Submission Requirements

Doctoral candidates need to submit their finalized dissertation electronically through the ETD Administrator. If you have questions about submitting your dissertation electronically, please refer to the FAQ. Students should review the dissertation specifications prior to submission. Dissertations that do not meet guidelines will not be accepted. Online submission and approval are necessary before physically submitting your dissertation to the library for binding, so it is recommended that you begin this process as soon as your dissertation is completed. When submitting your dissertation through the ETD Administrator ensure that your signature page DOES NOT  have signatures on it and the fonts have been embedded in your PDF.

Please fill out the Survey of Earned Doctorates before submitting the hard copies to the Library.

The announcement for Ph.D. dissertation defense is to be given to the Office of the Registrar at least 10 business days prior to the defense. A sample defense announcement can be found in sample pages.

Students are no longer required to submit three printed copies of their paper to the Library. Bound copies will be made through ETD/ProQuest. Note that students will not make the binding fee payment through the Library Payment Portal, not through ETD/ProQuest.

Once approved in ETD, students will make an appointment with [email protected] to submit the following:

  1. Three Title Pages with signatures. Only one has to have original signatures – the other two can be copies of the original
  2. An extra copy of the Abstract section
  3. Doctoral students will need to bring certificate of completion for the Survey of Earned Doctorates:

Please make an appointment with Ted Houghtaling to submit your dissertation between the hours of 9:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Use of Previously Published Work in Your Dissertation

If you are including previously published material as part of your dissertation, either as an appendix or as part of the body of your paper, you must obtain written permission from the publisher to have the work included as part of your paper. Even if you are the author of the published material, you still must get permission from the publisher.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all portions of their thesis adhere to copyright law.

Binding and Publishing Fee for Doctoral Dissertations

Students are required to pay the binding fee through the Samuel C. Williams Library Payment Portal. Under ‘Make a One-Time Payment,’ select Samuel C. Williams Library Payment Portal. Enter the patron information, add the ‘Binding Fee’ to your cart and pay by either credit card or e-check. Current tuition and fee information is available on the Office of Student Accounts website.

Submission Date 

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for setting submission deadlines for dissertations. Dissertations should be submitted by the last day of classes as set on the Academic Calendar. Date extensions are only given through the Office of the Registrar.


Dissertation Report Specifications



The original copy of the dissertation must be produced on good quality 8.5" x 11", 20-pound acid-free white paper. The paper should not be stapled, punched, bound, colored or printed on letterhead. The two additional copies of the dissertation can be photocopied or produced on copier or laser paper.


Black ink only.


LEFT and TOP 1.5"; RIGHT and BOTTOM 1".


Pages can only be printed single-sided.

Page Numbers

Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) must appear in the upper right-hand corner of every page starting with the first page of the body of the paper (usually the introduction or the first page of the first chapter). If it is necessary to print some pages in landscape format or if oversize pages or materials are necessary, adjust formatting so that the page number on these pages will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the page when the document is bound. Page numbers appear on every page of the body of the document, including the bibliography and the vita.

Lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii) must be used for the pages appearing before the body of the paper (called the front matter). The title page is considered page i, but there is no page number printed on the title page. The copyright page is considered page ii, but there is no page number printed on the copyright page. The remainder of the front matter (abstract, table of contents, etc.) is numbered with lowercase Roman numerals, starting with page iii.


The entire paper must be double-spaced. Single-spacing may be used for footnotes, quotations, and the bibliography.

Diagrams, Charts, Tables and Other Illustrations 

Graph paper may be used for original drawings, charts or illustrations. Original drawings may be in color or black-and-white; however, color is allowed for illustrations only. All text must appear in black. The original thesis must contain the original graphic or illustration, not a photocopy of the drawing, graphic or illustration.

If formulas and diagrams contain subscript and superscript characters, ensure they are large enough to read when printed in the final paper.

Computer Printouts 

Any computer printouts must be on white paper, 8.5” x 11". Larger printouts must be photo-reduced producing a clear, accurate final copy.


Glossy prints of good reproducible quality, either black-and-white or color may be used. Photographs can be printed on 8.5" x 11" glossy finish paper, however, margin and page number requirements as stated above still apply for pages containing photographs. When attaching photographs to paper, double-sided tape may be used which causes the least amount of damage to the original paper.

