Feb 24, 2024  
Fall 2022 - Summer 2023 Graduate Catalog 
Fall 2022 - Summer 2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Dissertation Option

This section contains general guidelines for students completing a dissertation as part of their graduate degree at UNG. Students should contact their major advisor for guidance regarding guidelines and policies specific to the dissertation option for their graduate degree program.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee shall consist of a minimum of three faculty; the Major Advisor, or Chair of the committee must be from the student’s department, 1-2 other departmental or UNG faculty or professional experts. Faculty and professional experts outside UNG may be solicited to serve on the committee if approved in writing by the advisor.

Doctoral Dissertation Format Requirements

Student Responsibilities

Students must successfully complete the written dissertation and oral dissertation defense in order to fulfill the dissertation requirement. Upon completion of the dissertation defense, the student is responsible for obtaining appropriate signatures on all required paperwork required by their department.

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 dissertation.

Upon successful defense of the dissertation, the student is responsible for working with their program to ensure that all appropriate forms are completed, and one final, electronic copy of the dissertation is submitted to Digital Commons. See instructions under Dissertation Archiving below.

Major Advisor Responsibilities

The written presentation of the student’s dissertation research is a reflection on the major advisor, as well as the student and the university. It is the major advisor’s responsibility to see that the quality of the written work meets the highest standards. Dissertation advisors must serve as an editor for content, style, spelling, and grammar.

Program Coordinator Responsibilities

The program coordinator 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.

Dissertation Format Standards - General Instructions

Formatting Guidelines

Doctoral Dissertations are to follow APA 7 guidelines, unless instructed otherwise below, or by your home department’s guidelines and requirements.


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.


Arial or Times New Roman should be used throughout. Use a font size of 12. 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” top, bottom, left, and right margins.

Overall Appearance

The dissertation that is submitted to the program coordinator 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.

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.

Classified Material

The primary intent of the dissertation is to communicate the results of your research to the scholarly community. For this reason, your dissertation research should not include any information that is restricted.


The “Front Matter,” is not numbered.

Page numbering begins with the text of the dissertation, using 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 dissertation, 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.

Front Matter

Check with your home department for additional guidelines, requirements, and templates for dissertation front matter.

Title Page (required)

The title page is 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 dissertation submission) are used as the date. Degrees are awarded three times a year - May, August, and December.

Approval Page (required)

The approval page is the inclusion of the department’s dissertation defense approval form, signed by all required parties.

Abstract (required)

The abstract is a succinct summary of the dissertation. 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 (required)

You may include this page even if you will not be formally registering for copyright with the Library of Congress.

Dedication (optional)

Center the heading DEDICATION at the top of the page, double space, and begin the remarks.

Acknowledgments (optional)

Center the heading ACKNOWLEDGMENTS at the top of the page, double space, and begin the remarks.

Table of Contents (required)

The Table of Contents lists all sections that follow it (with the exception of an epigraph or frontispiece and the vita). Chapter and all ‘level one’ and ‘level two’ headers 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 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 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.

Dissertation Body

Dissertation Body

Each dissertation 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.

References and Bibliography (required)

References may be placed at the end of the main text. Information sources that are not cited in the dissertation, but provide additional background for the topic, may be listed as a bibliography.

Appendices (required)

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.

Tables and Figures (optional)

  • All illustrative materials must maintain the same margins as the rest of the dissertation (1” top, bottom, left, 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.
  • 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 dissertation 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.
  • If space permits, the caption should appear on the same page as the figure. You may use color in illustrations. Please use labels, patterns, or symbols as keys to graphs, maps, etc., rather than color.

Archiving Dissertation

The dissertation 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 dissertation becomes part of the Library’s collection at University of North Georgia (UNG).

After the appropriate signatures have been obtained, students are responsible for providing a finalized document to their program coordinator for submission of the electronic copy of the dissertation to the Director of Library Services and UNG Dissertation Digital Commons Repository.

Electronic Copy for the Digital Commons

All submissions to the Digital Commons require the following:

  • FINAL version of the dissertation in one of the file formats listed below.
  • Copy of the dissertation approval form/page with signatures.
  • Copy of all permissions for copyrighted material incorporated into the dissertation.
  • Program coordinator completes the Electronic Dissertation, Paper and Project Open Access Permissions Form (downloadable from the University of North Georgia, myUNG website under the “Forms & Requests” link, password required).

A dissertation will not be published to the Digital Commons unless all requirements are met.

File Format

Student can submit a document to the Digital Commons in one of the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)