Library:Circle/Uploading Electronic Creative Arts Theses and Dissertations

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IMPORTANT! Have you submitted your completed thesis forms to the thesis administration office for your campus? If not, go to the Final Dissertation and Thesis Submission webpage for UBC Vancouver or the Post-Defence Submission Page for UBC Okanagan.

If you have already submitted your completed thesis forms to the thesis administration office for your campus, proceed with the next steps.


The following guide will lead you through each step of uploading a Creative Arts thesis or dissertation submission to cIRcle. The following process is only applicable to MFA and MMus students. Please note, the thesis administration offices recommend you submit your thesis/dissertation a minimum of 3-5 business days before any deadline.


Your Electronic Creative Arts Thesis/Dissertation (CAT) Submission Checklist

Ensure your completed forms have been submitted to the thesis administration office for your campus (see above)
Register for a cIRcle Login
Contact (UBC-V) OR (UBC-O) to activate your account
Submit your CAT to cIRcle by following the steps in this guide

Submission Overview

The process for approving and uploading Creative Arts theses and dissertations is coordinated between the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies/College of Graduate Studies and cIRcle. The following image depicts a simplified overview of what steps are handled by which unit. A useful distinction to make is that the thesis administration office activates your cIRcle account for deposit and approves your thesis submission, whereas cIRcle is responsible for all the steps for archiving your thesis after it has been approved.

A good rule of thumb for troubleshooting is to contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies/College of Graduate Studies for everything until your item is archived. If you have issues or questions once you have received your notification that your thesis has been archived, contact cIRcle.

You may also find the answer to a number of your questions on the cIRcle FAQ page.

Screenshot of a workflow overview for the thesis submission steps for activating accounts and thesis approval performed by the thesis administration office and metadata review and preservation steps performed by cIRcle after a thesis has been approved.

Register for a cIRcle Login

Once you have submitted your thesis forms, you can register for your cIRcle login. On the cIRcle homepage, there are three buttons under the search bar. Under the heading labelled "Registration", select the "Register" button.

From the "Register" menu, enter your email address in the box provided. Once you have entered your email address select the "Register" button below the entry box to submit your registration request.

Immediately login to your email account to locate the registration confirmation email from cIRcle and complete the registration process. If you delay this step too long, you may receive an 'Invalid token' error message. If this occurs, please start the login registration process again from the beginning.

Request account activation

Once you have registered for your cIRcle login and set your password, email the thesis administration office for your Campus. Include your name and email address in the body of the email and request that your account be activated. Your email address needs to be the same email address that you entered in cIRcle. For UBC-V, contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) at For UBC Okanagan, contact the College of Graduate Studies .

Have you received your confirmation email that your account has been activated?

  • Yes! Submit your thesis to the Electronic Theses and Dissertations in Creative Arts, 2017+ (CWL ACCESS) collection following the steps in this guide.
  • No! First, check to make sure that you have followed all the required steps. Next, confirm that you are submitting a minimum of 3-5 business days before any deadline. A delay in submitting your forms or requesting account activation may result in a delay in a response from the thesis administration office. DO NOT submit your thesis to the Graduate non-thesis collection. If you have followed all the recommendations and still have not received your confirmation email, please contact the thesis administration office for your campus.


Tip! If you login to cIRcle and only have access to submit to the "Graduate Non-Thesis" collection, your account has not yet been activated. Please ensure you have completed all required registration steps and wait for your confirmation email.


Log In to Your Account

On the cIRcle homepage, navigate to the "Submit Content" section under the main menu on the banner. Select the "Login" button.

cIRcle home page with red arrow pointing to Login button

Choose a Login Method

On the login page, you will be prompted to choose a login method. Select the "cIRcle Login" button .


IMPORTANT! Use your cIRcle Login account. Do not use your CWL login account.

Login using your cIRcle login

Start Your Submission

After logging in, you will have access to a navigation menu on the left sidebar. Under the "My Account" heading, select the "Submissions" link.

Start your submission

From the Submissions landing page, select the "Start a New Submission" link.

Start Submission

Select a Collection

\On the Item Submission page under the "Select a collection" header, use the drop down menu to select the "Electronic Theses and Dissertations in Creative Arts, 2017+ (CWL Access)" collection. Do NOT submit to the "Graduate Research [non-thesis]" collection.

Select the "Next" button to continue.

Select CATs collection

Tip Tip! DO NOT submit your thesis to the Graduate Non-thesis collection. Doing so will result in a delay with your submission. You need to receive authorization from your thesis administration office before you can submit to the Creatives Arts Theses and Dissertations 2017+ (CWL access)collection. Be sure to review the instructions for thesis submissions for your campus carefully to avoid uneccessary delays.

Describe Item

There are two stages to describing your thesis or dissertation. In the first stage, you will need to define the author, title, language, and abstract. In the second stage, you will need to select your degree level, program, campus, and graduation date. This descriptive information (i.e. metadata) must match the information on the title and secondary pages of your thesis exactly.

Tip Tip! To save your unfinished submission once you've started, select the "Save & Exit" button followed by the "Save it, I'll work on it later" link to confirm. Look for this option throughout the submission process.

Description Stage 1

Fill in all of the required fields. You will be prompted to complete these fields before continuing the submission process. When you have finished, select "Next" to continue.

If there are special characters such as diacritics, symbols, etc. in your title or abstract, you can enter them in cIRcle by following the Entering Special Characters instructions found at the bottom of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies cIRcle Instructions webpage. Note: It may not be possible to render certain symbols correctly in the cIRcle abstract field. Readers can download the PDF of your thesis to read the correct abstract.

Item Submission screen of the thesis submission process with TIP! highlighting the prompt to leave "Text" default unless depositing audiovisual material.

