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Document Preparation

Student Responsibility

PhD and master’s students are responsible for meeting all requirements for preparing theses and dissertations. They are expected to confer with their advisors about disciplinary and program expectations and to follow Graduate School procedure requirements.

Graduate School Role

The Graduate School certifies that theses and dissertations have been prepared as required. Graduate School staff members are available to provide information and to review documents at any stage of the planning or writing process. The Graduate School will not accept documents if required items are missing. The Graduate School cannot provide hands on training or editing of a document to meet formatting and digital accessibility standards. The Graduate School will not extend deadlines because of miscommunication between the student and the advisor. 

Required Format Features

Ohio State dissertations and theses must contain the following format features, which must be identified with a major heading that is centered below at least a one-inch top margin. The Graduate School highly recommends you use one of the templates in the following section as many of these features are already setup to help simplify the process.

Specific Required Format Features

  • Title page 
  • Copyright 
  • Abstract 
  • Vita 
  • Table of Contents 
  • List of Figures 
  • Bibliography 
  • List of Tables (if applicable) 
  • List of Illustrations (if applicable) 
  • Appendices (if applicable)

Digital Accessibility Features (Features implemented beginning Spring 2023)

Graduate School Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Accessibility Plan

*(see links below for information about applying these features)

  • PDF file includes full text
  • PDF accessibility permission flag is checked
  • Text language of the PDF is specified
  • PDF includes a title
  • Images, figures, and tables have descriptive captions and/or alt tags explaining content

Optional Features 

  • Frontispiece (if used, no heading is included on this page) 
  • Dedication 
  • Acknowledgments

Additional Resources

Sample pages

Detailed guidelines for formatting

More information about format review and submission

Dissertation formatting tips and tricks

Making an accessible document in Microsoft Word

*Adobe Acrobat - Creating and Verifying and Accessible Document

Additional online training support for Microsoft Office Suite

General Office Training Support 

  • User training on Office 2016 can be found here.
  • User training on Office for Mac 2016 can be found here: Office 2016 for Mac Quick Start Guides
  • User help guides on Office Mobile for iPhone here.
  • User help guides on Office Mobile for Android here.

Accessible Documents and Formatting Training


The following templates are available for use in formatting dissertations, theses, and DMA documents. Please read all instructions before beginning.

Template for Word 2013 and newer

Template for Word 2011 and older
(some features of this template do not work on Word for Mac)

Still Have Questions?
Wilma Barnfather,