Specifications for Doctoral Dissertation Preparation

See the Graduate School website for properly formatted dissertation samples.

Formatting and Preparation Information

  1. Abstract: An abstract is required. The body of the abstract may not exceed 350 words in length. Please see the sample in the required formatting link above.
  2. Minimum Margins: The minimum acceptable margins for all pages of the dissertation and the abstract are 1 inch on left and 1 inch on the top, bottom, and right.
  3. Paper Requirement for the Approval Page: The Approval Page submitted to the Office of the Registrar must be printed on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper.  Only original signatures are accepted.
  4. Font and Point Size: Recommended fonts include Arial, Times New Roman, and Helvetica with a point size of either 11 or 12.
  5. Print: Print should be clear, clean, and dark with no shadows or stray marks.  Remember to remove tracking changes.
  6. Spacing: The text of the dissertation should be double-spaced. Long quotations, footnotes, appendices, and references may be single-spaced.
  7. Photographs and Graphics: Photographs, graphics, and scanned images in the dissertation should be high quality. The use of color is acceptable.
  8. Use of materials copyrighted by others: Any material included that goes beyond “fair use” requires written permission of the copyright owner. See specifications on Submittable. It may be useful to include these in the dissertation as an appendix.
  9. Pagination: Preliminary pages ( the title page, optional copyright page, approval page, acknowledgments, table of contents, and the like) are to be numbered consecutively using lower case Roman numerals.  The title page number may be suppressed. All pages of the text, appendices (if any), and references must be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals. The abstract is not paginated.
    Page number locations should be consistent throughout the document.
  10. Landscape pages: The top of a landscape page should be at the left margin and the bottom at the right margin. The page number is to be in the same relative position as on the portrait pages.
  11. Sequence of the main components of the dissertation: The appropriate order of the major sections of the dissertation follows: the abstract, the title page, the copyright page (optional), the approval page, acknowledgments, table of contents, the text, appendices (if any), and the references. The order of the appendices and the references may be reversed if the appendices are lengthy.
  12. Footnotes, Endnotes, and References: The format that is accepted in your discipline or that is prescribed by your advisory committee should be followed.
  13. Photocopied journal articles in the dissertation: When appropriate, photocopied articles already published in journals may be included in a dissertation. Photocopying must conform to the margins noted above. An original letter from each journal, granting permission for the inclusion of the photocopied article in the dissertation is necessary to assure that there are no permission issues or violations of copyright. In requesting a letter of permission, it is important to tell the journal that the dissertation will be posted in the University digital repository, which is accessed by third party search engines. The journal usually will require that the journal be the first publisher of the article. Please retain a copy of all permissions granted for your personal file.

General Information

  • Submit ONE electronic copy of your dissertation to Submittable. Follow the instructions found in the Submittable help file. Use only the link located in Dissertation Information.
  • Effective May 9, 2016, a printed copy of the dissertation is no longer required by the Library.
  • Submit to the Office of the Registrar: Dissertation Submission Checklist along with ONE original dissertation approval page on standard white paper with all required original signatures, Report on the Final Examination for the Doctoral Degree with original signatures, embargo period requested, and a copy of the receipt of submission to the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
  • To ensure efficient degree auditing of student records at graduation time, please be sure you have already submitted a Doctoral Plan of Study, a Report on the General Examination for the Doctoral Degree, and a Dissertation Proposal for the Doctoral Degree to the Office of the Registrar. Review your transcript and make sure grades are posted for all courses listed on your plan of study including dissertation research credits. Any discrepancies cause delays in graduation.
  • Your electronically submitted dissertation will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar administrator for format compliance and you will receive notification if any revisions need to be made. Use an unsigned, properly formatted Approval Page in the electronic submission of your dissertation. Once the dissertation is approved by the Office of the Registrar administrator, your dissertation will be posted to Submittable and will be publicly viewable on the web according to the embargo period you selected. You will receive notification via email of the posting. You will not be able to make changes or revisions to your dissertation submission after it has been approved and published in the Doctoral Dissertation Collection of UConn’s Submittable.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your dissertation is a publication reflecting the results of your research and academic pursuits; it is a direct representation of you, your research, and your department. Once approved for publication in the time frame you selected, your dissertation is available for the access you have specified. It is the responsibility of the doctoral student and the student’s advisory committee to assure that the dissertation is of ready-to-publish appearance and quality.

The dissertation title must be consistent on all pages. Doublecheck your dissertation prior to submission for grammatical errors, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. Look for appropriate conversion of symbols and fonts and verify that graphs and charts meet expectations.

The Office of the Registrar does not edit for content, spelling or grammar. Please consult your advisor and committee for specific content requirements in your field of study. Proofreading is the responsibility of the student and his or her advisor. Committee members attest to acceptability when they sign your Approval Pages.

Use your full legal name on the abstract, the title page, the copyright page (if appropriate), and on the approval page. These pages must be formatted according to the samples in the required formatting link above. Please make certain that your name and title appear exactly the same way in all places.

Please take a moment to check that all pages in your dissertation are accounted for and are in the proper order when submitting the electronic copy to Submittable. The Graduate School will not accept dissertations that do not comply with the specifications.

Prior to entering into the publishing agreement with the University digital repository, discuss embargo periods with your major advisor. Each department may have specific suggestions for the author designated embargo periods and agreement with your major advisor should be made in advance. Available options for the embargo period are: 0 or no embargo requested, six months, one year up to 10 years.

Some graduate programs may have additional requirements regarding the format of dissertations. Students should check with their major advisor and/or graduate program director concerning any such program requirements.