My Thesis


The final requirement in earning a graduate degree, if required by your program, is the submission and defense of the master’s thesis. Understanding the steps and deadlines in the thesis submission is necessary to establish a successful plan and realistic timeframe to graduate.

Contact your program’s department to learn more about any thesis requirements for your degree.

Steps to Approval

A third committee member is required for any comprehensive evaluation. Please fill out the following form to request your third member. In order to be assigned a third committee member, you must first apply to graduate. If you have not already, please follow the steps on our Steps to Graduation page.

Third Committee Member Request Form

Five Helpful Tips for Planning Your Thesis

1. Approval of Human/Animal Subjects

If you plan to use human or animal subjects in your thesis research, there are laws you must follow. An approved IRB must be on file first.

Approval Form

2. Meet with your Advisor

Establish your program's thesis requirements with your advisor. Some programs have a research project option instead of a thesis.

Advisor Contacts

3. Check that you're on track

Make sure you are on the right track before submitting your thesis. Review this section to double-check your progress.

View Requirments

4. Submit to the Grad Programs Office after department approval

How and where you submit your thesis is very important so please confirm details with your department before submitting it to the Graduate Programs Office.

How To Submit

5. Submit your thesis for Printing and Binding

Printing and binding your thesis are important if it is required to have a copy of your thesis bound. Check to see if this cost is covered by the department.

Printing & Binding

Format & Margins

Most simple errors found in thesis copies are in page numbering, especially in the preliminary pages. 

Page Reference Formatting Rule
Title Page No page number
Signature Page Number as page ii
Abstract (optional) Number with lowercase roman numerals (example: iii, iv, v, vi)
Acknowledgements (optional) Number with lowercase roman numerals (example: iii, iv, v, vi)


Introduction (optional) number with lowercase roman numerals (example: iii, iv, v, vi)
Table of Contents Number with lowercase roman numerals (example: iii, iv, v, vi)
List of Table (required if more than two figures) Number with lowercase roman numerals (example: iii, iv, v, vi)


Main Content Number with standard numerals (1,2,3); except your first page. This page should not have a number. The first numbered page should begin with 2.


References Number with standard numerals
Appendices (as needed) Number with standard numerals
Vita Number with standard numerals

A title page must be included in the thesis. The student’s full legal name is required. Note that title is presented in an inverted pyramid style and no page number appears, though it is page i of the thesis. Sample Title Page

The signature page must be part of the thesis and should bear the signatures of all your committee members, however only the committee chair and second committee members are required. If you have a signature line for all three committee members, then all three committee members must sign. A blank line on the signature page will not be accepted. Place committee members’ names underneath the signature lines. Committee members should sign only when they are satisfied that the thesis meets the standards of the university. This page MUST have original signatures. Sample Signature Page

An abstract should be no more than 350 words. The abstract is a condensed summary of the paper and includes a description of the research and significant results. Sample Abstract Page

There are no length requirements or restrictions. This page is optional. Please remember that the purpose of this page is to recognize those who most contributed to the research and writing of the document. The language used in the acknowledgment should be consistent with that used in acknowledgments in journal articles in your field. The manuscript is an academic document. This is not the appropriate place to thank friends, relatives, or companion animals that had nothing to do with the content or research. Sample Acknowledgements Page

The table of contents lists chapters and other main divisions (first-order subheadings, references/end notes, and appendixes). The title of each entry and chapter numbering method must correspond exactly to that within the main body of thesis. Page numbers must be specified for all the listings.

Do not list “Table of Contents” in the body of the Table of Contents. The first item listed in the Table of Contents is the abstract (if included), then the acknowledgments page (which is optional). Any List of Tables and/or a List of Figures should be included in the Table of Contents. Sample Table of Contents Page

Although a list of tables and/or figures is not required in all theses, they must be included if you have more than two tables and/or two figures.

The final content, academic quality, and correct style and formatting rests with you and your graduate committee.  Sample Main Content Page

Formatting of references and citations should follow your style guide. References cited in the text must appear in the references list (including personal communications). Conversely, each entry in the reference list must be cited in the text. Do not include works in the reference list that you have not cited in the text. Regardless of the style selected, direct quotes cited in the text must include page citations.

Appendixes as needed.

Your Vita is required. Sample Vita

Be sure to check with your director for appropriate headings.

Section headings must correspond to the table of contents; heading type or print and location on the page should be consistent and parallel throughout the thesis.

Captions should match the type or print style used in the main text. Locate captions according to the standard of the publication style that is being used for the thesis. Any variation of the quality of paper, page size, or reproductive process to accommodate illustrations and supplementary materials should have the approval of your committee chair. If photographs or other non-printed illustrative materials are to be included, they should be permanently mounted.

Any easily readable standard type of font is acceptable. Fonts should be consistently at least 10-13.5 points throughout the document. 

The text must be double-‐spaced; however, block quotations, footnotes, figure captions, table titles and notes, and individual citations in the references may be single-spaced. If single spacing of reference citations is chosen, then double space between each citation.

Tables should be uniformly titled and numbered at the top and figures captioned at the bottom. Tables and figures should be inserted following their first mention in the text, but no later than the page immediately following the mention.

