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Dissertation Manual: Formatting

Preparing Your Manuscript


A Word template is available to help you format the dissertation correctly. It paginates according to University requirements and can be used to generate the Table of Contents, format the margins, etc. Choose the one appropriate to your dissertation (e.g., with or without notice of copyright). When using the Dissertation Template, all italicized notes must be deleted and the highlighted text must be personalized. Be sure to remove the grey shading used in the template to indicate fields where information must be entered. The Dissertation Template (and a version for Wharton Doctoral Dissertations) is available below. If you choose to create your own document, rather than use the Dissertation Template, be sure to follow the guidelines below very carefully.

Pages must appear in the following order:

Preliminary Pages, in the following order:

Title Page
Copyright Notice (optional)
Dedication (optional)
Acknowledgment (optional)
Table of Contents
List of Tables (If lengthy, it may be included as an appendix.)
List of Illustrations (If lengthy, it may be included as an appendix.)
Preface (optional)

Main Text

Appendices (optional)


Index (optional except for graduate groups in Architecture, City & Regional Planning, Earth & Environmental Science, East Asian Languages & Civilization, Near Eastern Languages & Civilization)

Left-hand margin: 1.5 inches
Right-hand margin: 1 inch
Top and bottom margins: 1 inch

All text, including footnotes and page numbers, must be inside these boundaries. Nothing may appear in the margin area.

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 dissertation manuscript.
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.
Spare use of these formatting features is permitted, in order to enhance the readability of the manuscript.

Every page in the dissertation has a number, except for the Title Page and the copyright notice (if desired).

For the preliminary pages – dedication (optional), acknowledgements (optional), abstract, table of contents, list of tables, graphs, illustrations and preface (optional) – use small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, v, ...). These may be placed either at the top or the bottom of the page. The title page is counted as page i, and the copyright page (if there is one) as pageii, but do not print the page numbers on either of these two pages (e.g., in a dissertation with a copyright notice, the first numbered page is iii; in a dissertation without a copyright notice, the first numbered page is ii).

For the text, use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...) starting with page 1 (the first page of the text itself). These may be placed either at the top or the bottom of the page. If you use footnotes, it is recommended that you print page numbers at the page top. Do not print page numbers, footnotes, or anything else in the margins. Each page must be consecutively numbered, including tables, graphs, illustrations, and bibliography/index (if they are included); letter suffixes (such as 10a, 10b) are not allowed.

Check pagination carefully. Do not include blank pages. All pages must have a page number and be accounted for.

The Abstract is a condensed summary of the dissertation, not to exceed 350 words. All words count towards the total. The abstract, which is normally a single paragraph, consists of four parts: the statement of the problem; the procedure and methods used to investigate the problem; the results of the investigation; and the conclusions.

The abstract is published online by ProQuest in “Dissertation Abstracts International,” providing information to interested readers about the general content of the dissertation.

The abstract is double-spaced. Below the word "ABSTRACT" (in upper case), list the title of the dissertation (upper case), your name, and your dissertation supervisor's name. If you have both a supervisor and co-supervisor, list the co-supervisor’s name on the line beneath the supervisor’s. Do not include any titles (e.g. “Supervisor” or “Advisor”), as this is indicated by the placement of the names.


The Title Page must contain the TITLE (in upper case); the author's name; the graduate group name (see Appendix 1 for official names); the year the degree is being granted; the name, faculty title (rank and department), and signature of the dissertation supervisor (or co-supervisors, if there is more than one); and the name, faculty title (rank and department), and signature of the graduate group chairperson. The names and faculty titles (rank and department) of the Dissertation Committee members should be listed on the Title Page (their signatures are not necessary). If you want to use a format for your name that differs from the current name in the Penn In Touch System (e.g., a married name, or a full middle name rather than a middle initial), contact the Registrar’s Office and provide the necessary documentation to make that change.

NOTE: The Library copy of the manuscript must be signed by the dissertation supervisor (or co-supervisors) and the graduate group chairperson, but no signatures are required in the pdf of the dissertation.

