PhD Thesis Format

Students must adhere to specific formatting guidelines when preparing their PhD Thesis for submission.

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PhD Thesis Format

PhD Thesis Format

Students must adhere to specific formatting guidelines when preparing their PhD Thesis for submission. Any deviation from these requirements may result in the PhD Thesis being rejected and the degree being delayed.

PhD Thesis Language

The dissertation is usually written in English, but some departments that deal with foreign languages may accept a dissertation prepared in a language other than English.

Length of PhD Thesis

The majority of dissertations are between 100 and 300 pages long. Long dissertations may require chapters, main divisions, and subdivisions, and all dissertations should be divided into appropriate sections.

Page and Text Requisitions

  • Page Size: 81/2 x 11 inches, unless there is an inclusion of a musical score.
  • Margins: At least all margins must have 1 inch distance.
  • Spacing:
  • Double spacing in the case of body of text
  • Single spacing within each entry and double spacing between each entry in case of block quotations, footnotes, and bibliographies
  • Single spacing in the case of table of contents, list of tables, figures or illustrations list, as well as lengthy tables
  • Fonts and Point Size: Make usage of 10 to 12 point size. Fonts need to be embedded in the PDF file for the correct display of all characters. Non-English characters may not look as intended if fonts are not embedded. Incorrectly embedded fonts will be uploaded to DASH as-is. Prior to submission, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that typefaces are correctly incorporated.

 Body of Text, Tables, Figures, and Captions

Headers, page numbers, and footnotes must all use the same font as the body of the text. Tables and figures prepared with different tools and put into the paper are the sole exceptions.

Tables and figures should be put as near to their initial reference in the text as practicable. They can go on a page with no text above or below it, or they can go right inside the content. If a table or figure is the only thing on a page (and there is no narrative), it should be centered inside the margins. Tables can take up more than one page as long as all margin restrictions are followed. Tables and figures that are mentioned in the text should not be placed at the end of the chapter or the dissertation.

The numbering of figures and tables must be consistent throughout the dissertation or by chapter. There can’t be two figures or tables with the same number. Label recurring photos with their number and A, B, etc. if you need to quote them more than once.

Headings are supposed to be at the top of the Tables. While there are no strict guidelines for table headings and figure captions, a consistent approach must be followed throughout the dissertation (contact your department for style manuals appropriate to the field).

Any figures should have captions at the bottom. If the figure fills the entire page, the caption should be placed on the page before it, centered vertically and horizontally inside the margins.

Each page is assigned a unique page number. When the title of a figure or table appears on the first page, the second and subsequent pages of the figure or table should say “Figure 5 (Continued),” for example. In this case, the page number containing the title will be listed in the list of figures or tables. The word “figure” should be capitalized and written in its whole (not shortened) (e.g., Figure 5). The “(Continued)” notation should appear on the second and any future pages if the caption continues on a second page. The figure/table and caption should be considered as a single unit, and the numbering should be consistent throughout all pages. A header must appear on each page.

Figures and tables in landscape orientation must be correctly positioned and bound at the top such that the top of the figure or table is at the left margin. When the figure or table is on the same page, the headings/captions are placed in the same orientation as the figure or table. Headings/captions are always displayed in portrait orientation on a separate page, regardless of the orientation of the figure or table. Page numbers are always positioned vertically on the page, as if the figure were vertical.

If the figures are created by a graphic artist, GSAS will only accept letters created by the artist within the figure. Software-generated figures are permitted if they are clear and legible. Legends and titles created in the same manner as the figures will be acceptable if they are clear, legible, and have a character density of at least 10 or 12 per inch. Legends and captions should otherwise be displayed in the same typeface as the text.

Original artwork, photographs, and fine arts prints may be scanned and included on a page with no text above or below, centered between the margins.

Dissertations frequently contain third-party content or in-copyright content owned by parties other than you, the student who created the dissertation, in addition to the student’s own writing. It is recommended that you review the material regarding fair use, which permits individuals to use in-copyright works on a limited basis and for defined purposes without first obtaining permission from the copyright owner.


 Except for the Dissertation Acceptance Certificate, all pages should be numbered. Small Roman numerals should be used on preliminary pages (abstract, table of contents, list of tables, graphs, illustrations, and preface) (i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc.). Text or images must appear on every page.

Page i is the title page, and page ii is the copyright page; however, neither page should have page numbers printed on it.

Start with page 1 on the first page of text and use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) for the body of content. Page numbers must be centred at the top or bottom of the manuscript. Tables, graphs, illustrations, and bibliography/index (if provided) must all be numbered sequentially; letter suffixes (such as 10a, 10b, etc.) are not permitted. On the page carrying a chapter heading, it is traditional not to include a page number.