Dissertation & Thesis Formatting Guidelines

Your dissertation/ thesis must conform to academic and institutional standards. Please read over the following formatting guidelines. These guidelines should be used in conjunction with the specific style adopted by your academic program.

Because requirements may change over time, students should not use existing library or departmental copies of manuscripts as examples of proper format. Please always check the current format in the Doctoral Handbook or Master's Handbook.

Please remember: The College of Graduate Studies checks your document for required formatting; we do not read your content. This means that we do not check your citations, spelling, or grammar, or review your document for plagiarism.

Click the headers below for more information


Text may not extend beyond 1-inch for left/right and top/bottom margins for each page. All figures and tables must also conform to these margins. Do not hyphenate words between lines.


- Times New Roman, size 12

- No special font should be included in the preliminary pages (bold, italics, underlining). 


- Double-spaced or space-and-a-half throughout the document.

- Right alinment set to ragged edge or right justified.

- Be sure to be consistent through your document regarding which spacing and alignment style chosen. 

Page Numbers

- Bottom center

- .5 inches from the bottom

- Times New Roman, font size 12

Preliminary pages of the dissertation/thesis are numbered with lower case Roman numerals starting with the Abstract on page v. The page numbers should run consecutively throughout the rest of the preliminary pages.

The first page of the body of the narrative text is numbered with Arabic numerals starting with page 1. The page numbers should run consecutively throughout the rest of the narrative text.

Page Titles should be in ALL CAPS.

Preliminary page formatting is very detailed. Please be sure to use the available templates or make sure the formatting matches the examples available in the Doctoral Handbook or Master's Student Handbook.

Are you having trouble with formatting in word? Visit our Youtube Channel for helpful formatting videos or check out our Word 2010 Instruction Manual

Title page (no pagination)

Copyright page (no pagination)

Committee member page (no pagination)

Abstract  (pagination begins here at v)

Dedication (not required)

Acknowledgements (not required)

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

An example of all preliminary pages can be found in the Doctoral Handbook or Master's Handbook.

LaTeX thesis template available: 1, 2, 3 

Full Thesis Template

Full Dissertation Templates:

The dissertation/thesis abstract is the “gateway” to your manuscript and it should provide a “complete snapshot” of your manuscript.

  • Double-spaced or space-and-a half according to the spacing style of the dissertation/ thesis text.
  • Pagination starts here with the Roman Numeral v.
  • Text of the Abstract should start two double spaces below the title “ABSTRACT”

For more information on content or format of the abstract, please contact your program directly. 

Microsoft Word offers an automatic Table of Contents option in the References tab. However, the headings and subheadings must be formatted to use this option. A step-by-step video is available on the TAMU-CC YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/TAMUCCGradSchool/feed

  • The title “TABLE OF CONTENTS” should be centered at the top of the page.
  • The headings CONTENTS and PAGE should be used for the listing of topics and page numbers.
  • List the preliminary pages, beginning with the abstract, and include all headings and subheadings used in the manuscript. The Table of Contents should be an entry within the Table of Contents.
  • Tab leaders should be used between the content titles and the page numbers.
  • Chapter numbers should be in Roman numeral format and capitalized (CHAPTER I, CHAPTER II...).
  • "REFERENCES" and "APPENDIX" should be capitalized.

If a figure or table is included in the manuscript, a List of Tables or List of Figures must also be included. The List of Figures and List of Tables should have the same format as the Table of Contents. However, the headings should include FIGURES and PAGE or TABLES and PAGE.

An example of these pages can be found in the Doctoral Handbook or Master's Handbook.