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Thesis/dissertation submission and formatting


Before submitting your thesis/dissertation, you must ensure the following: 

  • The thesis is in its final version. Once submitted, revisions cannot be made to your thesis unless you are instructed by GSSP to do so. More information on formatting requirements can be found below.

  • The full text is in one file.

  • The full text is in Adobe PDF format.

  • The complete file size is no more than 1,000 MB

  • A user account is created at ProQuest ETD AdministratorThis is not your UMN username and password.

Once you have fulfilled the requirements, submit your thesis at ProQuest ETD Administrator. In addition to submitting your thesis/dissertation online, you must submit the following documents to Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP):


You are required to adhere to the University of Minnesota formatting and submission guidelinesThe guidelines found in your department or in the Library to format your thesis may not meet current formatting guidelines. The Graduate School website includes additional writing resources for graduate students that may support you while writing your dissertation or thesis. GSSP cannot provide technical support.

Common formatting mistakes to avoid

The full text must be in Adobe PDF format and must be one file. "Full text" refers to all introductory pages, the body of the manuscript, bibliography, and appendices. 

Every page of the thesis, including all appendices, notes, and the bibliography, must have a left margin of at least 1.5 inches (3.9 cm) and, top, right, and bottom margins of at least 1 inch (2.6 cm).

You are responsible for correctly numbering and organizing sections in your thesis. Page numbers cannot be placed on the left hand side of the thesis.

  • The title and copyright page must not be numbered or counted. Page numbering for the rest of the introductory material is required and is expressed in lowercase Roman numerals, beginning with page “i”.

  • The main text, illustrations, bibliography, and appendices are considered the body of the manuscript.

  • Every page in the body of the text, through the bibliography and appendices, must be numbered in Arabic numerals starting with page 1.

Color may be used in tables, charts, or graphs. However, references to color may not be made, as reproductions will be in black and white. Identification of lines and figures on graphs and charts must be made clear by the use of line symbols rather than variation in color. Captions may be single-spaced.

A list of figures is required if you include figures, and a list of tables is required if tables are included in the dissertation. Each list must contain the page number of where each figure or table can be found in the thesis. The list of figures or list of tables must be represented in the table of contents.

The bibliography may be single-spaced and should appear before the appendix (if applicable). It is not acceptable to include separate references after each chapter in lieu of a single cumulative bibliography at the end of the thesis. The bibliography must be represented in the table of contents.

Request a thesis/dissertation hold

Students may need to delay the release of a thesis or dissertation. ProQuest has assembled a guide that may assist in deciding if a hold is needed. 

You may request a six month, one year, or two-year hold request on the release of your thesis for a total of four years in accordance with the University of Minnesota Board of Regents’ policy regarding the withholding of research results. During the hold period, GSSP will not release the thesis to the public. 

A hold may be requested by completing a thesis or dissertation hold request form. The form must be signed by your advisor(s) and submitted to GSSP on or before the last working day of the intended month of graduation. Students are required to request a hold directly through GSSP. The hold period begins immediately after the official degree conferral date (last working day of graduation month).

After the requested hold time expires

The thesis will be released to ProQuest and the University Libraries, as well as the University Digital Conservancy (UDC), for circulation. You will not be contacted once the hold has expired and are solely responsible for renewing the hold request before the expiration date. If you wish to extend the hold or have it lifted prior to the expiration date, you resubmit the hold request form and contact GSSP. Any hold requests received after publication of the thesis/dissertation will not be honored. A thesis or dissertation can only be held up to four years total.