Some master’s and all PhD programs require the completion of a thesis or dissertation, which embodies the results of original research and makes an original contribution to the discipline. This guide is designed to aid students in submission that adheres to a professional style and format.
Submission of your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School is a requirement for degree conferral. After your degree is awarded, your work will be catalogued and made publicly available in perpetuity through UB’s Institutional Repository and to subscribers of the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses scholarly database. It is the responsibility of the candidate and the academic department to ensure that the standards of organization, presentation and documentation traditionally proscribed for publication in your discipline are observed. Similarly, the thesis or dissertation must be substantially free of errors before submission to the Graduate School.
Style Manuals: When beginning to construct your thesis or dissertation, the very first step is to choose the style appropriate to your specific discipline. If you are unsure what style is appropriate, confer with your advisor and/or department. Be sure to follow the chosen style consistently throughout the document. Listed below are websites of a few widely recognized style manuals:
• American Psychological Association: http://www.apastyle.org/
• Modern Language Association: http://www.mla.org/
• University of Chicago, Chicago Manual of Style: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/
Font Size: Select fonts between 10 and 12 characters per inch. Smaller or larger fonts are generally too hard to read and should be avoided. Use the same font style and print size throughout the document.
Pagination: The title page is to be unnumbered, but should be counted as “page 1”. With the exception of the title page, all of the pages in your document should be numbered, including the principal text, all tables, diagrams, maps, etc. Roman numerals (I, II, III) should be used on the preliminary pages and Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) are used on the pages that follow the abstract.
Page Numbering Placement: Generally the page number is placed in the upper right, lower right or bottom center of the page. Regardless of where you place the page numbers, be sure they are consistent throughout the document.
Spacing: Use double-spacing consistently throughout the document, except for long quotations, footnotes and endnotes, which are typically single-spaced. Check your selected style manual for further details on spacing.
Blank Pages: There should be no blank pages in your PDF. If you wish to leave a blank page, it must be labeled as follows: “This Page Intentionally Left Blank”.
Page Order and Page Numbering:
Your document should adhere the following prescribed order.
(your name in full)
(the current year)
Final Check: Review your document carefully to be sure it is correctly formatted, that all spelling and grammar is correct, and that the document is totally free of errors. Check that there are no blank pages, omitted paragraphs or missing sections. Be sure the preliminary pages of your document are in the proper order and the pagination is correct.
Electronic submission of your thesis or dissertation in PDF format is mandatory. When you are ready to submit your PDF document, go to the ProQuest's ETD submission website.
Write your document as you normally would any other research paper while keeping in mind the following tips on how to format your thesis or dissertation in a PDF-friendly manner, to ensure that your later conversion from MS Word, LaTeX, etc., will go smoothly. Refer to the ProQuest Support Center for more tips and helpful hints.
UB requires that all research and scholarly work conducted by graduate students and incorporated into theses and dissertations be made publicly available through the University at Buffalo’s Institutional Repository (UBIR). Shortly after degree conferral, your manuscript is made available for viewing through the UBIR and through ProQuest. When you submit your thesis or dissertation as a requirement for conferral of your degree, you are granting a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free perpetual license to the University at Buffalo, as set forth in the Public Access Agreement, which you will sign during the ETD submission process. Visit the Graduate School's policy library for the full Public Access of Theses and Dissertations Policy.
If you wish to embargo (delay the release of) your thesis or dissertation containing patentable material or content being submitted to peer-reviewed journals, or to a commercial publisher, you must complete and submit a Request for Embargo (Delayed Release) of Thesis or Dissertation form to the Graduate School at the time you are submitting your ETD. During the ETD submission process, remember to select the embargo option and set forth the desired embargo timeframe.
Please visit the Graduate School's policy library for the full Embargo (Delayed Release) of Thesis or Dissertation policy.
For publishing with ProQuest, you may choose traditional publishing or open access publishing.
Copyrighting: You can choose whether or not to copyright your thesis or dissertation. Copyrighting protects your rights as the author. These rights include the ability to make copies of the work, to distribute them, to make derivative works or to perform or display the work. By copyrighting your thesis or dissertation, you can control the rights to it or may authorize others (i.e., a publisher) to exercise those rights. The copyright will be in effect for your lifetime plus an additional 50 years. You should consult with your advisor and discuss this issue before making your decision.
ProQuest can act as your agent with the Library of Congress Copyright office when your thesis or dissertation is submitted. This is done only if you specifically request such services from ProQuest when you submit your ETD. Please note that it is only mandatory to digitize your thesis or dissertation, while copyrighting is optional. Alternatively, you may apply for copyright registration by filing directly through the U.S. Copyright Office.
Since theses and dissertations involve considerable effort on the part of the major professor (and sometimes other faculty members) as well as the student, you should make arrangements for publication and/or copyrighting only after consulting with your major professor and committee members.
Questions? Contact Megan Dishman (firstname.lastname@example.org).