Tip Tip! Type: This field is pre-selected as "Text" to describe the thesis/dissertation as a whole. Please do not change or add to this section unless your thesis is primarily non-textual (e.g. a website or videorecording).

Description Stage 2

Use the drop-down boxes to select the applicable information in all of the required fields. You will be prompted to complete these fields before continuing the submission process. When you have finished, select "Next" to continue.


Tip! Your "Graduation Date" is the month in which your degree will formally be conferred by Senate. For UBC-V students it will be May or November, and for UBC-O students it will be February, May, September, or November. It might not be the same as the month in which you will be attending Congregation (convocation ceremonies), as Congregation is only held in May and November for UBC-V, or June for UBC-O.


File Format Guidelines

All theses submitted to cIRcle for archiving must be delivered to cIRcle in digital format. DVDs and CDs that require digital transcoding (conversion to an acceptable format) will not be accepted. Printed documents will not be accepted.

Before you start, be sure to view the cIRcle File Format Guidelines for information on file size and acceptable file formats.

Rename Your Thesis and Supplementary Files

A single document comprised of the thesis title page and thesis abstract must accompany all multimedia theses. Before uploading your thesis file, make sure that you have saved the file name using all lower case and in the format shown directly below:

  • ubc_gradyear_gradmonth_lastname_firstname.pdf
  • E.g.: ubc_2022_may_houdini_harry.pdf

All digital files submitted to cIRcle should follow the cIRcle naming conventions - please ensure that each file name is unique:

  • Text:
    • ubc_YYYY_gradmonth_lastname_firstname.pdf
      • Ex: ubc_2022_september_shelly_mary.pdf
    • Should your thesis have additional documents, such as a concert programme, script, etc., you may choose to include a digital copy (.pdf) of those documents. Ensure the PDF file is compatible with Adobe Acrobat version 5 and is NOT in "secured" format or password-protected. cIRcle does not accept secured or password-protected PDFs due to access and preservation concerns. It is also recommended that you do NOT save your PDF using Fast Web View. A scan to PDF is not acceptable.
    • Please use the following naming style:
      • ubc_gradyear_gradmonth_lastname_firstname_programme.pdf
      • ubc_gradyear_gradmonth_lastname_firstname_script.pdf
  • Multimedia files: There could be some variance depending on the type & number of multimedia files you submit. Please name your files clearly, with the following naming style as a guide:
    • ubc_YYYY_gradmonth_lastname_firstname_tracknumber.fileextension
      • Ex: ubc_2022_september_shelley_mary_track07.mp3

Upload your Thesis and Supplemental Files

Select the "Browse" button and locate the file on your computer. Then, select "Upload". Verify that you have uploaded the correct file.

When uploading multiple files in a series, like tracks 1 through 7 on one audio disc, please upload them in reverse order. Each uploaded file pushes down the previous one in your document list. Uploading in reverse order will ensure that they display in chronological order.

The length of time required to upload a file will depend on its size and the speed of your connection. At its quickest, uploading should only take a few moments. If you have trouble uploading your file, contact the cIRcle Office at:

When you have finished, select "Next" to continue.


Tip! Want to include an embargo date? If you want to request a delay in publication of your thesis, please follow the instructions on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies web site OR the College of Graduate Studies before you submit the final version of your thesis to cIRcle.

Upload your thesis file


Tip! If you uploaded the wrong file, select the file you want to remove under "Files Uploaded" then select "Remove selected files". Repeat the upload file steps to upload the correct file.

Review Your Submission

Under each of the "Describe Item" sections, verify that the information entered into all of the metadata fields is correct. Select "Next" if there are no changes.

Review your submission


Tip! If you need to change the metadata in one of the fields, select a "Correct one of these" buttons. This will allow you to return to the relevant section to make changes. Be sure to select "Next" after making any correction(s) to ensure the changes have been saved. To navigate through the Item submission sequence, simply use the tabs labelled, "Describe", "Upload", "Duplicate Check", etc. that appear at the top of the Item submission page.

Terms of Access

Select "Next" after reading the terms of access for your thesis submission. Your thesis will be made accessible via the web, but only to those with a CWL login.

Creative commons license

Complete the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License

This is the final step in the submission process. The distribution license permits cIRcle to make your work available via the Web but you, as the author/creator, retain the copyright. Once you have read the license agreement, check the box beside the statement, "I Agree". Then, click on the "Complete submission" button.

CIRcle License 3.0.png

Thesis Approval

Congratulations! You have now completed your cIRcle electronic creative arts thesis/dissertation submission! What next?

Your submission is complete

Monitor your email for notifications as your thesis goes through the following review steps over the next 5-7 business days:'

  1. The thesis administration office has to review and approve your submission. This may take up to 2-3 business days. If approved, you will receive an email notification. Your thesis has not been approved until you receive this email.
  2. During the review process, the thesis administration office may require you to make changes. Check your email frequently and respond quickly to any edit requests.
  3. Once the thesis office approves your submission, it is reviewed by Library Staff to ensure everything has been entered correctly. If any errors are identified at this stage, you may be asked to edit and resubmit. If there are no errors, the thesis is approved for archiving in cIRcle. 'This final review process takes between 3-5 business days.
  4. You will receive an email notification with the URL for your thesis once it has been archived. Please note that your thesis will not be accessible via this URL. Instead, your thesis will be made accessible via the web only to those with a CWL login via Electronic Theses and Dissertations in Creative Arts, 2017+.


IMPORTANT! Take note of the timeline for the review and approval process. If approved you will receive an email notification. Your thesis has not been approved until you receive this email. This process can take up to 7 business days or longer if you have submitted too close to your deadline.

If you have not received a confirmation email in the expected timeline, contact the thesis administration office for your campus: or (If, during the review process, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requires you to make changes to your thesis, you will be emailed accordingly).