The thesis is a report of original research and scholarly work that is shared with the academic community and is made available to the public. Upon completion, the thesis becomes part of the Library’s collection at University of North Georgia (UNG).
Students may prepare a research thesis at UNG, which will earn three-nine credit hours towards a master’s degree. This section contains general guidelines for students completing the thesis option as part of their graduate degree at UNG. Students should contact their academic advisor for guidance regarding guidelines and policies specific to the thesis option for their graduate degree program.
The thesis committee shall consist of a minimum of three faculty; the major professor, or Chair of the committee must be from the student’s program, a departmental faculty member from the supporting program, and one other departmental or UNG faculty member. Faculty outside UNG may be solicited to serve on the committee if approved in writing by the advisor.
Master’s Thesis Format Requirements - Student Responsibilities
Students must successfully complete a research proposal and thesis defense in order to fulfill the thesis requirement. Upon completion of the thesis proposal, the student is responsible for obtaining appropriate signatures on the Thesis Proposal Hearing Form and submitting the form to the office of the respective dean. When the thesis defense has been successfully completed, the student is responsible for obtaining appropriate signatures on the Thesis Defense Hearing Form and submitting all related documents and forms to the office of the respective dean. The Thesis Proposal Hearing From and the Thesis Defense Hearing Form can be downloaded from the University of North Georgia, myUNG website under the “Forms & Requests” link.
Format standards (see below) have been developed to ensure a degree of consistency in the written presentation of this research across academic disciplines, and to allow for binding and digitization requirements. The student has the primary responsibility for both the content and the format of the thesis.
Upon successful defense of the thesis, the student is responsible for delivering two original copies of the thesis document and all appropriate forms along with one electronic copy of the thesis to the Director of Library Services. See instructions under Printing and Archiving below.
The thesis requirements set forth in this catalog take precedence over publications previously issued by the graduate programs at UNG and, in matters of format and page sequence, over any other style manual. Do not use a previously accepted thesis as a format model.
Master’s Thesis Format Requirements - Faculty Responsibilities
Major Professor Responsibilities
The written presentation of the student’s research is a reflection on the major professor as well as the student and the university. It is the major professor’s responsibility to see that the quality of the written work meets the highest standards. Thesis advisors must serve as an editor for content, style, spelling, and grammar.
The dean of the college in which the degree program is housed is responsible for verifying compliance with format requirements and submitting all the appropriate documentation to the Director of Library Services at University of North Georgia.
Thesis Format Standards - General Instructions
Double space throughout, with the exception of the title page, approval page, captions, table or figure headings, extensive quotations, footnotes or end notes, entries in the References section, entries in the Table of Contents, and appendices.
Any standard font is acceptable; however, the same font should be used throughout. Use a font size of 12. The only allowable exceptions to this font size are captions (not smaller than nine point) and headings (not larger than 20 point). Use of italics is restricted to foreign words, book or periodical titles, taxonomic names, letters used as statistical symbols or algebraic variables, test scores and scales, and judiciously placed special emphasis.
ALL pages must have the following:
- 1.5” left margin (to allow room for binding).
- 1” top, bottom, and right margins.
White bond paper, 8.5” x 11”, with a watermark indicating 25 percent (or higher) cotton content, 20# - 25# weight, is required. Exceptions are allowed only for photographic plates and pocket material.
The thesis that is submitted to the dean must be free from errors. All corrections should be made before the final copy is printed. Overstrikes, cross-outs, handwritten additions or corrections, lines from paste-ups, dots or shading in the background, smudges, and use of correction fluid are not acceptable in the final copy.
Printing the Final Copy
Print on one side of the page only. Use only acid free paper and prepare two copies. You may run the required paper directly through a laser printer. The print must be sharp and of uniform darkness. Starting with a fresh toner cartridge is recommended. Another option is to print the copy on paper of lesser quality and photocopy two copies onto the watermark acid-free paper. If you use a professional photocopying service, check all pages before paying for the service and leaving the premises. Common problems with photocopying include missing pages, crooked pages, shifted margins, and smudges or spots on the copy. Please see additional instructions regarding library copies under Printing and Archiving below.
