Thesis and Dissertation

The Electronic Thesis/Dissertation

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro requires thesis and dissertation students to submit an electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD), which is submitted and archived as a PDF file instead of being printed and bound. This format allows students the option to include audio, video, animations, or simulations within the document and provides immediate world-wide access to UNCG students’ scholarship. 


The Deadline Sheet for the current semester can be found here.

Further information regarding graduation can be found on the Graduate School webpage,

The Approval Copy deadline is specifically listed for both doctoral and masters candidates.  The Final Submission deadline is the final date for the complete clearance of graduate degree candidates.  These deadlines are strictly enforced.

This page contains templates for use in creating UNCG Theses or Dissertations in Microsoft Word and LaTeX, which may be used to submit any thesis or dissertation beginning in 2021. Students who submit a thesis or dissertation in May 2021 or August 2021 may elect to use one of these templates or the previous (2014) ETD Guidelines. Beginning in the Fall 2021 semester these templates must be used.

For Microsoft Word, templates are available with a serif (Times New Roman) and sans serif (Arial) font. Each version of the template has versions for single chair/advisors or co-chairs.

LaTeX users should download the .zip file containing all the necessary files for using LaTeX to typeset a UNCG Thesis or Dissertation.

Instructions for using the templates are embedded into the templates themselves.

Microsoft Word

Arial Template & Instructions

Arial Template & Instructions (Co-Chair) – use only if your committee has co-chairs

Times New Roman Template & Instructions

Times New Roman Template & Instructions (Co-Chair) – use only if your committee has co-chairs


Latex Template

Adobe Acrobat is the most commonly used software for creating PDF files. A PDF file is a Portable Document Format that allows the document to be read on any computer using the free Reader download.

Creating PDF files within Word
If Acrobat is on the computer, the Adobe Acrobat application symbol should appear on the Word toolbar.

  1. Click on the Acrobat button to “Create Adobe PDF.”
  2. In the Save as dialog box, choose a location and type in your filename. Click “Save.”

If you select the View Result option, Acrobat will automatically open your new PDF file as a temporary, unsaved file. When you close this file, you are prompted again with a Save as dialog box. Be sure to type in the filename and click “Save” or the file will be deleted.

In a PDF file, bookmarks can be used to take the reader quickly from one location to another. For example, the author can bookmark the Table of Contents to the text or the data results with corresponding tables or figures in the appendix. Bookmarks can also be used to allow an action, such as run a video clip or play a sound. For additional information on these action features, use the Help Guide in Adobe Acrobat.

To establish standard bookmarks, open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat. Scroll to the location you’d like to access with the bookmark. Select Document, Add Bookmark. Then, click in the bookmark window and type in the specific name of the bookmark just created.

Combining Multiple PDF Files
Open the file in Adobe Acrobat. Select File, then Create PDF. Choose Merge Files Into a Single PDF. The “Combine Files” box will appear. Click on the Add Files in the top left corner. This will open the option to search the various on your computer. Find your dissertation files. Select the first PDF of your dissertation by double-clicking on it. Then, start the process again with Add Files in the top left corner. Repeat until all of the dissertation PDF files are listed. Click Combine Files in the lower right corner. A “Save As” box will appear. Select where you want to save the new, single PDF file, type in a name for the new document, and Save. Be sure to check the new PDF carefully to be sure that all items and pages are included and the formatting (margins, etc.) are still correct.

Important: These guidelines will no longer apply to Theses/Dissertations submitted after the end of the Summer 2021 Semester. During the 2020–2021 Academic Year, students may use this guide or the templates to the left.

Helpful Documents:

How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes

Formatting in Microsoft Word

Formatting in Microsoft Word (Mac)

Thesis and Dissertation Manual

Columns: Consider using tables without borders instead of tabs to format text or numbers into neat columns.

Equations: MS Word users should not use Word’s Equation Editor. Instead, use italic Times Roman font and Symbol font, along with superscripts and subscripts to create equations.

Fonts: It is best to use standard fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial. If using unusual fonts, be sure to use embeddable Type 1 or TrueType fonts. In Word, you can also choose to embed fonts as you prepare the document by choosing Tools, Save, and check “Embed TrueType Fonts.” Fonts that are available to all PDF viewers and do not need to be embedded include: Arial, Courier, and Helvetica (Bold, Oblique and BoldOblique), Times (Roman, Bold, Italic, BoldItalic), Symbol, and ZapfDingbats. For more information of embedded fonts, visit the ProQuest ETD submission website:

Graphics: The best method to include graphics is to use EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) files rather than bitmaps, GIFs, or JPEG images. Use a high resolution such as 600 dpi. Avoid using graphic editors that are part of a word processor.

Landscape Page Numbers: Remember that page numbers must be placed in a header or footer in portrait orientation even when the text of the page is in landscape orientation. For detailed instructions on how to make this change in Word, visit the Microsoft website.

Multimedia Objects- In Word, use the Edit, Copy and Paste functions to add a multimedia object in your document. Remember to reference the figure in the text and to provide a figure number and title.

Pagination: When preparing the preliminary materials, use Insert, Page Numbers, and uncheck the box to “suppress the number on the first page.” This change will prevent the preliminary page number i from printing on the Title Page. Use Insert, Page Numbers, and Format to set the small Roman numerals for the preliminary materials and then the Arabic numbers for the text of the document.

Also, you may want to use the section break feature (Word) to separate the three sections of the document that are paginated differently: abstract and title page (no page numbers), other preliminary materials (small Roman numerals centered at the bottom of the page), and the text, references and appendices (Arabic numbers). If you write the document in a series of sections, remember that all sections must be saved as one file.

Spacing: Use tabs to align text instead of a series of spaces. Use line breaks to force a new line instead of starting a new paragraph. Insert page breaks instead of a series of paragraphs or returns to start a new page. Use section breaks to change the format between pages in the document (for example, sections where pagination style differs).

Table of Contents: There are numerous ways to prepare the Table of Contents. One simple way to develop a Table of Contents that follows the various formatting requirements established in the “Guide” is by using tabs.

Word 2007 and later versions: Be sure that your document view includes the ruler toolbar. Type the heading and word CHAPTER.
Set your first tab to align the Roman numerals for the chapter titles by their periods.

  • Click on the arrow in the lower right corner of the “Paragraph” section. This opens a box. Click on “Tabs” in the lower left corner. This opens a “Tabs” box. Type the actual position from the ruler bar into the “Tab Stop Position” box (for example: .5). Then, under “Alignment,” select “decimal.” Under “Leaders,” select “none.” Hit Set and then OK.

In the document, where you want to place the title of chapter I, type the I at the left margin. Place the cursor in front of it and hit the tab. It will automatically set the position. Type your title.

Set the next tab to right flush the page numbers.

  • Click on the arrow in the lower right corner of the “Paragraph” section. This opens a box. Click on “Tabs” in the lower left corner. This opens a “Tabs” box. Type the actual position from the ruler bar for your right margin into the “Tab Stop Position” box (for example: 6.0). Then, under “Alignment,” select “right.” Under “Leaders,” select option #2 with the dots. Hit Set and then OK.

In the document, after the title of chapter I, type the page number. Place the cursor in front of the page number and hit the tab. It will automatically place the page number at the right margin with the dot leaders.

Set the next tab to place a subtitle, if needed.

  • Click on the arrow in the lower right corner of the “Paragraph” section. This opens a box. Click on “Tabs” in the lower left corner. This opens a “Tabs” box. Type the actual position from the ruler bar where you would like the first level subtitles to start into the “Tab Stop Position” box (for example: 1.0). Then, under “Alignment,” select “left.” Under “Leaders,” select “none.” Hit Set and then OK.

In the document, at the left margin where your subtitle should be placed, hit the tab key twice. It will take you to the position you pre-set. Type the subtitle, type the page number, place the cursor in front of the page number, hit the tab and your subtitle, dot leaders and page number are done.

Use of Copyrighted Material

The law permits the limited use of extracts and quotations for purposes of illustration and criticism covering most quotations in theses and dissertations.  In many instances, it is not necessary for candidates preparing theses/dissertations to obtain permission to quote from professional journals in their fields or from copyrighted books; however, copyrighted items, such as copies of pictures, charts, tests, forms, and questionnaires, no matter how short, should never be reproduced without permission.

Students must receive permission from the author or publisher to quote any extensive information from copyrighted materials.  In most cases, the author or publisher is willing to grant permission with the condition that acknowledgments are included in the document.  For additional information see the UNCG Libraries’ copyright page or ProQuest’s FAQ. A copy of all permissions to use copyrighted materials must be attached to the ETD Release and Hold Harmless form. Note: this item requires an original signature and cannot be submitted electronically.

The inclusion of papers that have already been published should be accompanied by a letter from the publisher providing written permission for the use of the material in block quote form under the chapter title of the corresponding section.


Students should consult with their committee chair and members concerning the benefits and usefulness of copyrighting their document. If the thesis/dissertation will be copyrighted, the student must complete an application and pay the additional copyright fee during the online submission process. 

If copyrighting, the student must include a copyright page in the actual document. 

Publishing Requirement

The Graduate School requires publication of the thesis/dissertation by UMI Dissertation Publishing/ProQuest Information and Learning.  For more information about PQIL and your rights as the author, visit: 

Survey of Earned Doctorates

The Survey of Earned Doctorates link will be emailed to all doctoral candidates upon review of the dissertation approval copy.