Contact the Music Graduate Office

Office Location
East Studio Building 120 (JS 120)
205 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

Mailing Address
1201 E. 3rd Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Hours: 8 am–12 pm, 1–5 pm
Phone: 812-855-1738Phone

E-mail: musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu

musicdgs [at] indiana [dot] edu (Eric Isaacson), Director (on leave for Spring 2015 - interim director Phil Ford)
serbes [at] indiana [dot] edu (Sara Erbes), Advisor
anmiller [at] indiana [dot] edu (Angie Miller), Recorder
musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu (Victoria Wheeler), Secretary
musdoc [at] indiana [dot] edu (Brittany Dye), Doctoral Clerk

More Information

How to Prepare and Submit the Final Document

General information

These guidelines pertain to the following documents:

  • DM Doctoral Final Project (all DM majors except Piano and Composition)
  • DM Doctoral Piano Essay
  • DM Composition Dissertation
  • MM Composition Thesis
  • MME Thesis or Practicum

The word "document" is used throughout this page to refer to any of these.

Different procedures apply for the PhD/DME dissertation.

All students should submit an application for graduation no later than the beginning of the semester in which you plan to graduate. Click here for dates and information.

When to Submit

In order to graduate in a given semester, the final copy of the document must be submitted to the Music Graduate Office by the last day of classes for the semester (or of the summer term). Documents are checked by the music graduate office for adherence to the formatting checklist and will be returned for corrections. Students whose documents do not pass this inspection by the deadline will not be able to graduate in that term. You would be responsible for any resulting tuition and fees.

The final copy of the Doctoral Final Project (all DM students except those in Piano and Composition) is submitted after the public presentation has been passed and any final changes have been approved by the committee.

The final copy of the Doctoral Piano Essay is submitted after it has been approved by the research committee. 

The final copy of the DM Composition Dissertation is submitted after is has been been approved by the Research Committee and any final corrections have been made.

The final copy of the MM Composition Thesis is submitted after it has been approved by the student's teacher.

The final copy of the MME Thesis or Practicum is submitted after the defense has been passed and any final changes have been approved by the department.

Submission Options

Beginning January 2012, you have the option of submitting the final copy of your document either electronically or in a bound paper format. Electronically submitted documents are hosted in the IUScholarWorks repository (ordinarily in PDF format). Bound paper copies are kept on the shelves of the Cook Music Library. All documents are cataloged in IUCAT regardless of whether they are submitted electronically or in bound paper form.

We expect the majority of students will choose electronic submission of their documents. Electronic submission has several advantages: it is cheaper because you do not pay for paper and binding; it is faster because you do not have to wait for a bindery to bind your project and deliver it; and it makes your document available to a much wider audience, since it is provided a permanent URL that can be found by Web search engines, and is thus accessible world-wide.

Documents submitted in bound paper format are available only to patrons of the music library and via interlibrary loan. There may be reasons to prefer bound paper copy submission, however. It provides a product that is more traditional in appearance. It may also be preferred by students who intend to pursue commercial publication of their document and who are concerned that potential publishers may be reluctant to publish a version of something that is already freely available via the Web. The student bears the cost of printing and binding, and will need to consider the costs of delivery to a bindery, how long it will take the bindery to complete the job, and the amount of time necessary for delivery of the bound copies to the Music Graduate Office. These are important considerations since the Music Graduate Office must receive the bound documents before the degree can be posted. Students who submit their document electronically may of course arrange to have one or more personal copies bound.

Electronic Submission

Using this method, you submit the final copy of the document electronically to the Music Graduate Office, which transmits the document to IUScholarWorks repository. 

In documents submitted electronically, the signature page should NOT be signed by the research committee/teacher. 

Preparing the manuscript for submission

This section describes the preparation of a traditional document for electronic submission. If your project involves a website, CD-ROM, or other format that requires submission of multiple files, please see the next section.

Before you submit your document, check carefully to ensure that it complies with the appropriate style guidelines:

This will be checked after you submit it and you will be required to reformat and resubmit the document if it is not correct. If you submit the document too close to the semester deadline and it is returned because it does not comply with these guidelines, it could delay your graduation until the following semester. You would be responsible for any resulting tuition and fees.

Documents must be submitted in a special PDF format called PDF/A, an ISO-standard format designed for the long-term preservation of digital documents. Information on creating PDF/A documents from some common platforms is provided below. If you are creating your document using different software, it is your responsibility to determine how to save your document in PDF/A format.

You must have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat installed on the computer on which you complete this conversion. You can download the most recent version from IUware either here (for Windows) or here (for Mac).

Microsoft Word on Windows

  • Open the Word File
  • Click on the Acrobat tab from the top menu bar
  • Click on Preferences
  • Check the box next to the setting: Create PDF/A-1a:2005 compliant file
  • Click OK
  • To Save, go to File, Save as PDF. Use the filename convention lastname_firstname_year.pdf (note the location of the file when you save it). 
  • Verify that your file is PDF/A compliant (see below)

Macintosh (all applications)

  • From the File menu, select Print...
  • Click the PDF button and select Save as Adobe PDF
  • In the popup window, next to Adobe PDF Settings, select "PDF/A-1b:2005 (RGB)"
  • Click Continue.
  • When saving the document, use the filename convention lastname_firstname_year.pdf (note the location of the file when you save it).
  • Verify that your file is PDF/A compliant (see below)

