Thesis/Dissertation/Project Formatting

Thesis and Dissertation Formatting

Remember to review the Thesis Formatting Handbook (PDF).

We now offer one-on-one thesis formatting review sessions. These sessions are strictly limited to one-half hour. Please note that these sessions are primarily intended for those who are planning on graduating in the current semester; as such, your thesis should be in near final draft form.

Important information about single-chapter manuscript style theses:

Some master's students have written a single journal article that is the entire basis for their thesis. When this happens, it is customary to insert that article in toto as a chapter in the thesis. In this case, the thesis must still have a General Introduction and General Conclusion. This general introduction should expound on the reason for undertaking the research, any obstacles encountered (e.g. this experiment failed, I had to change the research direction entirely, methods, equipment, etc.), anything that was unexpectedly helpful, anything in the literature that is relevant to the big picture but not applicable to the journal article). The general conclusion should expound on the future directions and implications of the research. In short, please include anything that you wish future students or researchers to know that wouldn't necessarily be appropriate for the article that was submitted or prepared for submission to a journal.

Project Formatting

Aside from title page requirements, there are no specific formatting requirements for students who are completing a project instead of a thesis.  For information about these requirements, navigate to this page and click the "I am pursuing a Master's with Project" option.

Important information

Defense and Deadlines

The Graduate School does not set defense deadlines; Consult with your department and dean's offices for more information.

Registration requirement during and after your defense

Per catalog policy, you must be in 3 graduate-level credits in the semester that you attempt to defend your thesis or project. Upon successfully passing your defense, you are eligible to register for 1 graduate-level credit in subsequent semesters, if needed (contingent upon maintaining the 6-credits per academic year continuing enrollment requirement). The deadlines by which you need to successfully defend in order to be eligible for enrolling in one (1) graduate-level credit have recently changed, however. Previously, you were required to defend before the last day of finals in a given semester in order to be eligible to enroll in 1 credit the following semester. (For example, if the spring semester starts on January 16th, you have to successfully pass your defense by 5 pm the day before in order to be eligible to register in only 1 credit for spring.)

Outside examiner deadlines (Ph.D. students only) 

Outside examiners for Ph.D. comps and defenses must request an outside examiner at least two weeks prior to the exam, or 3 weeks if you are taking your oral comps or defending in the summer term.

Instructions for ProQuest 

  • Complete the Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) Submittal Process:
    Log into the ProQuest ETD Administrator website and create an account.
  • Navigate through the checklist and answer all questions, etc.
  • Submit your thesis/dissertation as a .pdf copy with embedded fonts
  • A hard copy of your work for archiving at the Rasmuson Library is no longer required; however, your department might still ask you for one, so please check with them. If you choose to order printed and bound copies, you can either order them from Proquest at the time of submission, or you can send them to another business for printing/binding. Payment for Proquest copies is via credit card.

After you are notified of the corrections required by the Graduate School, you will need to submit (via ETD) the final, corrected version of your thesis/dissertation (.pdf). Once submitted, we review it to ensure the requested corrections have been made and submit it for publication.