Left-hand margins must be one and one-half inches. Top, bottom, and right margins should be one inch. This is particularly important if your department requires a bound copy, margin widths must be carefully observed to provide for adequate binding space. Students who will be binding may be asked to reprint if margins are not correct. See the Margins, Paper, and Font drop down in the Printing & Binding Your Thesis section below. 


Pre-Submission of Thesis

Comprehensive Examination Form

Before a thesis can be submitted electronically, Graduate Programs must have your Comprehensive Examination Form stating that your thesis has been approved.

Comprehensive Examination Forms are issued to your oral exam committee when your TRA (Terminal Research Approval) Form is received by the Graduate Programs Office.

After a successful defense, submit the documents listed in Submitting Your Thesis to Graduate Programs within 10 working days following the oral defense or by the last day of the quarter, whichever comes first.

Please Note – Some departments may require you to provide a bound copy for the department. If your department requires a copy of your thesis to be bound or if you would like a copy to be bound for yourself, please carefully follow the instructions in Printing and Binding Instructions.

Submitting Your Thesis

After a successful defense, submit the following to Graduate Programs within 10 working days following the oral defense or by the last day of the quarter, whichever comes first:

Once the Graduate Programs Office (206 Showalter) receives your:

(1) One signed (physical copy or PDF digital copy) Graduate Electronic Thesis Submission Form
(2) One signed (physical copy or PDF digital copy) Signature Page (page ii of your thesis)
(3) PDF version of your thesis to

WARNING: When you convert the thesis/project document to a PDF file for electronic thesis submission, conversion to PDF may shrink your document by 4%, enough to change margins and pagination throughout. Always check the conversion to make sure your formatting did not change. (Computer Science students may submit LaTex version of thesis.) 

Then you will get a confirmation stating when all your documents have been approved, and Graduate Programs will submit your thesis to the JFK Library to become part of the EWU Digital Commons Institutional Repository. Once your thesis has been submitted to Graduate Programs no further changes can be made.

In case of rejection due to incorrect formatting (see formatting and style guidelines), you and your committee chair will be notified by Graduate Programs of any changes or corrections that need to be made before your degree will be awarded.

Graduate Programs does not require a final bound copy or printed copy for completion of degree. Hard copies are no longer stored at the JFK Library; however, some departments may require you to submit a hard copy to be bound. Please check with your department to see if this is a requirement for you. If you have questions, please call the Graduate Programs office at 509-359-6297 or email us at

Printing & Binding Your Thesis

  • If you want a bound thesis, you must submit the hard copy or copies of your thesis to Graduate Programs in 206 Showalter Hall before the last day of the term.
  • Final copies will need to be submitted in an envelope or a box to protect the document from damage.
  • Do not staple, 3-hole punch, or otherwise mark the final copy of the thesis.
  • Your original Signature Page will be included in your bound copy.
  • Please provide a copy of your receipt from Student Financial Services of your payment.
  • Graduate Programs will check your thesis for quality and formatting. Please follow all formatting directions to avoid having to reprint.
  • Bound copies are returned to the Graduate Programs Office 4-6 weeks after the theses have been shipped. 

Left-hand margins must be one and one-half inches to provide for binding. Top, bottom, and right margins should be one inch. If your margins are not correct you will be required to REPRINT.


Use only 8 1/2 x 11 inch, white, “thesis bond,” 100% cotton bond paper. This is required of your department copy. The thesis bond paper ensures greater longevity of the document. If you have difficulty obtaining this paper, it is available at the EWU bookstore. Your copy or copies may be on the paper of your choice.

Use the same style of type or print throughout the manuscript. Use bold face, italicize, or underline words where appropriate. Use 10-13.5-point font size, with 18-24 points between lines. Indented quotes may, however, be single-spaced.

  • Print on only one side of the page.
  • Printers must produce a manuscript in at least a near-letter-quality mode. The thesis bond paper does not work in some printers. If you run your hand across your printed page and the words smear off, you will need to reprint with a different printer.

Graduate Programs will send the theses copies off-campus to a bindery company at the end of Fall quarter and the end of Spring quarter (semester students will have their copies sent off with the quarter students). Bound copies are returned to the Graduate Programs Office 4-6 weeks after the theses have been shipped. The Graduate Programs Office will send the bound thesis to the academic department (if required) and/or to the student (if it has been requested).

Please Note: Graduate Programs will only be shipping theses to the binder twice a year.

  •   Summer & Fall theses will be shipped out in December and returned to us in January.
  •   Winter & Spring theses will be shipped out and returned to us before the end of Summer.

Individual departments may require students to provide a bound copy of their thesis. Check with your department to find out if you will be required to have a copy of your thesis bound. Check to see if this cost is covered by the student or department.

You have the option of submitting a copy or copies for yourself to be bound, regardless of whether your department has required a copy. Each copy will be $30.00.

Please note: your binding fee can be paid at Sutton Hall in Student Services with cash, check, or electronic check only. To pay your binding fee with a debit or credit card, use the link below:

Pay Binding Fee with Card

If you are required to and/or have decided to have a copy bound, you will need to follow the style guidelines below required for binding. It is your responsibility to follow the requirements below or you will have to reprint your thesis.