Preliminary Review

What to Expect

Each thesis, project report, or dissertation must meet University format guidelines. During the preliminary review, candidates will submit a draft of the document to the Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer who will review the format and suggest revisions. Some expectations include:

  • We review format, not content. Thesis/Dissertation Reviewers will not review or correct subject content, research quality, punctuation, or grammar. A list of editors for hire, at the Candidate's personal expense, may be provided upon request.
  • We meet you face-to-face. The Candidate must meet with the Reviewer in person for at least the first preliminary review meeting. This allows for better efficiency in communication. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • We work directly with your document. If available, the Candidate should bring a laptop/notebook computer to their preliminary review meeting so that the Candidate and their Reviewer may work directly with the document. Otherwise, a USB flash drive with the thesis/dissertation file or a manuscript hardcopy will suffice.
  • We review your formatted document. The thesis, project report, or dissertation should already be formatted to University specifications prior to meeting with the Reviewer for preliminary review. The Reviewer only checks the formatting, but does not format the document for the Candidate. A list of editors for hire, at the Candidate's personal expense, may be provided upon request.
  • We value consistency above all else. Candidates are encouraged to notify their Reviewer of any tweaks to format or style that the Committee has requested. With the exception of a few elements of the manuscript, the guidelines are flexible within reason. 

Unless otherwise directed by their Committee, the Candidate need not have obtained Committee approval on the thesis or dissertation (e.g., signatures on the GS-13) in order to submit the document for preliminary review. We strongly recommend that students meet with a Reviewer well in advance of the preliminary review deadline. There is no limit to how often a Candidate consults with a Reviewer; however, Candidates are advised to schedule appointments well in advance as Reviewers' schedules fill quickly near the end of the term.

NEW! Reviewers' Schedules

Effective Fall 2018, Candidates will schedule a preliminary review appointment with any available Reviewer. Reviewers are no longer assigned to specific colleges or departments. 

Appointments with Reviewers will be available according to this schedule:

  • Weeks 7–15 (Oct. 1–Nov. 26): By appointment only. Candidates are advised to schedule 30-minute appointments well in advance of the preliminary review deadline on November 16 and PDF upload on November 26.
  • Week 15 & Finals Week (Nov. 27–Dec. 7): 15-minute drop-in consultations only. Reviewers will be available to help with last-minute troubleshooting and formatting issues.

If are not in the Los Angeles area or are otherwise not able to come to campus, please schedule an appointment anyway and include a note in the Special Note section that you would like to email your manuscript to the reviewer. A reviewer will email you to request your manuscript.

Please keep in mind that most Thesis/Dissertation Reviewers are also graduate students. They have a designated number of hours that they work each week, and as such, are not available on demand or at the last minute. Plan accordingly.