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 states:

It is essential that students follow the guidelines outlined in the style guide as it represents the formatting standards for all thesis and dissertation projects published by the college. As noted in the style manual, we accept the discipline’s preferred style for citations and references, and use of footnotes. All other matters such as pagination, order of parts of the thesis, use and formatting of headings, and similar formatting issues are established by the College’s style guide.

Although the majority of thesis projects are well crafted, we do come upon unfortunate cases where there are pervasive errors in spelling, grammar, inconsistencies and errors in citations and referencing, and errors in formatting. We encounter documents like these, we terminate the review, withdraw the thesis from the database, and ask that the student and committee revise and submit and acceptable manuscript.

These resources are available online:

Style Guide:

Formatting Template:

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)