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Thesis/Dissertation Formatting

Approval

The Certificate of Approval for Thesis or Dissertation page is sometimes referred to as the signature page.  A blank Certificate will always be part of your thesis or dissertation. 
You will need to have a signed Certificate as part of your defense process.  You and your committee have two options for the signed document:  1) you may print a blank form and have all committee members sign it at the defense; or 2) your committee may sign via a digital form that is accessible online. In both cases the signed Certificate must be delivered to the Graduate College by the due date provided on the website.

Certificate instructions are as follows:

  • The approval page cannot be more than one page.
  • By default this page is double-spaced, but some lines are single-spaced as specified below.  
  • At the top is the page title.
    • For theses: Certificate of Approval of Thesis
    • For dissertations: Certificate of Approval of Dissertation
    • Be sure to label this title as a page title heading to format it properly. See Content/Chapters for more information about headings.
  • Leave the next line blank.
  • Type the TITLE OF YOUR THESIS OR DISSERTATION, which is centered, bold, and in all caps.  Your title must also form an upside down triangle if it is more than one line. This means the first line is the longest and each consecutive line is shorter than the previous line.
  • Type by, centered (and not capitalized).
  • On the next line, type your name as registered with the university, centered.
  • Leave the next line blank.
  • Type Graduate Advisory Committee: on the next line.
  • Leave enough blank space for a signature.
  • Create signature lines for your committee.
    • The signature lines for your committee are single-spaced so the name appears directly under the lines.  See the photo example at the bottom.
    • Use the underscore key to make a solid line that is approximately 50 underscores long, and press Enter.  If Microsoft Word automatically inserts a solid line all the way across the page, undo this auto formatting by holding Control and pressing Z in Windows or holding Command and pressing Z on a Mac.
    • On the next line, type your committee chair: Jackie Smith, Chair.  Then tab over until you are near the end of the line above and type Date.
    • Leave two blank single-spaced lines before each signature line.
    • Copy and paste the underscore line, type the committee member name and date under the line and repeat until all your committee members are listed.
    • Make sure all the Date words line up vertically.
    • Do not use titles like Dr. or Mr. or Ms.
  • Leave a blank space.
  • Type Approved for the Faculty:
  • Leave enough blank space for a signature.
  • Create a signature line for the College of Graduate Studies Dean.
    • This signature line is also single-spaced so the name appears directly under the lines. See the photo example at the bottom.
    • Copy and paste the underscore line.
    • On the next line, type Mark Stephens, Dean.  Then tab over until you are lined up with the other Dates and type Date.
    • On the next line, type College of Graduate Studies

(In the event that the committee members prefer to sign a digital form, the student may initiate an electronic approval form here.)

example of approval page

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