UDTS Resources

UDTS is here to help you create, complete, and submit your thesis or dissertation to us. To do so, we offer a variety of resources that will assist you in formatting your document.

Forms and Documents

Additional Resources

University Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Guidelines - UPDATED December 1, 2023

You can access the most recent update (December 1) by clicking here. The formatting rules themselves have not changed. All edits were made in an effort to clarify some points.  If you have questions about specific formatting rules (e.g., margins, order of parts of the document, Tables and Figures, etc.), please consult the Formatting Guidelines. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about our newly revised Guidelines, please email us: udts@gmu.edu.

Templates, Formatted According to University Guidelines

  • Word

    • Word Template with Traditional (chapter-based) body text: The body of this document is set up in a narrative, chapter-based model, with each subsequent chapter building on the one(s) before it.

    • Word Template with Manuscript-style body text: This document is useful if the body of your thesis/dissertation will contain at least 1 full manuscript that falls into one of the following categories: 1) it has already been published in a journal, monograph, etc.; 2) it is currently undergoing peer review by a journal or publisher; or 3) it will soon be submitted to a journal or publisher for consideration, with the intent to publish.

    • Instructions for using the Word Template (applies to both the Traditional and Manuscript-style templates)

    • LaTeX Template

  • LaTeX

    • UPDATE, 8/31/23: After working with Tammy Stitz (Engineering Librarian, University Libraries) and Trevor Watkins (Teaching and Outreach Librarian, University Libraries), we are pleased to offer an updated, improved version of the LaTeX template.

    • It is a Beta version, so please notify us of any issues: udts@gmu.edu


When you are ready to submit the final version of your thesis or dissertation, there is certain paperwork you will need to complete and turn in as well.

All Master's and Doctoral students writing theses and dissertations must turn in completed, signed copies of the following forms to our office on or by the Final Submission deadline in order to graduate within their intended semester of graduation:

Transmittal Sheet

Embargo Request Form

Please note: Even if you choose not to delay the availability of your final document in MARS through an embargo, you still have to complete, sign, and submit an Embargo Request Form (ERF). If you choose to delay your work's availability in MARS, you will need to collect the signatures of your Committee Chair and the Graduate Associate Dean of your college/school on the ERF. If you do not choose to delay (embargo) your work's availability in MARS, you do not need to collect their signatures. Some Mason units require immediate availability of all student dissertations and do not permit embargo of any length under any circumstances.  Please check with your academic program before submitting an embargo request.

In addition to completing, signing, and turning in all the forms listed above, Doctoral students are also required to complete the following steps:


Office Hours

We can meet with you virtually, through your preferred platform (Zoom, Skype, etc.). Please visit our LibCal Scheduler to set up an appointment.



We are offering virtual workshops on both the Process you must complete in order to graduate on time, and our Word template. To view the sessions and sign up for them, please visit University Libraries Workshops and Events.


Assistance with Writing and Editing

If you need assistance with issues ranging from simple proofreading to help crafting the structure of your thesis or dissertation as a whole, we recommend the Writing Center at Mason. This service is free.

If you need further assistance, UDTS has a list of freelance editors who can assist you. These individuals are private contractors, and their services are not free. They set their own fee schedules. If you are interested in learning more about this option, please email UDTS.


Mason Publishing Group

If you have questions about U.S. Copyright Law (including fair and legal use of quotes, graphics, and photos, and your own rights as a creator of a thesis or dissertation), please contact the Mason Publishing Group of University Libraries.


University Registrar

The Registrar at George Mason University is an excellent resource for many of your questions, including:

Academic Calendar

This resource is especially important, because you need to be aware of Final Submission deadlines for each semester. Here are some upcoming Final Submission deadlines:

Special Registration under Spring 2024: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 12

Spring 2024: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26

Summer 2024: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 26


Turning in your thesis, dissertation, or project to UDTS is just one element of the entire process you must complete in order to graduate. There are other steps, specific to each department, college and school, and specific to George Mason, that you must complete as well. Contact the Registrar's Graduation Services department with further questions.


If you have any questions or need any further information about classes, fee payment, tuition, and admission, the University Catalog is an excellent resource.

Special Registration

Please review the rules governing Special Registration. University Dissertation & Thesis Services is not authorized to grant extensions for the final submission of theses and dissertations--that decision is ultimately up to your department, and to the Registrar.

Under Special Registration, you will still have to fulfill all University requirements in order to graduate. Your thesis or dissertation still has to go through a format review; you still have to have a submission consultation; and you still have to turn in your final document, along with all necessary paperwork, by the deadline.