Page Layout, Margins and Numbering

Your scholarly approach may call for a different presentational method. These are the requirements and recommendations for text-based theses.

Page Size

For a text-based thesis, or the text portions of a thesis, the page size must be 8.5" x 11", and the text must be in a single, page-wide column. Do not use two or more columns in your thesis.


The text of the thesis is written in paragraph form.

  • the first line of each paragraph should be indented, OR
  • there should be a larger space between paragraphs than there is between lines.

Each chapter should generally start at the top of a new page.


Left: 1.25 inches (32 mm) is recommended if you intend to bind copies of your thesis; 1 inch minimum.

Right, top, and bottom: 1 inch recommended; 0.75 inches (19 mm) minimum

Page Numbering

Preliminary pages:

  • must be numbered in lower case Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.)
  • the title page is "i" but this number must not appear on the page
  • numbering begins at "ii" on the committee page
  • the first page of the abstract is page iii

Body of thesis:

  • must be numbered in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.)
  • the first page of the text is "1"
  • subsequent pages are numbered continuously throughout, including pages with tables and figures, bibliographies, appendices, and index

Whole thesis:

  • every page except the title page must have a number on it
  • there must be no blank pages in the thesis.

Page numberS:

  • must be placed at least .5 inches (12 mm) from the edge of the page
  • may be either in the lower centre or on the top or lower right of the page, when the page is viewed in portrait view. Lower right is preferred.

Landscape Pages

Landscape pages must be orientated in your PDF so that they are readable without rotation. You do not need to change the location or orientation of the page number, but may if you wish.

Facing Pages

Facing pages are not acceptable; you must use one-sided layout and pagination. If the caption for a figure, table, etc., cannot appear on the same page as its accompanying illustration, place the illustration on a separate page after the caption.