William & Mary

Physical Standards for Theses & Dissertations

All students must adhere to the Physical Standards for Theses and Dissertations that were revised August 13, 2015. Recent revisions include:

  • Approval Page Proxy: The proxy should sign his/her name followed by "(for John Doe)."Note:  The committee chair cannot serve as proxy.
  • Students must submit one complete draft of their thesis/dissertation for a format review by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research three weeks before the deadline for submitting final copies (See the Events Calendar for the most up to date deadlines for the draft and Final submissions.). Please send the draft by electronic copy to apgrad@wm.edu.
  • The Committee Compliance page template (instructions only)
  • The Committee Compliance Form – information only
It is your responsibility to review the entire document to make sure you are in compliance. Please check with the graduate administrator in your department/program for help reviewing the thesis/dissertation for formatting standards before submission to the Office of Graduate Studies.

The Physical Standards for Theses and Dissertations provides a set of general standards for the preparation of theses and dissertations for graduate degrees in Arts & Sciences. Before you begin the final formatting of your thesis or dissertation, please carefully review the Physical Standards and consult with your program for additional specific style guidelines.

The required pages are standardized for all theses and dissertations and must be completed using one of the form/template formats (Word or PDF - Consult your Department/Program to see if they have a LaTeX template) below which are listed in required page order for the theses/dissertation.

Thesis and dissertation titles may be unlimited in length.  However, library spine binding titles are limited between 50 and 75 characters.  Abbreviated titles are welcome and encouraged for the library bindings, especially for manuscripts that are under 100 pages.  If no abbreviated title is submitted and the title is too long, the library will shorten the title to fit the binding.

The College will not bind personal copies of your thesis or dissertation. It is your responsibility to find an outside vendor if you choose to have a personal copy bound.

**If a committee member is unable to receive a hard copy of the approval sheet via mail and is not available to sign the Thesis Recommendation Form or Recommendation and Defense of Dissertation Form, the committee member must send an e-mail message to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research which approves the thesis/dissertation and allows a proxy signature prior to the deadline for completion of degree requirements. If the Director of Graduate Studies is a member of the student’s thesis/dissertation committee, is the committee chair, or is out of town, the Department Chair/Program Director should serve as the proxy. The proxy should sign his/her name followed by (for John Doe).

Required/Optional page templates