Organizing your thesis
The links below will direct you to the Graduate College thesis requirements, as well as sample pages and templates to further guide you in formatting your thesis. When organizing your thesis, be sure to follow the required order, which is shown below.
We also offer basic full-document templates to help you begin formatting your work. You may adapt these templates to fit your needs. If you have issues with formatting your document, please visit our Formatting Tutorials page to access written and video tutorials.
Doctoral Template (MS Word download)
Master's Template (MS Word download)
LaTeX Template (Link to Box folder with files)
|Required Order||Sample Pages||Page Numbering|
|1. Copyright Page (optional)||Sample||No page number|
|2. Title Page||
Sample (with minor or concentration)
|3. Abstract||Sample||Lower case Roman numerals beginning with "ii"|
|4. Acknowledgements and/or Dedication Page (optional)||Sample|
Sample Basic (recommended)
6. Main Text
|Arabic numerals beginning with "1"|
|7. Bibliography or References||Sample|
|8. Appendix or Appendices (optional)|
Looking for a good example?
The following theses and dissertations passed the Graduate College review with very few, if any, corrections requested by the Thesis Office:
- Civil Engineering
- Crop Sciences
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
- Neuroscience (includes supplementary files; see the appendix of the thesis and document uploaded with the thesis)
- Veterinary Clinical Medicine
- Curriculum and Instruction (includes IRB approval letter in an appendix)
- Human Development and Family Studies (includes IRB approval letter in an appendix)
Note the absence of List of Tables and List of Figures sections from the examples above. These sections are generally not necessary, and the Thesis Office advises students who are interested in a quick review with few or no corrections requested to leave these sections out of the thesis or dissertation. Also note that the Table of Contents is most useful for the reader when entries are limited to chapter-level titles only or to chapter-level titles and first-level (main) section headings, as has been done in the examples above.
A note on departmental requirements
This list describes only Graduate College requirements for student theses. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign confers graduate degrees in over 100 units, and many of these departments have additional, discipline-specific format requirements. Students should consult with their program regarding departmental format requirements and departmental thesis review procedures.
Note: The Graduate College Thesis Office will not begin the thesis format review without notification of departmental approval.