Overall, it is important to submit an Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) that has a consistent and readable appearance. Here is useful information about ETD format and style, including templates for Word and LaTeX.

Styles & Templates

Consistency in style and formatting of a thesis is essential. Tools for creating styles, footnotes, a table of contents, and other features, including the recommended order of thesis sections, have been formatted by SGS into a thesis template. It is available in Microsoft Word​ and LaTeX formats. 

We strongly recommended that authors use an SGS thesis template. The template can be applied at any stage of the writing process, but using one at an early stage will simplify formatting and PDF conversion. 

Tip: Open the Word template in a new tab or window. Then save a copy with the name of your thesis. If you’re using a version of Word prior to 2007, save it as a .dot file.   

These templates assist you with the formatting and production of your thesis, but you must ensure that your thesis meets SGS formatting requirements. If you choose not to use an SGS template you may use the tools provided for indexing, page numbering, etc. provided by your word processing software.

Specific Requirements

Language of Doctoral Theses

In Division I (Humanities), permission may be given for a thesis to be written in a language other than English or French when the language has been approved for use in a thesis by the graduate unit concerned. Before such permission is granted, the graduate unit chair must certify to SGS in writing that the candidate has passed a supervised essay-type examination, written in English, that demonstrates the student’s proficiency in writing correct and idiomatic English prose.

A supplementary abstract of about 5,000 words in English or French must form part of a thesis that is written in a language other than English or French. No language other than English or French may be used for the conduct of the doctoral final oral examination.

Technical Requirements

The thesis must be in PDF format. It may also include supplementary files for multimedia, sound, video, or HTML pages with embedded files. Please note that the following guidelines are the minimum technical requirements. Differing disciplines may have their own conventions. Check with your supervisor for discipline-specific formatting.

The following guidelines apply to the main text-based thesis file:

Font Size

Must be a minimum of 10 points. You may use a smaller font size for graphs, formulas, footnotes, and appendices; avoid italics.

Line Spacing

Must be at least one-and-a-half spaces, except for the thesis abstract, which should be double-spaced. Single spacing may be used for long quoted passages and footnotes.

Footnotes, References, Bibliography and Heading Styles

Different disciplines and graduate units will have their own preferred practices. Please follow the styles that are preferred in your discipline and graduate unit. If you are unsure, consult your supervisory committee. Generally the preferred location for footnotes is either at the bottom of the page or at the end of the chapters to which they refer. Consistency is important.

Page & Margin Sizes

Page size should be 8 1/2″ x 11″ (21.5 cm x 28 cm) with the text reading across the 8 1/2″ (21.5 cm) dimension. If you are planning on having the thesis printed and bound (for a unit requirement, or your supervisor), the left margin should be at least 1 1/4″ (32 mm), and the remaining three margins should be at least 3/4″ (20 mm) to the main text. Margin sizes are not as critical in digital formats.

Page Numbering

Each and every page in the thesis must be numbered with the exception of the title page. The preliminary portion of the thesis should be numbered with small Roman numerals placed in the centre of the page, about half an inch from the bottom. Numbering begins with the Abstract as page ii. The Title Page is considered as page i, but must not show a page number.

Page Order

The accepted order of pages within the preliminary section of the thesis follows:

  1. Title Page
  2. Abstract
  3. Acknowledgments (where applicable)
  4. Table of Contents
  5. List of Tables (where applicable)
  6. List of Plates (where applicable)
  7. List of Figures (where applicable)
  8. List of Appendices (where applicable)

Title Page

See Sample of Title Page below. The title page should show:

  • the words “A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of (state full name of degree), Graduate Department of (state name of graduate department), in the University of Toronto”
  • the thesis title (capitalize the content words)
  • student’s name (consistent with ACORN)
  • the universal copyright notice (the date should be the year the degree is conferred); the universal copyright notice must appear on one line

Sample of Title Page

(NOTE: Spacing is approximate on 8 1/2″ x 11″ or 21.5cm x 28cm page)(2″ or 5 cm from top of page)
This Area is Recommended for the Thesis Title Only

(1 1/2″or approx 4cm)

(1 1/2″ or approx 4cm)
Jane Ann Doe

(2″or approx 5cm)
A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements
for the degree of (state degree)
(state full name of Graduate Department)
University of Toronto

(1 1/4″or approx 3cm)
© Copyright by Jane Ann Doe (state year of graduation)
(1 1/4″or approx 3cm from Bottom of page)


All theses must include an abstract.

  • Font size must be a minimum of 10 points.
  • Lines of text must be double-spaced.
  • Abstract must not exceed 350 words for a doctoral thesis or 150 words for a master’s thesis.
  • Left margin should be at least 1 1/4″ (32 mm); the remaining three margins should be at least 3/4″ (20 mm) to the main text.
  • The student’s thesis title, degree and year of convocation, full name, name of graduate department, and name of university must appear on the top of the abstract’s first page. This information is not included in the 350-/150-word count.
  • Symbols, as well as foreign words and phrases, must be clearly and accurately displayed.
  • Graphs, charts, tables, and illustrations are not included.

​PDF Creation

Create the PDF version of your thesis using Adobe Acrobat or other PDF-creation software. Use the conversion tool available on the digital library repository or use computers equipped with this software ​in the Information Commons at Robarts Library.

​File Management

The main thesis text-based file must be in PDF format.

Multiple file formats are an option when attaching supplementary file submissions for multimedia, sound, video, including HTML pages with embedded files. If the system does not automatically recognize the format of the file you have uploaded, you will be asked to select the appropriate format from the list offered. If the format is not in the list, click on ‘Format Not in List’ and describe the format in the text box appearing lower on the page. Be sure to give the name of the application you used to create the file and the version of that application, e.g., ‘Autodesk AutoCAD R20 for UNIX.’

​​​File Naming Convention

The main thesis file must be in PDF format. Create a PDF of the final approved version of your thesis before you start the submission process.

You must use the following file naming convention:


e.g., Smith_Lorie_L_202011_PhD_thesis.pdf

Supplementary files should follow the same naming convention:

e.g., Smith_Lorie_L_202011_PhD_datatables.exl

Please note that if you converted your file within the digital library repository, you will need to rename the file once you receive and check your pdf.