Use of Copyrighted Material
You are required to obtain permission from the author or publisher to quote extensively from copyrighted material or to use a copyrighted work such as an illustration in its entirety. Permission is usually granted on condition that special acknowledgment is made. If payment is required, it is your responsibility.
The primary intent of the thesis is to communicate the results of your research to the scholarly community. For this reason, your thesis research should not include any information that is restricted.
Any thesis thicker than 2” must be divided into multiple volumes. In making this determination, please note that cotton bond paper is thicker than standard printer paper.
- Each volume should be separated at the end of a major division.
- Each volume must have its own title page, all of which are identical except for the designation Volume I, Volume II, etc., which is placed just below the title.
- Title pages for Volume II, Volume III, etc., are not counted or numbered.
- The remaining preliminary pages are part of Volume I only.
- Text (including references and appendices) is numbered continuously from Volume I though all subsequent volumes.
All preliminary pages are numbered with lower case Roman numerals, centered at the bottom of the page, with the bottom of the number at least 1/2” from the edge of the page. The exception is the title page, which is counted but not numbered. Beginning with the text of the thesis, the page numbering changes to Arabic numerals, placed in the upper, right-hand corner, with at least 1/2” clearance from each edge. The first page of the main text restarts the pagination sequence and is page 1. All subsequent pages, except the multiple volume title pages, are numbered throughout the thesis, including cover pages, tables and figures, references, appendices, and the vita. Allow at least one double space between the page number and the first line of text on each page.
- Title Page (required) - The title page is counted but not numbered. The name of the degree that appears on the title page (and the approval page) must be on the list of degrees. These are the official names of the degrees awarded by UNG. No variations are allowed. The month and year of the awarding of your degree (not the defense or thesis submission) are used as the date. Degrees are awarded three times a year - May, August, and December.
- Approval Page (required) - The format of the approval page is similar to that of the title page, with the addition of signature lines for the chair (or co-chairs) of the thesis committee, and for the dean of the respective school (Mike Cottrell College of Business, College of Arts & Letters, College of Education, or College Health Sciences & Professions).
- Abstract (required) - The abstract is a succinct summary of the Thesis. It contains a brief description of the problem, a brief statement about the method or procedures used, and a concise account of the findings. Although it may extend beyond one page, the abstract should not exceed 350 words.
- Copyright Page (optional) - You may include this page even if you will not be formally registering for copyright with the Library of Congress. If the copyright symbol is not available in your word processing software, it may be drawn by hand. This is the only allowable handwritten item. Websites that provide information about copyright are:
- Dedication (optional) - May be combined with acknowledgements. Center the text horizontally on the page. There is no heading on this page.
- Table of Contents (required for all except creative works) - The Table of Contents lists all sections that follow it (with the exception of an epigraph or frontispiece and the vita). Chapter or section titles and primary and secondary subdivisions should be listed exactly as they appear in the text along with page numbers. Type TABLE OF CONTENTS centered at the top of the page, double space, and begin the entries. Single space within entries, and double space in between entries. Figures and Tables are listed separately.
- List of Figures (required if figures appear in the thesis/dissertation) - Includes charts, graphs, illustrations, diagrams, maps, pictures, photographs, and other similar non-text items. Include a separate list on a separate page for each type of illustrative material. List the number, caption, and page number of each figure, including any found in the appendices. Figures should be numbered consecutively throughout.
- List of Tables (required if tables appear in the thesis/dissertation) - List the number, caption, and page number of each table, including any found in the appendices. Tables should be numbered consecutively throughout.
- List of Abbreviations (or list of symbols or nomenclature) - Optional, include as necessary.
- Acknowledgments (required if permission to reproduce copyrighted material is necessary) - Center the heading ACKNOWLEDGMENTS at the top of the page, double space, and begin the remarks.
- Frontispiece (illustration) or Epigraph (quotation) (optional) - The source of the epigraph is listed below the quotation, but is not listed in the bibliography unless it is also cited in the main text.
