Formatting Requirements


The single copy submitted after the defense for Graduate School review should be single sided on ordinary 8.5x11 paper. This copy will be reviewed and marked before being returned to you for revision (if revisions are needed). The exception to paper size: Music Composition theses may include composition-sized paper.

All final copies submitted after you receive approval from the Graduate School for binding and processing. All final copies must be free of streaks and smudges, must be correctly aligned on each page, and must be single sided.


The left margin must be at least 1.25 inches to allow for binding. The top, bottom, and right margins must be at least 1 inch. Text, tables, and figures may not go beyond these margins, with the exception of the page numbers, which usually appear within the margin allowance.

Foldout pages (materials larger than 8 ½" x 11") may be included in the manuscript. Caution should be used in folding these pages because the document is trimmed during the binding process. A fold in the right-hand side should be 1.5" from the edge.

A page may not begin or end with only one line of a paragraph, header, figure or table caption. At least two lines should be at the end of a page or the beginning of a new page. Adherence to this widow and orphan rule may create a bottom margin that is slightly larger than 1 inch, which is fine.


Use a reasonably sized font (11 or 12 point) and a "serif" font face (Times New Roman, for example). Text must be black; color may be used in figures if the addition of color results in better readability of the figure. Mathematical variables should be in italics, and please be sure subscripts and superscripts are at least 9 point font. Most style guides include information on the proper use of italics, bold, and underlined fonts; be sure to follow those guidelines and be consistent in your use of these special formats.


The text throughout the body of the manuscript must be double-spaced. Spacing between paragraphs, figures, tables, images, etc. may also be double or wider if desired. Be consistent in your use of spacing.

Exceptions to Double Spacing: Single spacing should be used only for special purposes such as blocked inset quotations, footnotes, and within figures or tables of five lines or more. You may choose to either double space bibliographic entries OR single space each entry with a space between entries.


Paragraphs must be indented consistently; setting tabs is highly recommended. Footnotes may be indented if indicated in the chosen style guide, and if so should be indented consistently, usually in the same manner as the paragraphs. Bibliographic entries should begin at the left margin. Lines after the first one for bibliographic references should be indented consistent with the paragraph indentation.

Title/Heading Formatting

Headers for chapters (or major sections if chapters are not used) should begin on a new page, and should be bold, centered, and "Title Case."

Major Heading (Chapter) Bold, Centered, Title Case (Required)

The table of contents must include at least the major section titles.

If the style guide being used does not provide guidelines on header format, the Graduate School suggests the following header styles for sections:

First Sub-Heading Bold, Left Justified, Title Case (suggested)

Second sub-heading left justified italic sentence case. (suggested)

Tables, Figures, Images, and Graphics

Illustrations and photographic materials may be included in the manuscript. Graphics must be produced in high quality and be clear and legible. Color images and graphics are allowed where the color helps in readability.

The preference of the Graduate School is to include these objects in the text near where they are referenced for the first time, but if your disciplinary style guide requires them to be placed elsewhere (for example, one to a page at the end of the text or in appendices), that is fine.

If you are using an image or graphic that is the property of another, you must seek permission from the original author to reprint the item in your document. Acknowledgment of this permission should be included on your copyright page.

In order to fit large images, graphics, tables or figures on a paper, it may be necessary to place them broadside (landscape) on the paper, rotated so that the top of the item is on the left, i.e., the top is toward the binding. The margins for these pages must conform to the margin requirements. Large figures may be reduced if needed. The page number should be typed in the appropriate location after the rotation and/or reduction.

Page Numbering

The pages listed below are counted as pages i, ii, and iii. but no page numbers are printed on these pages. Please be sure these pages conform exactly to the templates provided.

    1. Title page
    2. Approval page
    3. Copyright page

The pages listed below are numbered in lower-case Roman numerals typed on each page centered in the bottom margin. Numbering runs consecutively from the title page to the last page before the introduction. All Roman numerals should be positioned in the center of the page within the bottom margin. These pages also require very specific formatting. Be sure to follow the templates provided.

       iv.   Abstract (no more than 2 pages)
        v.   Acknowledgments (optional)
       vi.   Dedication (optional)
      vii.   Table of contents
    viii.    List of Tables (optional)
      ix.    List of Figures (optional)
       x.    Foreword (required if nonstandard organization is used)

Starting with the first page of the main body, all subsequent pages (including back matter) are numbered with Arabic numerals on each page. The first page of the text (typically the introduction) begins with number one (1), and the numbering runs consecutively to the end of the manuscript. The Vita receives the last page number. All page numbers for these pages should be positioned either at the top right corner or at the bottom in the center of the page.

Page numbers may be within the 1-inch margin, provided they are at least half an inch from the edge of the page.

Footnotes and Endnotes

If you choose to use footnotes or endnotes for citations or other additional information, be sure to reference and format them consistently throughout the manuscript. Footnotes should be single spaced, and if a footnote is very long, it should be broken within a sentence and carried over to the next page. Most word processors will do this automatically. Follow your disciplinary style guide on indentation for footnotes and endnotes.