The Dissertation Supervisor is the person primarily responsible for overseeing the student’s dissertation research. A student may have both a Dissertation Supervisor and a Dissertation Co-Supervisor, or two Dissertation Co-Supervisors, if that responsibility was shared equally.

Students in Romance Languages or the Graduate Group in Managerial Science and Applied Economics (Wharton Doctoral) also include their field of specialization above the graduate group name. These students should use the special Romance Languages or Wharton Dissertation Templates.

The title page is understood to be page “i” for counting purposes, but no page number should be printed on the title page.

See sample title pages on the pages that follow.

NOTE: For illustrative purposes only. Be sure margins meet the requirements: 1.5 inch left margin & 1-inch top, bottom.

Sample Title Page (Except for Romance Languages students and Wharton students)

Sample Title Page for Romance Languages Doctoral Students

Sample Title Page for Wharton Doctoral Students

The dissertation is printed single-sided on acid-free white paper, 20 lb. (or heavier stock), 8 1/2 x 11 inches in size. Copier paper is fine.

The dissertation submitted as a part of the requirements for a degree is the property of the University. However, the author of the dissertation owns and retains the copyright in the dissertation, without further registration formalities (see page 19 for more discussion of copyright options). If you choose to include a copyright notice in your manuscript, place it on a separate page immediately following the Title Page. Display the "TITLE" of the dissertation and the word "COPYRIGHT" in UPPERCASE, (or symbol ©), the year of first publication, and your name in sentence case. See samples below. The author may also reference a Creative Commons License Deed on this page. (See Sample 2 below.) Do not print a page number on this page; it is understood to be page "ii" for counting purposes.

NOTE: For illustrative purposes only. Be sure margins meet the requirements: 1.5 inch left margin & 1-inch top, bottom.

Sample 1: Traditional Copyright page

Sample 2: Copyright page referencing a Creative Commons License Deed

Notes can appear as footnotes below the text on a page, or as endnotes at the end of each chapter. Footnotes at the bottom of a page should be numbered continuously throughout the dissertation. Endnotes at the end of a chapter are numbered separately for each chapter (i.e., the first note of each chapter will always be numbered “1”). A bottom-of-the-page footnote must begin on the same page as the text to which it refers, but it may continue on a following page if necessary. Nothing may appear in the margin area.
This is an alphabetical listing of all references. It may be a single alphabetical list by chapters, or an alphabetical list by authors for subject and class of publications. Page numbers in the bibliography continue the pagination of the text; do not number the bibliography separately.
Supplementary digital files of essential supporting material may be submitted along with the dissertation manuscript. Follow the instructions in ETD Administrator for attaching supplementary files.
If someone other than you owns the copyright in content in your manuscript, including appendices, and your use of that content is not a fair use of that content, ProQuest requires submission of a permission letter from the copyright holder to use that content. Submit the Permission Letter as a Supplemental File in ETD Administrator. Name the file “Permission Letter - Do Not Publish.”

Appendix 1: Official Names of Graduate Groups

Africana Studies
Ancient History
Applied Mathematics and Computational Science
Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Cell and Molecular Biology
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
City and Regional Planning
Classical Studies
Comparative Literature and Literary Theory
Computer and Information Science
Earth and Environmental Science
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Electrical and Systems Engineering
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Genomics and Computational Biology
Germanic Languages and Literatures
History of Art
History and Sociology of Science
Managerial Science and Applied Economics
      Applied Economics
      Ethics and Legal Studies
      Health Care Management & Economics
      Operations, Information and Decisions
Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Physics and Astronomy
Political Science
Religious Studies
Romance Languages
Social Welfare
South Asia Regional Studies


Where to Get Help

The Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences


Telephone:    215-898-7444

Scholarly Commons

ScholarlyCommons provides support for publication and copyright questions

Email: <>

Computing Resource Center

The Computing Resource Center (CRC) provides computing support services to graduate and professional students.

The CRC is a walk-in support service facility located in Suite 202 Sansom West (Grad Tower B), 3650 Chestnut Street.

Telephone: 215-573-4778.