Master's Thesis

Writing a thesis is optional for some master’s programs and not required.  There are abundant opportunities for personalized interaction with faculty through research courses, independent studies, and seminars.  If a student chooses to write a thesis, it requires eight courses and two research credits (597) for the completion of the master’s thesis.


A thesis or research paper based on joint work with other researchers is allowed provided that, in such cases, a unique and separate document is presented by each degree candidate. The candidate must include a concise account of his or her contribution to the whole work. Authorship of a master’s thesis or research paper by more than one degree candidate is not allowed.


University Style Guide for Master’s Thesis

Two hard copies of the approved thesis must be submitted in separate, appropriate sized boxes or envelopes to the Research and Academic Services (RAS) Office, 109 Towne Building. The thesis must be printed single-sided on acid-free white paper, 20 lb. (or heavier stock), 8 ½ x 11 inches in size. Copier paper is fine. Do not bind or staple the papers together; it must be loose.


Font, Spacing, and Margin Requirements
Any non-italic font 10-12 points in size should be used. Headings may be larger.  For enhanced screen readability, use Arial (10pt), Courier New (10pt), Georgia (11pt), Times New Roman (12 pt), or Verdana (10pt) font.  For footnotes, figures, citations, charts and graphs, a font of 8 point or larger should be used.  Italic type may be used for quotations, words in a foreign language, occasional emphasis, or book titles.  For the sake of readability, it is recommended that the text of the dissertation be double-spaced (except for footnotes, long quoted passages, and lists of tables and figures, which are single-spaced).  If desired, authors may chose to single-space the abstract and/or thesis manuscript.


INCLUDE TITLE PAGE IN THE MARGIN ALLOWANCE. Allow one and one-half inches for the left margin and one inch for all other margins. All text, including page numbers, must fit within these margins.

Organization of the Manuscript Pages must appear in the following order:
Title Page
Dedication (optional)
Acknowledgment (optional)
Abstract (optional)
Table of Contents (mandatory for theses 50 pages or longer)
List of Tables (optional)
List of Figures/Illustrations (optional)
Main Text
Appendices (optional)
Bibliography/Works Cited


Title Page
The Title Page must follow the format of the sample below. The author’s full legal name must appear on the Title Page, and each copy of the completed thesis must have two original ink signatures on the Title Page when presented to RAS.  Although this page counts as page “i” of the preliminary pages, no page number appears on this page. MS sample thesis title page. A Table of Contents must be included if the thesis is 50 pages or longer.


All pages except the Title Page (page i) must have a page number. For the preliminary pages (dedication, acknowledgements, table of contents, lists of graphs, tables, and illustrations), use small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, …).  For the text and appendices (if any), use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, …). Remember that page numbers must also appear within the margins specified above.


Other Requirements
For citations, footnotes, references, and grammar, you may follow the guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Handbook, or the appropriate manual in your field of study.