Graduate Thesis Formatting

Graduate students should use the Microsoft Word template linked to below, which has been designed for thesis and dissertation projects.

The Dean of the Graduate College has stated that heretofore, projects submitted to the Graduate College have contained significant formatting errors and inconsistencies between tables of contents, figures, and tables. As you will see, the template has formatting features for each level heading, regular text, block quotations, table and figure headings, table and figure descriptions, and references. The revised style guide illustrates how to use the template. The Graduate College hopes that the new template will make the task of formatting easier.

These resources are available online:


Style Guide:

Also, it is important for both the graduate student and faculty members serving a thesis/dissertation committee to appreciate the following passage, which has been added to the Graduate Catalog. Those serving a thesis/dissertation committee are responsible for ensuring that the work students submit represent the highest quality of scholarship and written expression. The Graduate College expects that thesis and dissertation projects are virtually error free regarding spelling, grammar, citation of resources, and presentation of empirical and creative work. Submissions with many errors will be rejected and not reviewed until presented in an appropriate form.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Thesis/Dissertation Committee

The roles and responsibilities of the faculty serving on a student’s thesis/dissertation committee are manifold. In essence, the members of the committee help the student demonstrate the ability to plan and execute a scholarly and creative project while developing an expertise within the discipline. To this end, the members of the committee advise the student to ensure he or she has identified a project that will sufficiently challenge his or her skills, make use of appropriate disciplinary research and creative methods, and be completed using available resources in a timely manner. The members of the committee also ensure the highest quality of the published thesis/dissertation by requiring the student to submit a final thesis/dissertation that conforms to the preferred editorial guidelines of the discipline and the Graduate College. As such, the signature page included in the thesis/dissertation verifies that the faculty have read with care the thesis/dissertation to ensure the student’s work is without error in the form, substance, and expression of the student’s work. The members of the committee sign this page once the student has prepared a final draft of the approved thesis and affirm that the work meets the editorial standards  of the Graduate College. (Graduate Catalog, p. 71)