Mandatory Requirements (Abbreviated List)

Below is a brief overview of the required formatting for theses and dissertations. For complete details and explanations, you should review the Dissertation & Thesis Manual. Numbers in parentheses in the paragraphs below refer to the relevant sections in the thesis manual.

Are you using “full justification” for your thesis or dissertation? To avoid line and/or word spacing errors later, you must change the default settings in Adobe Acrobat to embed all fonts, before you convert to PDF! Please see section 9.1 in the thesis manual, or below in the section entitled “A Final Word About Fonts.”


The abstract is not considered part of the thesis or dissertation. It is a separate and independent entity. Abstract pages are not numbered. The number of pages referred to in the abstract header should be the exact same number that appears on the very last page of the document. Neither the abstract nor any front matter pages should be included in the page count (chapter 6).

Abstract Template (.docx)

UNT Manual Trumps All (section 3.2)

The UNT thesis manual was never intended to address every possible formatting question, so it is always necessary to use a another style guide to supplement the thesis manual. However, university guidelines always take precedence. That is, if any instruction in your guide conflicts with the guidelines specified in the thesis manual, you must follow the thesis manual instead of the supplemental guide.

Document Elements and Order (section 4.2)

  1. Title Page (required)
  2. Copyright Notice (required)
  3. Acknowledgments (as appropriate; length limited to 1 page)
  4. Table of Contents (required)
  5. List of Tables (as appropriate)
  6. List of Illustrations (as appropriate)
  7. Body of Work (required)
  8. Appendix (as appropriate)
  9. References/Bibliography (required)

Page Numbering (section 4.5)

Every page of a thesis or dissertation must bear a number except the title page. Regardless of orientation, page numbers must be bottom center, 0.5 inch above bottom edge of page. The first page of the body of the document (usually the first page of the first chapter) is numbered Arabic numeral 1. Everything that occurs before page 1 is collectively referred to as "front matter." Front matter pages should be numbered with small Roman numerals (e.g., ii, iii, etc.), beginning with copyright notice page as page ii; title page is always page i but the page number never appears. 


Margins are 1 inch on all sides for all pages (section 4.3).

Font Style (section 4.6)

Use one typeface (i.e., font style) throughout your document for all text, figures, tables, etc. Bold or headline typeface, small caps, script, handwriting, or decorative fonts are not allowed. With a few exceptions as noted in the thesis manual, the entire document should be in 12 point font size. Newer versions of Microsoft Word default to 11 point – this must be changed to 12 point.

Headings (section 4.7)

In Text
First level headings should be in all caps, centered on the line, and must begin on a new page. Second level headings should be formatted in headline style cap and centered on line. Heading levels below second level should follow the format specified in the style manual relevant to your discipline.

Optionally, authors are permitted to insert an extra double-space above subheading titles that are preceded by text. Authors must be consistent, however.

In the Table of Contents (section 5.4)
Only first level headings appear in all caps. All other headings should use headline style capitalization and headings fifth level and beyond should not appear at all.

Headline vs. Sentence Style Capitalization (section 8.5)
In headline style capitalization, the first letter of the following words are capitalized: first word, first word following a colon (i.e., first word of a subtitle), proper nouns, major words, last word. In sentence style, only the first word, first word following a colon, and proper nouns are capitalized.

Optional, But Important

  • Landscape pages can be left in landscape orientation. There is no need to rotate them 90 degrees. Page numbers should be bottom center, regardless of orientation (section 4.1).
  • Sans serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica and Tahoma are strongly encouraged. Courier is strongly discouraged (section 4.6).

A Final Word About Fonts

Fonts must be from the same typeface throughout the entire thesis or dissertation (section 4.6). Please make sure all ancillary elements (footnotes, page numbers, etc.) match. Microsoft Office 2010 does not change these fonts to match by default. Browse Microsoft's tutorial on how to change the default font to prevent any varied-font errors.