Additional information regarding formatting may be found in The Chicago Manual of Style or other style manuals. Choose an appropriate style for your field and use that style correctly and consistently. Contact the Dissertation Office for assistance with dissertations that have special formatting issues such as musical compositions, multi-volume dissertations, or multimedia works.


  • Script, italic, or ornamental fonts should not be used.
  • Italics may be used as appropriate—to set off titles, for example, or for non-English words.
  • Some departments may specify a font.
  • Font size should be 12pt. or 10 characters per inch.
  • Smaller font size for footnotes, for super- and subscript characters, and for text in tables, figures, and their captions is acceptable.
  • Font color must be black, without highlighting.

Line Spacing

  • Double-space basic text.
  • Set 0 pt spacing before and after paragraphs.
  • Single-space material as appropriate. It is customary to single-space footnotes, items in tables, lists, and graphs, and sometimes block quotations.
  • It is customary to single-space entries within the table of contents and within reference lists or bibliographies with a line between each entry.


  • Set one inch margin on all sides.
  • Page numbers and footnotes should be no less than half an inch from edge of page.
  • All other material must appear within the margins, including equations, urls, and images.

Page Numbers

  • Each page must have a page number printed on it except for the title, copyright, dedication, part-opening, and epigraph pages. Although page numbers should not appear on these pages, a page number is implied. Every sheet must be counted for purposes of numbering pages, with no page missing.
  • Preliminary pages must be numbered consecutively, using lowercase Roman numerals. The title page counts as "i" although the page number does not appear on the title page.
  • Regardless of the number of preliminary pages, the first text page must be Arabic numeral "1," and the pagination must continue with consecutive Arabic page numbers throughout the body and the end matter of the dissertation.
  • Centering page numbers at the bottom of the page is recommended. This will maintain consistency when printing.
  • The page number should be visible, without footnotes or other text covering it.

Parts of the Dissertation

  • Preliminary pages or front matter may be included in the following order: title page, copyright page, dedication, epigraph, table of contents, list of tables, list of figures, list of illustrations, list of maps, other lists, other preliminary pages, acknowledgments, preface).
  • Text or main body (usually divided into parts, chapters, or sections).
  • End matter (appendices and bibliographies, references, or works cited).

Title Page

  • The layout and style of the title page must follow the model provided by the Dissertation Office.
  • The font should be the same as the font used in the rest of the dissertation.
  • Line spacing and margins should be the same also. Double-space, set 0 pt spacing before and after paragraphs, and set one inch margins on all sides.
  • Text on the title page should be in upper case. Text should not be bold.
  • Use your diploma name.
  • The last line should be the month and year you receive your degree, with no date and no comma. The month will be either August, December, March, or June.
  • The title page counts as page “i” but the page number should not appear on the page.

Table of Contents

  • All major sections appearing after the table of contents must be listed in the table of contents—front matter (lists of tables and other lists, acknowledgments, preface), body (opening pages for parts, chapter titles, section titles as appropriate), and end matter (appendices, supplemental files, reference lists or bibliographies)
  • Title, copyright, dedication, and epigraph pages should not be listed in the table of contents. The table of contents follows these initial pages, next any lists (of tables, figures, illustrations, maps, etc. with each list beginning on a new page), then the acknowledgments, and then other preliminary pages.
  • There should not be an entry for the table of contents itself.
  • Chapter titles should be listed in the table of contents. Subheadings may be listed if this will be useful. If any subheadings are included, then all other subheadings of the same level must be included.
  • If the dissertation is divided into parts, the division should be noted in the table of contents. Page numbers should not be listed for separate part-opening pages.
  • Generating the table of contents automatically will ensure consistency. Titles and page numbers appearing in the table of contents must match the contents of the dissertation exactly.
  • Supplemental files should be treated as appendices and be listed in the table of contents.

List of Tables, List of Figures, and Other Lists

  • All dissertations with tables, figures, or other images must include a list of tables, a list of figures, and other lists, even if there is just one table, figure, etc. These lists should be placed immediately after the table of contents. If more than one list is included, each list must begin on a separate page.
  • The lists must include the number and title of each table, figure, or other image and the page number on which it begins. Tables, figures, etc. appearing in appendices should be included in the lists as appropriate.
  • The title of the table or figure may be an abbreviated version of its caption.
  • If a table or figure is longer than a page, only the first page should be referenced.


  • The body of the dissertation may be divided into parts, chapters, or sections. The body may include an introduction, chapter one, and subsequent chapters, with figures, tables, and so forth interleaved within the text. Some dissertations may not contain chapters, but most do.
  • Each chapter must begin on a new page, while sections within chapters should not, except by chance or to prevent the subheading from being the last line of text on a page. The table of contents should include an entry for all parts, chapters, and major sections. Chapter subheadings may be included in the table of contents or may be omitted.

Tables and Figures

  • If the dissertation includes tables, figures, or other images, separate and complete lists of tables, figures, or other images must be placed after the table of contents.
  • Each table, figure, etc. must have a unique number assigned to it, along with a title or description of the figure or table. The number and title or description must appear in the caption on the first page of the figure or table. The caption may appear on the next page if such placement allows the entire figure or table to remain on one page.
  • Captions, legends, tables, figures, and the outer edges of all images must appear inside the margins.
  • Font and point size may differ from that used in the body of the dissertation.
  • Tables or figures that are wider than the page may be changed to landscape/broadside orientation if that is preferable to reducing the size.
  • Captions and legends may be single-spaced. If they will not fit on the same page as a figure, they may continue onto the second page.
  • If a table or figure continues to a second page, the continuation must be labeled. It is poor practice not to repeat the boxhead on the continued pages.
  • Tables and figures may be placed on the same page as the text referring to them. If appropriate, they may be gathered in an appendix, but they must not simply appear at the end of a chapter, bibliography, or other section without being identified as a separate section.
  • Notes in tables and figures must not be numbered sequentially with other notes but should use either symbols or superscript lowercase letters in a sequence that begins anew for each table or figure.
  • Notes in tables must appear at the bottom of the table or figure, not the bottom of the page.
  • Sources, credit lines, and permissions for tables and figures may appear in the caption or at the bottom of the table or figure, but not in a footnote or endnote. SOURCE: followed by the source, may be placed under the line rule at the bottom of a table. Choose the formatting styles for this material that is appropriate for your field.


  • Choose a style of citation that is appropriate for your field and use that style correctly and consistently.
  • Citation management tools can help create bibliographies and citations using various styles.


  • Supporting material may be included in an appendix.
  • Separate appendix opening pages may be used when appropriate.
  • Each appendix begins on a new page.
  • If there is one appendix, the heading should appear as Appendix: Title. An appendix is not a chapter and should not be designated as a chapter.
  • If there is more than one appendix, each must be identified with a number or letter in addition to the title.
  • For each appendix, the title, page number, and appendix number or letter must appear in the table of contents.
  • Multimedia material may be included as an appendix and submitted as a supplementary file.

Supplementary Files

  • Material that cannot be included as an appendix within the dissertation pdf (audio, video, large spreadsheets, large data sets) may be submitted as an appendix that is a supplementary file.
  • Supplementary files must be listed in the table of contents, and a description of the supplementary files should be provided in the abstract.

Reference List or Bibliography

  • An entry for the reference list or bibliography must appear in the Table of Contents.
  • Individual entries may be single-spaced with a line space between each entry.