II. Document Setup and Format Requirements

A starter template set up with the following guidelines may be downloaded in the appendix.


a. Margins

To preserve the legibility throughout the process of binding and/or photocopying, margins should be set as follows for all (Letter size) pages:

  • Left (binding edge): 1.5 inches
  • Top: 1 inch
  • Bottom: 1 inch
  • Right: 1 inch
  • ALL material, including figures, headers/footers, footnotes/endnotes, and full-page images should be within the margins.
  • Exception: Page numbers. Page numbers must be at least 3/4" from the edge of the page. If it looks too crowded at the bottom of the page for aesthetic purposes, the bottom margin of the main text can be moved up, as long as it is at least 1 inch.


b. Fonts

    • Fonts should be 12-point in size and should be roughly comparable in appearance to Times New Roman.
    • Font size should remain consistent and easily legible throughout the text.
    • Fonts for footnotes, figure captions, table data, references, and appendix can differ from the main text, as appropriate and with consistent application.
    • Italicized font may be used for non-English words and quotations.


    c. Line Spacing

    • The manuscript must be consistently double-spaced throughout the front matter and main text, including the abstract, the dedication, the acknowledgements, and the table of contents.
    • Single-spacing should be used for footnotes, endnotes, references, lengthy quotations, lists, figures, table captions, and appendices. Use double-spacing between list entries unless otherwise specified.


    d. Text Alignment

    • The text of the thesis/dissertation should be left-aligned. Do not fully justify or right-align text.
    • Headings may be left-aligned or centered. Do not fully justify or right-align headings.


    e. Document Sections

    • The main text must be divided into chapters, and the front and back matter must be divided into chapter equivalents and formatted as such. Examples of chapter equivalents include abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, and appendices.
    • All chapters and chapter equivalents must begin on a new page. (See link for help adding page breaks in Microsoft Word).
    • Subsections within chapters or chapter equivalents should not begin on a new page. If they fall toward the bottom of a page, they should have at least two lines of text following it.


    f. Sequence & Pagination

    See table below for pagination matrix.

      • Page numbers must be displayed on all pages except the title page, the signature page, and the copyright page.
      • All preliminary pages must be consecutively displayed with lower case Roman numerals (i.e., i, ii, iii, etc.), except for the title page, which is counted as page i, but not displayed.
      • All main text and back matter pages must be consecutively numbered with Arabic numerals (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.); back matter page numbers should continue from the main text. (If you are having difficulties separating Roman numerals with Arabic numerals in the same document, see link on how to make section breaks before formatting your page numbers.)
      • The first page of the main text must be numbered as page 1.
      • Page numbers must appear in the same location on all pages, even in pages with full page tables or figures.
      Sequence Pagination
      Title Page Count / Do Not Display
      Approval Page Do not count / Do Not Display
      Copyright Page Do not count / Do Not Display
      Preliminary Pages Lower Case Roman Numerals
        Acknowledgements (optional) Count / Display
        Abstract Count / Display
        Preface (optional) Count / Display
        Table of Contents Count / Display
        List of Tables (if 5 or more) Count / Display
        List of Figures (if 5 or more) Count / Display
        List of Symbols and/or Abbreviations Count / Display
      Text Arabic Numbers
        Body of Dissertation Count / Display
        Bibliography Count / Display
        Appendix (optional) Count / Display
        Index (optional) Count / Display