Thesis and Dissertation Format Requirements

Thesis and Dissertation formatting requirements are the same for all students. Guidelines and requirements are available in the Editorial Office's Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations.  Projects in lieu of a thesis must meet departmental deadlines and requirements, which vary from the Graduate School Editorial Office requirements; in turn, project students should contact their academic units for guidance. All students' first steps should include formatting their documents using the formatting templates provided by the Application Support Center (ASC). All Editorial office Deadlines are set for the end of business (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on the posted deadlines date.  

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General Format Requirements

Margins 1” for all pages (top, bottom, left, and right);
Font 12-point Times New Roman or Arial (throughout, including tables and figures)
Alignment left-aligned text throughout (with ragged right-hand margin---do not justify text.)
Page Numbering Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), centered, at the bottom of each page
Page Order title page, copyright page, dedication (if any), acknowledgments,
table of contents, list of tables (if any), list of figures (if any), list of abbreviations (if any),
academic abstract, chapters, appendices (if any), list of references, biographical sketch
Spacing Double-space most text. Indent first lines of paragraphs consistently.
Single-space headings, tables, figures, bulleted-list items, equations, blockquotes,
and appendix matter (with only one blank line space before and after the single-spaced matter).
There should be no more than one blank line space anywhere.
Text Flow Text must be continuous throughout the chapter.
It is best to place all tables and figures at the end of the appropriate chapter.
Avoid inserting them into the text of the chapter, unless you are able to do so 
without leaving blank gaps at the bottom of text pages.
Headings A chapter heading is an example of a major division heading.
All formatting rules for appendices are the same as for chapters,
except that some appendix material is often single-spaced.
  • All subheadings and paragraph headings are in bold. 
  • First-Level Subheadings Are Centered and in Title Case (Like This Sentence).
  • Second-Level Subheadings Are Flush-Left and in Title Case (Like This Sentence).
  • Third-level subheadings are flush-left and in sentence case (like this sentence).
  • Paragraph subheadings are indented and in sentence case.
    Paragraph headings end with a period or colon.
    Start the text on the same line as the paragraph heading.
    (Paragraph headings can also be used with bulleted lists). 
The thesis or dissertation document must be organized into a unified whole and treated as one entire study. There should be only one Abstract, one Table of Contents, and one Reference List for the entire document.  The text must contain an introduction chapter, the main body (including tables and figures), and a summary chapter of conclusions. In general, Chapter 1 will be the introductory chapter, often commonly titled INTRODUCTION, followed by the supporting body chapter(s), and concluded within the final summary chapter, which is generally titled something along the lines of CONCLUSION or FINDINGS.

Example Pages

Title Page
Copyright Page
Acknowledgments Page 
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
Academic Abstract
Block Quote 
Short Bullet List
Long Bullet List
Biographical Sketch