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Dissertation Submission: Quick Guide

Before You Submit

Review the dissertation timeline and semester registration. Make sure you’ve filed your degree application and turned in your report on defense and revisions (if applicable).

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Margins and Fonts


  • Top margin of the first page of each chapter/section of the body of your dissertation: 2 inches
  • Left, bottom, and right margins: 1 inch
  • Top margin for all other pages of your dissertation: 1 inch


  • Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria, and Calibri are recommended fonts
  • Size 12, but longer quotations, references, and notes can be size 10 or size 11

Title Page, Abstract, and Copyright Page

  • Follow the templates, exactly, as they are shown.
  • Where there are parentheses, you will remove the parentheses and replace the text with your own text.
  • Include permission letters, if applicable, in your dissertation.  

A special note for music compositions

  1. Unless your combined text and composition piece runs significantly over 300 pages, keep them as one volume. 
  2. The composition should be on the same paper as the rest of your manuscript (8 ½ x 11)

The title of your entire submission should include the name of the text of your work followed by “and an original composition, _________ for ________” An example of this, which Jeremy Spindler, Ph.D. 2010 had for his dissertation: Ligeti’s Wedge: Expansion, Contraction, Transformation; and an original composition, Concerto for Seven for flute, carinet, trumpet, piano, percussion, violin, cello”


Double-space all text, aside from the following exceptions:

Single space all notes, bibliographic references, and long quotations


No blank pages, all single-sided text

Moving between and landscape and portrait is fine, but refer to pagination guidelines when doing so


Pay close attention to the transitions from Roman to Arabic numerals. All page numbers should be centered at the bottom of the page, when turned to portrait. Should you have any landscape pages in your thesis, the page number still needs to appear centered at the bottom of the page when in portrait orientation. 

Section/Page Page Numbering
Title Page number not printed on the page, but is still considered page i
Copyright Page number not printed on the page, but is still considered page ii
Acknowledgements (Optional) number is printed on the page, start with iii or ii if no Copyright page is used
Abstract Continue with Roman numerals, printed
Preface (Optional) Continue with Roman numerals, printed
Table of Contents Continue with Roman numerals, printed
List of Tables Continue with Roman numerals, printed
List of Illustrations/Figures Continue with Roman numerals, printed
Introduction Start Arabic Numerals, beginning with page 1, printed on the page
Main Body, Appendices, Bibliography Continue with Arabic numerals, printed

EXPLANATION OF PAGINATION—Printed v. Not-Printed: While page numbers are not printed on the Title and Copyright pages, these pages still count (they are pages i and ii), which is why your Acknowledgements page is page iii.

If your dissertation is over 300 pages you should create two volumes within the single PDF. Each volume should contain a title page duplicating the title page of the first volume.  Label the title page Volume I of II, Volume II of II, etc. under the title.  Place the table of contents at beginning of the first volume (you do not need more than one table of contents).  Page numbering should continue from one volume to the next, not counting the second title page.  The bibliography may be placed at the end of the final volume.

Submitting to ProQuest

At this time, all expected PhD recipients must submit to the UMI/ProQuest site. Ensure that you have converted your file into a single PDF and do the following:

  1. Embed all fonts
  2. Save all JPEG images into PDF
  3. In the abstract, list any electronic files that cannot be embedded inside the PDF
  4. If you have not used Microsoft Word's Table of Contents generator, and are hand-typing the table of contents, please set it within a two-column table.

 Publishing options can be reviewed at the ProQuest student resources page. 

Submitting to the IR

If you would like to submit your dissertation to an Open Access (OA) repository, you should select Traditional publishing with ProQuest, complete your submission there, and then use your accepted PDF to submit to the BIR, which is OA and free of charge. Contact Meghan to set up your account in the IR. 

Publishing agreements and information are available through the BIR landing page.