- Body of Thesis (required) - Each Thesis should follow the Manual Style designated by the program (i.e., APA, MLA) for headings, citations, etc. A heading or subheading should never appear at the bottom of a page without at least two lines of text under it.
- Tables and Figures (optional)
- All illustrative materials must maintain the same margins as the rest of the thesis (1.5” left margin and 1” top, bottom, and right margins).
- All illustrative material must be large enough to be easily read, including printouts from statistical programs and spreadsheets. It may be necessary to enlarge a series of tables or figures and place them on separate pages. Minimum font size is 9.
- Figures and tables should be placed close to their reference within the text, preferably on the same page. Alternatively, they may be placed at the end of each chapter. Whatever method is chosen, it should be followed consistently throughout. Since no further editing is done once the thesis is submitted, the instruction “Insert Table/Figure X About Here” is not acceptable.
- Refer to all tables and figures by number, not by a phrase such as “the following table.”
- In order to maintain the required page margins for tables or figures, it may be necessary to print them in landscape format. The top margin will now be 1.5” and will be the edge that is bound. However, the page number must be placed as though the page was in portrait format and appear in the same location as other pages.
- In order to maintain the legibility of a group of tables and figures, it may be necessary to place them on an oversize 11” x 17” page. The 11” left edge must have at least a 1.5” margin. Fold the page so that the left and right edges are aligned with the other pages of the thesis. Folds should be at 1.5” from the left side or 1” from the right side to avoid damage to the oversize page in the trimming and binding process. The page number must appear in the same location as other pages.
- If space permits, the caption should appear on the same page as the figure. Font size must not be smaller than 9.
- You may use color in illustrations. Please use labels, patterns, or symbols as keys to graphs, maps, etc., rather than color.
- Scanning is the preferred method for including photographic illustrations in the thesis. If photographic plates are used, have them produced on a lightweight stock. Captions and page numbers may be typed directly on the plate. Include the plates in the pagination even if you cannot place a page number on them.
- References and Bibliography (required) - References may be placed at the end of the main text. Information sources that are not cited in the thesis, but provide additional background for the topic, may be listed as a bibliography.
- Appendices (optional) - Many theses will not need this section. Material that supports the research, but is not essential to an understanding of the text, is placed in the appendices. Examples include raw data, extensive quotations, and survey or test instruments.
Appendices should be designated A, B, C, etc. If there is only one appendix, it is simply called Appendix, not Appendix A. Each appendix and its title (for example, Appendix A, Raw Data for Time-to-Degree) are listed in the Table of Contents. A separate display page, giving the appendix designation and title, may precede each appendix. If used, the page number of the display page is the one listed in the Table of Contents.
All material included in the appendices must meet minimum font and margin requirements.
Printing & Archiving Thesis
After the appropriate signatures have been obtained, students are responsible for delivering two signed paper copies and one electronic copy of the thesis to the Director of Library Services.
The two print copies of the thesis must meet these requirements:
- Printed on one side of the page only.
- Printed on acid free paper.
- Include the signature page.
Be sure to check all pages carefully prior to submitting to ensure proper page order and print quality.
Electronic Copy for the Digital Commons
All submissions to the Digital Commons require the following:
- Completed Electronic Thesis, Paper and Project Open Access Permissions Form (downloadable from the University of North Georgia, myUNG website under the “Forms & Requests” link, password required).
- FINAL version of the thesis in one of the file formats listed below.
- Copy of the approval page with signatures.
- Copy of all permissions for copyrighted material incorporated into the thesis.
A thesis will not be published to the Digital Commons unless all requirements are met.
Student can submit a document to the Digital Commons in one of the following formats:
- Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
- Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
- Rich text format (.rtf)
Students using different word processing programs (i.e., MS Works, Wordperfect) must save the work in one of the above formats. If the Digital Commons cannot open or convert the file, you will be contacted to discuss an alternative.
Files may be delivered as follows:
- Placed on portable media (CD, DVD, USB) and delivered to the Special Collections and Digital Initiatives Librarian.
- Sent via email to the Special Collections and Digital Initiatives Librarian.