or the SDSU Graduate Division, but keep in mind that this may not be acceptable.

Although licensing may seem far from consideration early in the program, we have some recommendations that may save grief and last minute scrambling.  It is much easier to attend to them while still in the program.  Requirements of psychology boards vary from state to state and sometimes applicants can be tripped up over something that may seem insignificant at the moment.

We recommend students:

  1. Keep a copy of the syllabus for each JDP course taken at both universities.  One board of psychology did not want to accept our assessment sequence because the titles did not contain the word “psychometrics.”  Do not depend on a professor having a specific syllabus years later
  2. Keep an ongoing summary record of practicum hours each year.  Some state licensing boards will require an accurate accounting of hours throughout graduate training.
  3. Download a copy of each graduate catalog (SDSU and UC San Diego) under which the program was entered.  A board of psychology from one state required course descriptions from that specific catalog.
  4. Order several official copies of the transcript after all requirements have been completed.  First, be sure that the Ph.D. award has been posted on the transcript.  SDSU and UC San Diego will send official ones that are sealed.  Most places will consider them official as long as the seal is not broken.  Any postdoctoral or other position will require transcripts as will state boards of psychology.

NOTE:  In California, practice as a psychologist is governed by state law; graduation from the doctoral program in clinical psychology does not by itself qualify a person to practice as a psychologist.  For further information, consult the California Board of Psychology website:

Updated 3/04/2020