Footnotes and Bibliography 

The format of footnotes and the bibliography are to be prepared in accordance with standard practice in the field in which one is working. Documentation formatting style must be discussed with and accepted by the advisor. See further information on Reference Styles below.


The suggested typeface for dissertations is 10- to 12-point Arial. Other suggested fonts are Times New Roman and Helvetica. Script and italic fonts should not be used except as needed in the body of the paper. Consistency should be maintained throughout the paper, using the same font for all text, diagrams, etc. on all pages.

Electronic Material 

Electronic material, such as CDs and multimedia, can accompany the dissertation. Each copy should be accompanied with a labeled CD. When bound, these are placed in an envelope in the back of the dissertation.

Oversized Materials 

Oversized materials (pages greater than 8.5" x 11") can be included in the paper if necessary. Oversized pages should be folded so that 1.5" on the left-hand binding edge remains, allowing the page to be opened once the paper is bound.

Reference Styles 

The reference style used for formatting the paper must be confirmed with your department and advisor. Frequently used styles are the APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association) and AMA (American Medical Association) styles. Style guides and manuals are available for each style. Page headers are not to be used.

Information regarding specific styles and their use with citations use can be found at the Library’s guide How to Cite Your Sources.

The document should be arranged in the following order:

Title Page:
  • For initial submission through the ETD Administrator DO NOT have signatures on the title page.  If the title page is formatted incorrectly the report will not be accepted.  Therefore, obtain the required signatures only after your report has been approved for final submission.
  • Follow the applicable title page format for the type of paper you are writing. The three (3) copies which you submit must be signed by YOU AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE. Please type the Advisor's name and any Committee Member's names under the lines for signatures. See sample title pages in Sample Pages.
  • The title page included with the original copy of the dissertation must contain original signatures. If the title page is formatted incorrectly, the candidate (you) will need to obtain new original signatures from all the signers. The two copies of the dissertation can have copies of the original title page.
  • The degree you are obtaining must be on the title page as "Doctor of Philosophy".
  • The name of the school (e.g. Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering & Science, School of Systems & Enterprises, School of Business) does NOT appear on the title page.
  • The title page cannot be scanned.
  • The title page counts as the first page of the paper (i), but does not have a page number printed on it.
  • Sample Title Page 
Copyright Page:

Abstract Page(s):

  • Title of document on top;
  • Abstract of document (350 words or fewer);
  • Author's name on bottom;
  • Advisor's name on bottom;
  • Date on bottom;
  • Department at bottom;
  • Degree on bottom;
  • The abstract should be the first page where page numbers appear, starting with page number iii. All pages after the abstract up to the first page of the body of the document continue with lowercase Roman numerals (iii, iv, v, etc.)
  • * Note: 1 extra, loose copy of your abstract is required for the Library. In addition, an abstract is required as part of the Ph.D. defense announcement to be submitted to the Office of the Registrar at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled date of defense.
Dedication Page (optional)
  • Acknowledgments 
  • Table of Contents (not listed in the Table of Contents)
  • List of Tables 
  • List of Figures 
  • List of Symbols 
Body of Document:

If your department or advisor does not require a specific writing or formatting style, it is still advisable to refer to a standard style manual. The first page of the body of the document is page number 1, and is the first page to switch to Arabic page numbering (1,2,3...). The body of the document is arranged in chapters and sections usually (but not necessarily) including:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Experimental or Computational Procedures (if any)
  • Results
  • Recommendations (if any)
  • Summary and Conclusions
Appendices (if applicable)

References or Bibliography

Vita, required for Dissertations, placed at end of the document, usually (but not necessarily) showing:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Education
  • Industrial experience
  • Publications
  • Honors
  • Other biographical data of interest


Any questions regarding the submission of a dissertation should be directed to:

Ted Houghtaling
Archivist and Digital Projects Librarian
Phone: 201.216.5415
[email protected]

Sample Pages

These are sample pages only. Please see contact Ted Houghtaling for questions or special circumstances (dual degree, interdepartmental research, etc.)

Sample Pages:

* Ph.D. Dissertation Title Page with instructions 

* Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Announcement with instructions

* Copyright Page with instructions

* Abstract Page

* Ph.D. Dissertation Title Page