Formatting the ETD

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Stylistic consistency and precision of presentation are essential features of a scholarly work. If the confidence of the reader is lost due to inaccuracies in the author’s presentation, the entirety of the author’s work is devalued. Your scholarship will have the greatest impact on readers when it is consistently formatted from beginning to end.


Your thesis or dissertation committee will help you decide which style guide to use in your document, e.g., APA, MLA, Turabian, Chicago Manual of Style, etc., but there are some formatting items that the Graduate School requires in the document that may differ from that selected style guide. The PDF, "Organization, Formatting, and PDF Conversion Guidelines for Theses, Dissertations, and Doctoral/Lecture Essays," is a collection of formatting items that the Graduate School requires students make in the final document that may be different from the main style guide you've used in the document. This PDF should be downloaded and printed out for reference before you begin writing.


The way the main body of the thesis or dissertation is formatted is up to you and your committee with the goal of applying consistent formatting conventions throughout the entire document. However, the unnumbered front matter of all UM theses and dissertations must be uniform in appearance. To help you format the front matter, the Graduate School has prepared Word templates by degree for you to use in your document. Please download the appropriate Word file and use it to format the unnumbered front-matter pages of your thesis or dissertation:

Master's Unnumbered Front Matter Templates:

The unnumbered front matter Master's thesis templates were revised on April 1, 2024. From the list below, please click on the degree you are working toward to download the appropriate template to format the unnumbered front matter of your thesis:

Doctoral Unnumbered Front Matter Templates: 

The unnumbered front matter doctoral templates were revised on April 1, 2024. From the list below, please click on the degree you are working toward to download the appropriate template to format the unnumbered front matter of your thesis:



The ETD Formatting Support Team,, and ETD Formatting Support Website provides tips about formatting required page number styles in the document. 

Page numbers within your documents

The following video demonstrates how to set up your page numbers according to ETD guidelines in Microsoft Word. 



If you want to get a head start on formatting issues, an optional predefense formatting review from the Sr. Editor is available upon request by e-mailing the draft to Students who request the predefense formatting review typically send the draft to the Sr. Editor at the same time the draft is sent to committee members for review before the defense date, usually two weeks before the defense date. Drafts can be sent as (1) one Word file of the entire manuscript; (2) the entire manuscript separated into no more than 4 Word files; (3) one PDF of the entire manuscript (preferred). 


The University is unable to offer support for students who use LaTeX to prepare the final ETD document. However, over the years, graduate students have taken the initiative to prepare a LaTeX template suitable for producing a final ETD document and have shared the template with the Dissertation Editor. Those interested in obtaining the template should send an e-mail to The latest template was prepared in 2020. Please note that the Dissertation Editor can only provide the LaTeX template and is unable to provide assistance with using the LaTeX template.


When preparing your ETD, it can be helpful to go to the Scholarship@Miami institutional repository to see what a final, accepted thesis or dissertation looks like and how information about you and your work will appear online.