Organization and Technical Requirements

Standard Components and Pagination

Although the form, style, sections, etc. of main body (text) of the thesis/dissertation may differ from program to program, all theses/dissertations must include the following components in the following order.

Front Matter

The front matter of the thesis/dissertation must be numbered with lower case Roman numerals. The page number should be not be included on the title page, although the title page is considered page i. Numbering must be included starting with the abstract, as page ii, and continue until the end of the front matter, as follows:

Title Page No number appears
Abstract Numbered as: ii
Dedication (optional) Numbered as: iii
Acknowledgments (optional) Numbered as: iv
Table of Contents Numbered as: v
List of Tables, if appropriate Numbered as: vi
List of Figures, if appropriate Numbered as: vii
List of Illustrations, if appropriate Numbered as: ix

Text (Main Body)

The main body of the thesis/dissertation, starting with the introduction or chapter one, must be numbered with Arabic numerals, beginning with the number 1. Each chapter of the main body must begin on a separate page. Footnotes and/or endnotes are considered part of the main body of the thesis/dissertation.

Back Matter

The back matter of the thesis/dissertation includes references (or the bibliography), as well as any appendices, glossaries, indexes, where and as applicable. The back matter must be numbered with Arabic numerals, which should follow from the last page of the main body of the thesis/dissertation.

Each appendix must be assigned an alphabetical letter and title, (e.g., Appendix A: Title). Appendices are ordered in the same sequence as they are referred to in the body of the text; that is, the appendix first mentioned in the text is assigned the letter A, the second is B, etc. Materials in the appendices that are copied from other sources must meet the same requirements as the body of the paper, for example, copies or scans from books, maps, etc., must be clear and legible, and must maintain the same margins.

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Technical Requirements

Title Page Format

A sample title page is provided below. The title page should include the following information:

  • Thesis/Dissertation Title: The title should provide a concise and meaningful description of the thesis/dissertation. It is recommended that the title include key words to make the thesis/dissertation more easily searchable. It is also recommended that formulas, Greek letters, symbols and abbreviations be avoided in the title, and that they be written out as words instead.
  • Student Name: The name on the title page must be the one under which the student is registered at York University.
  • All title pages must include the following statement: A Dissertation* submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy* [*For a master’s thesis, replace “Dissertation” with “Thesis”, and indicate the master’s degree designation (e.g. Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Fine Arts) in place of “Doctor of Philosophy”]
  • Program and Institution: Name of Program [e.g. English, Biology, Music], York University, Toronto, Ontario
  • Date: The month and year that the Chair of the Examining Committee confirmed successful defense of the thesis/dissertation
  • Copyright: The universal copyright symbol ©, followed by the student name (which must be the name under which the student is registered at York University) and year that the Chair of the Examining Committee confirmed successful defense of the thesis/dissertation.

The information on the title page may be centered, as long as all margins are at least 1 inch (25 mm). The font of the title page need not be the same as that used in the sample title page provided below.

Abstract Guidelines

Each thesis or dissertation must contain an abstract. The abstract is expected to give a succinct account of the thesis/dissertation so that a reader can decide whether to read the complete work.

For master’s theses, the abstract cannot exceed 150 words, while, for doctoral dissertations, the abstract cannot exceed 350 words. An abstract contains a statement of the problem, the procedure or methods used, the results and the conclusions.

The abstract should be inserted immediately following the Title Page, and should be numbered “ii”.

Acknowledgements Page

An acknowledgements page may be included.

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents, List of Tables and List of Figures, where applicable, should follow the abstract (or acknowledgements, if any). Curriculum vitae, list of student-authored publications, or conference presentations do not form part of the contents of the thesis/dissertation. A truncated version of the Table of Contents should not precede each chapter.

Page Size

The document must be formatted using letter sized pages (8.5 x 11 inches).


The same font type (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman) should be used throughout the thesis/dissertation, particularly the main body.

The font size of the main body of the thesis/dissertation must be a minimum of 10 points, with smaller font sizes permitted for endnotes/footnotes, graphs, formulae, appendices, etc. A font size larger than 12 points is not recommended for the main body of the thesis/dissertation.

Line Spacing

The line spacing must be at least one-and-a-half (1.5) spaces or double-spaced. Single spacing may be used for long quotations and foot/endnotes.


All margins must beat least 1 inch (25mm). Margins may be wider but not narrower than the stated requirements. For example, the first page of every chapter may have a top margin of 2.5 inches.

Running Headers

Running headers to put title, name, chapter, etc., on each page are not acceptable.

Page Number Location

All page numbers should be in a consistent location, that is either centre bottom, centre top, right top corner, or right bottom corner. They must fall at the 1 inch (25 mm) margin. There should be no blank pages or large blank spaces within the thesis or dissertation.

Diagrams and Tables

Each diagram and table should be numbered. Page numbers should appear in the same position on the page as they appear elsewhere in the body of the text. Tables may be horizontal or vertical as long as the required margins are used. Diagrams must be generated by graphic software or neatly hand drawn in black India ink and scanned.

Photographs and Images

All images included in the thesis or dissertation should be of high quality and sufficient resolution.

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Sample Title Page

Sample Table of Contents

Sample List of Tables

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