ETD Formatting Guidelines

After you submit your ETD, the Graduate School will review your document as part of the graduation process at the end of each quarter. We will review for information accuracy, consistency, and to ensure your ETD meets the formatting requirements described below. There are three required sections (pages) that must be included at the beginning of your manuscript: 1) Title Page, 2) Copyright Page, 3) Abstract. Templates for these sections are provided below.

Apart from these first three pages, the Graduate School does not adhere to any specific formatting or publishing requirements unless explicitly stated by the ProQuest Author Guide: Preparing Your Manuscript for Submission (provided below). You should refer to the citation, formatting, and style specifications of your discipline and the guidance of your supervisory committee. Note: theses and dissertations must be submitted in PDF format.

For a complete overview of the graduation process, please review Preparing to Graduate.

Required Sections:

  • Title Page
    Master’s Thesis Title Page Template
    Doctoral Dissertation Title Page Template
    • Must include all items listed in the sample title page and placed in the same order
    • May be the first or second page of your document
    • These items must match MyGrad – student view information:
      • Title of document
      • Author’s Full Name
      • Name of degree as it will appear on your diploma
      • Year of graduation
      • Names of chair/committee members (do not include signatures or professional titles, e.g. Dr. or PhD, before/after faculty names)
      • Program authorized to offer degree (school or department)
  • Copyright Page
    Copyright Page Template
    • May be the first or second page of your document
    • Name and year must match title pages
    • List the year of graduation
  • Abstract
    Abstract Template
    • Place abstract after copyright and title page

Master’s Thesis Approval Form:

You are required to upload a completed and signed Master’s Thesis Approval Form into the UW ETD Administrator (ProQuest) site; the Approval Form is part of your ETD submission. This Approval Form is a separate PDF and should not be included as a page in the thesis or dissertation itself.

Electronic Doctoral Dissertation Approval:

Final Exams scheduled after March 3, 2020 include a link for Reading Committee Members to approve the dissertation online at MyGrad Committee View.

ETD Formatting Resources:

Common ETD Formatting Revisions Requested

To ensure timely graduating, take some time before you submit to review this information and ProQuest’s document formatting guidelines. These are all common errors and revisions the Graduate School will request when reviewing ETD formatting. You will be required to resubmit if revisions are needed. Be precise, and consistent as you format your document.  Many formatting errors result from following a fellow or former student’s example, so it’s important to review the most current templates and guidelines.


Do Don’t
Set up your ProQuest Account with an email address that you check regularly, to avoid missing any important and time-sensitive requests for revisions. Check your junk or clutter folders for emails from “ETD Administrator”. Don’t set up your ProQuest account using an email address you do not regularly monitor when school is not in session.
Convert your thesis or dissertation to PDF format in advance, using your own software or ProQuest’s Converter Tool. Don’t wait until the last minute to convert to PDF, in case any technical issues arise.
Upload your Committee Approval form separately, via the Administrative Documents Section in ProQuest. Don’t include a committee signature or approval page in the body of your thesis.
Your ETD title must match in three places: MyGrad (in your Master’s Request or Final Exam Request), ProQuest ETD Details, and on the PDF itself. If you have updated your title since you submitted a degree request (very common!) you can edit the title via MyGrad Student View under “Review and update dissertation title” or “Check the status or update an existing master’s request”. Don’t enter a different thesis/dissertation title on your document than what you’ve entered into ProQuest.
Follow the above templates precisely, making sure your title page includes all items listed in the sample and placed in that same order. Don’t omit any information or items from the required section templates when creating your pages.
The Title Page, Copyright Page, and Abstract must be three separate, individual pages. Don’t condense the information from multiple required sections onto one page.
The first three pages should be in the following order with no blank pages in between: 1) Title Page or Copyright Page, 2) Title Page or Copyright Page, 3) Abstract. Don’t insert any blank pages within the first three pages.
You may insert images anywhere after the first three pages, as needed, ensuring you are still following the ProQuest formatting guidelines for images. Your first three pages should consist of black text on a white background. Don’t include images or color on any of the first three required pages (title, copyright, and abstract).
Omit any page headers until after the first three pages. Don’t use a Running Head in your first three required pages.
Your name should match your UW record and be consistently written the same way in your account details on the ETD Administrator site as on your title page, copyright page, and abstract page. You can update your official Preferred Name via if the name you wish to publish under does not match your legal name. Don’t use personal nicknames (unless an official preferred name) or abbreviate your name on different pages.

Title Page, Copyright Page, Abstract

Do Don’t
Follow the appropriate Title Page template according to the degree you will be earning.  Though subtle, there are significant difference between the two templates. Don’t follow the PhD Dissertation template if you are submitting a Master’s Thesis.
Make sure your name stands alone on the title page, without a preface. Don’t list “By” before your name on your title page.
Be consistent and list your first and last name only on your title page, copyright page, and abstract- including your middle name/middle initial if preferred. Don’t include your previous degrees or your professional titles on your title page, copyright page, and abstract (e.g. Dr, MSW, PhD, etc.).
Be sure to verify your exact degree title in MyGrad or your unofficial transcript before submitting. Most degree titles are Master of_____(rather than in). For most all PhD students your degree name listed on your title page will be simply: Doctor of Philosophy. When entering your degree name on the title page, don’t write “Master’s”, “Master in____” or “Doctor inPhilosophy”.
The year on your title and copyright pages is the year your degree will be conferred. If using the Registration Waiver Fee from Autumn to Winter quarter, the year will need to be updated to the following (e.g. 2017 to 2018). For your copyright or title page, don’t write the span of time you spent working on your dissertation or the year you finished it (if different than your graduation year).
PhD students: only reading committee members will appear on the title page. Check your Reading Committee listing in MyGrad to make sure the information is all correct. Contact your Graduate Program Advisor to make any updates. PhD students: Don’t list your GSR or other supervisory committee members IF they are not also a member of your reading committee.
List committee members’ first and last name only (middle name/middle initial if preferred). The exception is for your committee chair, who will be designated as Chair on the title page for PhD students (see template). Don’t list “Member” after each committee member’s name on the title page.
List chair and committee members’ first and last name only (middle name/middle initial if preferred). Verify the correct spelling from the committee information in MyGrad. Don’t include your chair or committee members’ professional titles on your title page (e.g. Dr, MSW, PhD, etc.).
On your title page, the “Program Authorized to Offer Degree” is typically the larger school or department that your program is housed under, such as: Education vs. Educational Psychology. A good reference point is to match the department name you select from the department drop-down list in ProQuest when setting up your account. Don’t list specific areas of concentration under “Program Authorized to Offer Degree” or list “UW” or “University of Washington” before the program name.
The abstract body text should be on the same page as the template header information. There should just be one line break between your chair’s department information and the beginning of your abstract. Don’t separate the abstract header text from the body of your abstract into two separate pages.