Verify that the file saved properly in PDF/A format

  1. Open the PDF/A file in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Look to see if a blue banner appears across the top, reading: "The file you have opened complies with PDF/A standard and has been opened read-only to prevent modification." If not, then the file does not comform to PDF/A. Even if the blue banner appears, however, you need to complete the following steps. 
  2. On the small left sidebar, click on the lowest icon. It should open a tab called "Standards." 
  3. Underneath the "Conformance" heading, click, "Verify Conformance." If the document passes verification, the status will change to "verification succeeded" (in blue) and your file is ready to go. Proceed to the section below titled "Submitting your Document."
  4. If verification fails, click on "Open Preflight" at the bottom of the "Standards" tab.
  5. Once Preflight opens, you will need to know which type of PDF/A you are verifying. You can find the specific type in the "Standards" tab listed just under "Conformance." In Preflight, under the PDF/A Compliance heading, you'll want to select the option "Verify compliance with PDF/A-1b or PDF/A-1a", depending on what type of file it is. Click "Analyze." 
  6. When the analysis comes back, it will show you exactly what is keeping your file from achieving PDF/A compliance. Click the plus signs next to problems to find specific instances of the problem. You can double click on an error and it should take you to its location in the document, outlined in red.

If the file does not verify as PDF/A-compliant, try the Alternate Method described below, then return to this step.

Alternate Method

In some cases (generally when the document includes characters from other fonts, for instance when musical images have been imported from music software or special extended characters have been used) the methods listed above will not produce a PDF/A-compliant file. 

  1. Open the PDF file in Acrobat X. Click Save As, go to More Options, and choose to save it as a PostScript file.
  2. Open Acrobat Distiller. Make sure that at the "default settings" menu, PDF/A-1b: 2005 (RGB) is selected. Open the PostScript file.
  3. It should convert your file and resave it automatically. Check the summary in the dialogue box below. If it says it passes compliance, try opening it and going through the verification process again (see above).
Non-traditional Final Project Formats

Final projects that involve websites or other multi-file formats will be published in IUScholarWorks as a single compressed file, using the ZIP format. It will not be possible for others to browse the project website directly; rather, users will need to first download the file and decompress it to a local computer. Students who want their final project publicly accessble as a live website will need to find a suitable hosting service. Any PDF files included in the ZIP file must conform to the PDF/A standards as described above.

Such projects should be entirely self-contained, that is, they should not depend on data that resides outside the contents of the ZIP file (except that references to online resources that are not part of your own research, such as other web sites, dissertations, articles available on JStor, and so on may link to those resources). Web sites should not depend on server-side scripts, external databases, etc. All embedded files should use standard file formats that can be read across standard computer platforms. All files should reside within a single folder or folder hierarchy. For web sites, all links should be relative.

To create your ZIP file for uploading:

Locate the folder on your computer that contains your files. Change the name of the file to this format: lastname_firstname_year.

Create a compressed version of this folder. Be sure to create a file with the .zip extension.

Submit the resulting compressed folder as described in the following step.

Submitting your Document

1. Click on this link to get to the online electronic submission form. 

Do not submit your document until you have first confirmed that you have followed all of the style guidelines.

2. Complete the information requested on the form and upload your document file (in PDF/A format for standard documents, as a ZIP file for multiple-file submissions) using the form.

3. Submit the online form.

4. The Doctoral Clerk will email you to confirm that the file was received and that it complies with the formatting guidelines. If there are problems with the file, you will be informed and asked to resubmit.

5. The Doctoral Clerk will give final approval of the formatting and will upload the file to IU ScholarWorks.

These five steps must be completed by the last day of the semester (or JSoM summer session) in which you plan to graduate.

Bound Paper Submission

Using this method, you submit the appropriate number of bound printed copies of your document (three copies for all students other than Composition). Doctoral Final Projects that include a CD-ROM component would include both a printed copy of the written component and the CD-ROM, which the bindery will be able to incorperate into the bound document. 

In documents submitted this way, the signature page must be printed on the same kind of paper on which the document is submitted and should be signed by the appropriate members of the faculty.

For your convenience, two Indiana-based binderies are listed below, but you are free to use any bindery you wish. The Music Graduate Office must receive the actual bound document by the last day of final exams for you to graduate. If the copies are not submitted on time, it will delay your graduation until the following semester. You would be responsible for any resulting tuition and fees.

Binding Details
  • You must use a black binding.
  • The binding must use the oversewn method. Velo binding available from some photocopying businesses is not acceptable.
  • Ask the bindery to put the final project or piano essay title and your full name on the front cover and the title and your last name on the spine of the bound copies. 
Required Copies
Copy Format Submit to Distribution
First Copy Bound, twenty-pound (or twenty four-pound), 100% cotton, watermarked bond paper Music Graduate Office Will be sent by Music Graduate Office to the Music Library
Second Copy Bound, twenty-pound (or twenty four-pound), 100% cotton, watermarked bond paper Music Graduate Office Will be sent by Music Graduate Office to the Music Library
Third Copy (*1) Bound, regular paper Music Graduate Office Will be sent by Music Graduate Office to the Research Director
Additional copies(*2) Bound, regular paper ---- Sent by bindery to student

(*1) Composition majors do not submit the third copy.

(*2) You may also order additional copies for personal use.

National Library Binding Co.

55 South State Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46201
(317) 636-5606

Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.

Thesis On Demand

Be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions:

Cost is based on the number of pages and other factors. For a quote, complete the order form far enough to see a projection of the cost, or call the HF Group for more information. 1-800-334-3628.

IU Order form: