The Office of Graduate Education

Dissertation and Thesis

Guides and Checklists

The final step in earning a graduate degree is generally the completion of a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. The Formatting Guide is designed to help the student present the results of graduate study and research for the use and interest of the academic community and the public. This guide contains format requirements for:

  • The traditional master's thesis or doctoral dissertation
  • The manuscript master's thesis or doctoral dissertation, in which manuscripts of articles that have been or will be submitted to journals in the field are used in the body of the thesis or dissertation

The Submission Guide is designed to help you through the submission and publication process.

Download the Guides below:

Summer 2024 Dissertation and Thesis FORMATTING Guide (.pdf) (updated 5/30/2024)
Summer 2024 Dissertation and Thesis SUBMISSION Guide (.pdf) (updated 5/30/2024)

Our office only accepts submissions created in Microsoft Word or in LaTeX (templates can be found below). No dissertation/thesis created in another word-processing document will be accepted. Each UTD student has access to Microsoft 365, which includes Word. For how to install Microsoft 365, please read this article.

These guides were prepared by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education. Questions concerning these guidelines or any aspect of manuscript preparation for the thesis or dissertation should be directed to the Office of Graduate Education, FA3.104, (972) 883-2234, [email protected]. Revised May, 2024

Download the Checklists (please save or print and track your progress):

Doctoral Dissertation Checklist
Master’s Thesis Checklist

Scheduling a Defense

Doctoral Defenses: Once your supervising committee agrees that your doctoral dissertation is ready to be defended, it is your responsibility to coordinate with your thesis/dissertation committee in determining the defense modality (in-person or remote) and scheduling a defense date/time where all committee members can attend. Consult the deadlines page to determine the latest possible date to schedule a defense, hold a defense, and submit a final document for the desired graduation semester. Refer to the Doctoral Dissertation Checklist to make sure you have filled out all required forms.

Master's Defenses: Master’s defenses are scheduled through each program, so please reach out to your committee and your program contact for help scheduling your defense. Master’s students do not need to use or submit the Request for Final Oral Exam form. This is a PhD form only, but please check with your program to see if they have any additional defense paperwork you need to submit to them directly. Refer to the deadlines page and Master's Thesis Checklist to make sure you have completed all the required steps. Please submit the Report of Final Examination for Master’s Thesis as an admin file to your online submission after your defense.

Remote Defenses: Since some defenses are remote, we have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions for defenses. Our office can help host master’s defenses as needed through our Zoom accounts but the defenses are still scheduled through each program. Your department is the best point of contact for information about how your program schedules and structures master’s defenses.

A Note about Signatures: As a reminder, our office accepts digital signatures on all administrative files. Digital signatures must use a Digital Certificate. For information on how to enroll for a Digital Certificate and instructions on how to digitally sign a PDF, please see OIT's page.

Examining Committee Chair

The Examining Committee Chair is only assigned for PhD defenses. This is not a requirement for master’s defenses. The Examining Committee Chair (ECC) is not the same as your Committee Chair (Supervising Professor). The Examining Committee Chair is a non-voting representative appointed by the Dean of Graduate Education to ensure that university policies and procedures are being followed during the final oral examination. The process to assign an Examining Committee Chair begins after you apply to graduate. You will receive the ECC assignment via email from [email protected], and the ECC assignment will remain in effect until you graduate. It is your responsibility to work with the Examining Committee Chair and members of your supervising committee to find a time and date for your examination, and to collect their signatures on the Request for Final Oral Examination form.

Deadlines, Templates, and Other Resources


Master's and Doctoral Deadlines
Priority Deadlines and FAQs

Thesis/Dissertation Templates:

Windows Thesis/Dissertation Template (updated 2/16/2018)
LaTeX Template (updated 1/25/2024) 

For LaTeX technical questions, you may contact Dr. Kevin Hamlen


Sample Pages (.pdf)
How to create a Table of Contents in MS Word (.pdf)
Margins Watermark Template and Guide (.zip)
Administrative Form Examples (.pdf)


All graduate students have access to Turnitin. To access, sign into eLearning, go to “Organizations” and open ”Graduate Student Citation Check.” If you do not see this, email us for access.

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony:

The Summer Hooding Ceremony is on August 9, 2024.  All Hooding Ceremony information and deadlines to order regalia can be found on the hooding FAQ page.  The RSVP will be sent via email from The Office of Graduate Education early in the semester.

Upcoming Workshops:

See Summer 2024 workshops and events! Be sure to register in advance.

Workshop Recordings:

Recordings of past workshops can be found on the Office of Graduate Education Workshop Recordings folder on Box. A UTD NetID and password are required to access these recordings.


Detailed information concerning the procedures for completing a graduate degree at The University of Texas at Dallas is contained in the Policy Memorandum “Policy on Procedures for Completing a Graduate Degree - UTDPP1052”

Contact Information

For questions about defenses, formatting the dissertation and thesis manuscript, and the electronic submission process, please contact Allison NepomnickBradley Samore, or Stephanie Akers.