Departmental format approval must be obtained before a thesis can be submitted to the Graduate College. To get format approval, your thesis must be given to the Graduate Program Coordinator for inspection. After inspection, if it is found to be free of format errors, you will receive a signed form indicating that the departmental format check has been completed. This form, along with your thesis, must be given to the Graduate College.

The final typed copy of the thesis (following the thesis defense) must be submitted for format approval at least one week before you intend to submit it to the Graduate College, thus allowing enough time for major corrections, should there be any.

All theses will include a summary, an introduction to the problem investigated, a review of literature on previous work related to the thesis topic, clearly defined objectives, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusions. The thesis may, but need not be, in the form of individual manuscripts preceded by chapters including a general introduction and literature review.

Be sure you follow the guidelines in the most recent copy of Instructions for Preparation of Theses which is prepared by the Graduate College found here. It is important that your typist observes those guidelines as well as the following guidelines.

  1. An "Abstract" is required. You must have the correct heading for the "Abstract"; you can find instructions in the Graduate College guidelines.
  2. Consistency must be followed throughout the text in every way.
  3. The Graduate College will not accept liquid "white-out" on the original copy (only if the original copy will be deposited in the Graduate College).
  4. Strike-overs will not be accepted.
  5. Titles and/or subtitles are not to stand alone at the bottom of a page--at least two lines of text must follow on the same page.
  6. There are to be no widow or orphan lines--that is, the first line of a paragraph should not be left at the bottom of the page nor only the last line of a paragraph carried forward to the next page.
  7. The last word on any page cannot be hyphenated and carried on to the next page.
  8. Titles in Table of Contents, List of Figures and List of Tables must be identical (except for underscoring and bold) to those found in the text (capitalization, word-for-word, punctuation, etc.).
  9. Leader dots in the Table of Contents, List of Figures and List of Tables must align in every way.
  10. Numbers in a list must line up on the right side, not on the left.
  11. There are to be no "empty" spaces--that is, spaces where part of the text is deleted and nothing inserted in its place.
  12. Do not use more than four lines between text and headings.
  13. More than 10 empty spaces at the end of a line (right margin) will not be allowed. Hyphenation will usually take care of this problem. It may also help to justify the right margin.
  14. This is the correct way of typing "et al." -- no period after "et" but adding a period after "al". If another method of spelling is used, your thesis will be returned to you for correction.
  15. If misspellings or incorrect grammar is found, you will be asked to make the correction.
  16. Do not split referenced citations between 2 pages, the entire citation should be on a single page.

If you are going to submit machine copies of your thesis to the Graduate College, do not use the photocopying machine in any campus office. These machines will not give you the high-quality copies the Graduate College requires.