Students are responsible for meeting all the format requirements as outlined by the Office of Graduate Studies on this website.

Click on any section link in the menu to view formatting requirements for that aspect of the manuscript. In addition to these general requirements, there are also section-specific formatting requirements for the thesis/dissertation. Those can be found under ETD Formatting - Section-Specific.

View/Download ETD Template (Word)

View/Download ETD Formatting Checklist

LaTeX Resources


The Office of Graduate Studies does not require a specific style; however, individual graduate programs may require the use of one (i.e., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). The most important thing is to make sure you are consistently using said style throughout the manuscript.

Adhere to your graduate program’s style requirements, but note that some institutional guidelines will take precedence for publishing of the Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) through ProQuest. For example, if using APA, you cannot include a running head in the manuscript.


The Office of Graduate Studies does not require a specific structure or organization of the content in the main body of the manuscript, as you and your committee determine the content, number of chapters, chapter organization, etc. However, aspects of the manuscript do need to appear in a specific order, and you must indicate Chapter and Chapter # in the Table of Contents (TOC) and the main body of the manuscript. Chapter # and title are your level one (1st order) headings and combined as such: Chapter #: Title of Chapter or Chapter # Title of Chapter. 

NOTE: If you choose to order your thesis/dissertation in sections or parts (uncommon), you will need to have the section or part title(s) as level 1 headings on stand-alone pages prior to the chapters that the section/part includes. You must still indicate Chapter.


The first pages of the manuscript have very specific formatting and organization. Use the section-specific formatting guidelines and the example pages to make sure the first pages of your manuscript adhere to USF’s Institutional Guidelines. Click on the items to go to the more detailed section-specific pages.

The front matter needs to be compiled in the following order, please note that some sections are optional, whereas other sections are required:

Title Page (Required) 
Dedication (Optional) 
Acknowledgments (Optional)
Table of Contents (Required) 
List of Tables (Required if using one or more Tables) 
List of Figures (Required if using one or more Figures) 
List of Abbreviations (Optional)
Abstract (Required) 


The main body of the thesis/dissertation should have an Introduction, at least one Chapter (Introduction may be within said Chapter or a stand-alone Chapter), and References (may be in the Chapter(s) or compiled at the end).

Standard Level One (1st Order) Headings in the Main Body are: 

  • Introduction or Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter #: Chapter Title (Repeat for as many chapters as written, but at least 1)
  • References (Required)


Supplementary materials are put in an Appendix or Appendices, depending on the number of materials.
You may end the ETD with an About the Author page. 

Standard Level One (1st Order) Headings for supplementary materials are: