Preliminary Pages

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The preliminary pages are double-spaced with lower case Roman numeral page numbers. Omit the page number on page i, which is the title page. Throughout, the thesis, paragraphs must be indented 0.5 inches from the left margin. The number of spaces used for indentation must be uniform throughout the thesis.  Examples of the preliminary pages are given in the sample PDF thesis available at:

Title Page

Your title will determine how widely the subject matter of the thesis will be disseminated. Academic research is to be shared, and the thesis is a major way of doing this. The Dissertation Abstracts uses an automated keyword retrieval system to index at least 34,000 dissertation titles a year. To make retrieval easier and more accurate, they suggest the following: 

  1. use words in the title that describe the dissertation content;
  2. eliminate words that add little or nothing to an understanding of content, words like: “A Study of…” “The Origin and Development of….”

A good title will be less than 10 words in length, and a reasonable title should be less than fifteen words in length. Subtitles are to be avoided if possible. The title must be centered about 1.5 to 2 inches below the top edge of the paper. The single word “BY” must be typed in capital letters and centered about 2 inches below the title. The author's full name in capital letters must be centered a double-space below the word “BY.” A submission statement must be typed, each line centered, beginning about 6.5 inches below the top edge of the paper:

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
(official name of degree as shown in Graduate Bulletin)
in the Graduate College of the
Illinois Institute of Technology

At about 8.5 inches below the top edge of the paper and beginning at the center of the page, should appear the word “Approved” followed by an underscored line that extends to 1 inch from the right edge of the paper, and on the next single line must appear the word “Adviser” centered below the underscored line. If there is a co-adviser, then a similar underscored line, double-spaced below the word adviser, the same length as the first underscored line, must be added with the word “Co-adviser” single-spaced and centered below the second underscored line.

In the center of the page at the bottom must appear “Chicago, Illinois.” The month and year of conferring of the degree (e.g., “May 2005”) must be centered and one single-space below, leaving a 1-inch margin at the bottom edge of the page.

The original copy must bear an original signature of the adviser (and co-adviser) on the title page, when it is uploaded to the ProQuest ETD Administrator for final approval. 

Copyright Page

A Master Degree candidate is not allowed to copyright a thesis; however, for a PhD candidate it is optional. If the thesis is to be copyrighted, a copyright page (page ii) must be inserted immediately after the title page.  The copyright bears the following double-spaced citation in the center of the page:

© Copyright by
Full legal name of the author)
(Year of publication)

The inclusion of © is a mandatory legal requirement. The page number, ii, is centered, 0.5 inches above the bottom of the page. If the thesis is not to be copyrighted, then this is a completely blank page with no number typed.

A doctoral student may arrange for PQIL to act as the agent to secure the copyright in the student's name by electronically signing the agreement form, during the ETD Administrator process, in the appropriate place, and by paying the designated fee, which is listed on the website. This includes the copyright registration fee plus the cost of two copies required by the Copyright Office. A student who wishes to copyright a Ph.D. thesis after graduation must make arrangements independent of IIT.


An acknowledgment is not a mandatory part of a thesis, but it gives the student an opportunity to express appreciation for the receipt of financial support or for contributions of others to the work. It should be simple and sincere; one should not overdo one's expression of gratitude in a thesis. The word “ACKNOWLEDGMENT” must be centered, in capital letters, at the top of the page. The acknowledgment is indented 0.5 inches, as a paragraph, and a triple-space below the heading—the first line of text begins on the third single line--The acknowledgment must not exceed one page in length and may be single spaced. Double-spaced is allowed if not exceeding one page. The page number iii is centered 0.5 inches from the bottom of the page.

A thesis does not include a dedication, and material in the nature of a preface should be included at the beginning of Chapter 1 of the text, not in the acknowledgment.

Table of Contents

The words TABLE OF CONTENTS must appear in capital letters centered on the top line of the page. Triple-spaced below the heading at the right margin (1-inch from the edge of the paper), the word “Page” must appear. On the next line, the first heading of the Preliminary section appears at the left margin (1.5 inches from the edge the of paper), all in capitals and then followed by a series of periods extending to two spaces before the space immediately below the P in the word “Page.” Periods in subsequent lines should be aligned with those in this first line. The last digit of the column of page numbers should fall under the “e” in the word “Page.” The word “CHAPTER” follows the list of preliminary pages, double-spaced and at the left margin. On the next single spaced line the Arabic numeral 1 and a period “1.” must appear under the letters “E” and “R,” respectively, in “CHAPTER.” The Chapter titles follow in the third space after the period, capitalized, just as they appear on the pages indicated. CHAPTER 1 must always be page 1.

Major sections are separated by double spaces above and below them. Sub-headings are indented two additional spaces and are single spaced. If the chapter title is more than one line long, it should be continued on the next line, flush with the initial line of the title. Every chapter title and first order sub-heading title must appear in the Table of Contents exactly as shown on the page indicated. If a sub-heading is more than one line long, then the carry over should be aligned with the first letter of the first word of the previous line. Second or third order sub-headings normally are not included in the Table of Contents.

If the Table of Contents is continued on a second page, then the page break must be between chapters, and the heading is not repeated. The words “CHAPTER” and “Page” may appear at the top of the second page, and the rest of the page should be spaced like the first page.

List of Tables

If tables are used in the thesis, the words “LIST OF TABLES” must appear in capital letters on the first page of the list of tables, centered at the top of the typed page. On the first page and on succeeding pages of the List of Tables, the heading and page numbers should be set up in the same way as those in the Table of Contents; the last digit of the column of page numbers should fall under the ``e" in the word “Page.” The decimal point in the table number should align with “e” in “Table,” and the title of the table follows after two spaces. The title in the List of Tables must appear exactly as the title of the table on the page indicated. Only the first letters of principal words are capitalized. Titles are double-spaced; carry-overs are single-spaced and aligned, with the first letter of the word on the second line directly under the first letter of the word on the first line. In the case of a long table, only the page number on which the table began must be given. A Table may not have sub-divided numbers or letters (e.g., Table 4.1A and Table 4.1B). Each Table is designated a number. Tables appearing in the Appendix should be included in the List of Tables.

List of Figures

If illustrations in any form are used in a thesis, such as drawings, graphs, maps, charts, photographs, or structural formulae, they should all be identified as figures, unless a different designation is approved by the Thesis Examiner--typically granted to students in the College of Architecture. The words “LIST OF FIGURES” must appear in capital letters on the first page of the List of Figures, centered at the top of the typed page. The format is the same as for the List of Tables. The decimal point in the Figure number should align with the “e” in “Figure.” Figures appearing in the Appendix should be included in the List of Figures.

List of Abbreviations and Symbols

A separate list of abbreviations, symbols and nomenclature (if available) must be given in the preliminary pages. The words “LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS” (or “SYMBOLS AND NOMENCLATURE”) must appear in capital letters on the first page of the list centered at the top of the page.  The word “Abbreviation” (or “Symbol”) must appear triple-spaced below the title beginning at the left margin, and the word ``Term" (or Definition) should be centered on the same line. Double-spaced below appear abbreviations and the respective terms aligned down the page. A definition that is more than one line long is carried over to the next single-spaced line. If the list of abbreviations exceeds one page in length, then the subsequent pages omit the title but show the same headings for “Abbreviation” and “Term.” Commonly accepted abbreviations such as cm and BTU should not be included in the list of abbreviations. If a separate list of abbreviations is not used, then in the text all words should be spelled out the first time the term is used, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Subsequently, only the abbreviation without parentheses is used except in the Summary and in the Abstract where the word should be spelled out the first time followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.


An abstract must be included in the preliminary pages. (This abstract is different from the separate UMI Abstract). The word “ABSTRACT” must be centered on the top line of the typed page. The abstract text begins on the third line with a paragraph indentation of 0.5 inches. Abbreviations in the abstract should be spelled out the first time used, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Subsequently only the abbreviation without parentheses is used. Footnotes are never used in an abstract.