Thesis/Project Submission Regulations

Approved by Graduate Council April 18, 2019

See also:  Example Thesis document   Thesis title page template

The University Library is the repository for graduate-level theses and projects and is partnered with Library and Archives Canada and ProQuest to publish and distribute uLethbridge beyond the campus community. 

Requirements related to timelines for program completion are available in the School of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures. Suggested graduate program completion timelines are available in the sample program progress Gantt charts

See the e-thesis and e-project submission steps for detailed information on submitting the PDF of your final manuscript. 

When preparing your PDF, be sure to do the following:

If you need to request an embargo or an extension to a previously approved embargo to delay the publication of your manuscript online, refer to the Embargo Procedure for regulations and procedures. 

If your manuscript uses substantial portions of copyrighted works in ways not covered by statutory exceptions to infringement or University Library electronic resource license agreements, it must include Letters of Permission from copyright owners or their licensing agents. These Letters of Permission must accompany your manuscript when you submit it in the e-thesis/e-project submission system.

If your manuscript includes sections you (i.e., the author) have previously published and you did not retain ownership of copyright, then you must obtain reproduction permission from the copyright owner.

If your manuscript includes material that you (i.e., the author) co-wrote with others, then a Letter of Permission from the copyright owner or owners is required.

If you are unable to obtain copyright owner permission and omitting this material will not detract from the sense of the text, then you must remove the copyrighted material, and in its place insert a page that explains:

  • That the material has been removed because of unavailable copyright permission; and
  • The content of the omitted material and its original source.

If you are unable to obtain copyright owner permission and omitting this material will detract from the sense of the text, then you have two (2) available options:

  • Do not finish or publish the manuscript until the copyright owner provides permission; or
  • Remove the copyrighted material and rewrite that section of the manuscript in a manner that does not change the sense of the text.

Formatting requirements

All theses and projects must abide by the following regulations and, if they do not, can be rejected.

The University does not mandate a single style guide—you should consult with your supervisor/instructor to select an appropriate style guide, and follow it consistently

You will need to use your chosen style guide in conjunction with the ProQuest's formatting requirements outlined in the table below and in their Preparing Your Manuscript document. Where there is a conflict between the style guide and ProQuest's regulations, ProQuest’s regulations take precedence.

ProQuest makes no changes to formatting or content of submitted documents, therefore, the burden of how the document looks when it is accessed or printed is entirely the responsibility of the author. You are responsible for formatting your document into Adobe PDF, for checking the reformatted document for accuracy, and for submitting the PDF document for publication.

NOTE: As a part of their normal process, ProQuest inserts an extra page in the front of every published manuscript.

Digital Format Specifications

File format

Adobe PDF required. NO compression; NO password protection; NO digital signature. You are responsible for the appearance of your document. It will appear—and may be downloaded—exactly as you submit it.

Multimedia files and formats

Digital preservation best practices typically recommend including multimedia content as supplemental files, rather than embedding multimedia in PDFs.

ProQuest will accept multimedia content of all file types. File types listed below will be migrated by ProQuest. File types other than those listed below are not guaranteed to be migrated.




Apple Quick Time (MOV), Microsoft Audio Video Interleaved (AVI), MPEG


Left, Right, Top, and Bottom: 1" Applies to all material except page numbers, including figures, headers/footers, footnotes/endnotes, and full-page images. Page numbers must be at least ¾" from edge of page. See Margins, below.

NOTE: If you intend to have your document bound, the left margin must be at least 1.5”.


See ProQuest document font requirements, below.

Line spacing

Double-space: abstract, dedication, acknowledgements, table of contents, and body of the document; except for quotations as paragraphs, captions, items in tables, lists, graphs, charts. Single-space: footnotes/endnotes, bibliographic entries, lists in appendices.


The native digital document will appear in colour when viewed electronically. Microfilm and print reproductions will NOT preserve colour; colours will appear in shades of gray and may compromise legibility of figures, illustrations, photographs, and graphics. Data and information that is colour-coded or based on colour shading may not be interpretable. For best results, have colour photographs reprinted in black and white by a professional lab.


PDF and print reproductions will include all colour material. Microfilm reproductions will NOT preserve colour; colours will appear in shades of gray.

Your document is required to use embedded Post Script Type 1 fonts. Any legible font except script, italic, or ornamental font equivalent in scale to 10 pt. Arial or 12 pt. Times New Roman will be accepted by ProQuest. Italicized font may be used for non-English words and quotations. Applies to all text including captions, footnotes/endnotes, citations, et cetera.

ProQuest Recommended TrueType Fonts

*Web font. Designed for easy screen readability. Since many readers are likely to view and/or use your document onscreen, you may wish to improve the readability of your text by using one of these fonts.

If you intend to use LaTeX software to format your Thesis/Project, you can access an acceptable standard style template online. For more information, contact the Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

There is no set word limit on your abstract, as this constrains your ability to describe your research in a section that is accessible to search engines, and therefore would constrain potential exposure of your work. However, the abstract is intended to provide a brief overview of your research and the length of the abstract is normally no more than one double-spaced page, between 100 to 300 words.

Your manuscript can be either left-justified or fully-justified. The justification must be consistent throughout the manuscript.

Your manuscript must be written in the English language, except for those in the Department of Modern Languages, which may be written in the French language. The Dean may authorize the composition of a manuscript in other modern languages under the following conditions:

  1. The subject matter is appropriate to the request, for example a thesis examining literature in one specific language.
  2. The request is made in writing to the Dean by the candidate via the Department. This request would normally be made shortly after the submission of the initial thesis (or project) proposal. In an ideal case, the thesis proposal process would have been used to discuss the possibility with the supervisory committee.
    Note: Regardless of the language in which the manuscript will eventually be written, the initial thesis proposal must be written in English.
  3. The Department identifies a supervisory/examination committee that is qualified to assess the thesis, both in terms of the committee’s linguistic abilities and in terms of subject matter expertise. If an external examiner will be required, the external need not be identified at the time of the request.
  4. The Department provides a rationale for writing the manuscript in the requested language. This rationale would normally refer to disciplinary standards in the broader Canadian university context.

In all cases, the manuscript must include an English-language abstract. To facilitate access to the knowledge contained in the manuscript by a broader community, candidates are also encouraged to include a longer English-language summary as a prefatory chapter to the document.

The following applies to all material except page numbers, including figures, headers/footers, footnotes/endnotes, full page images, prefatory pages, main body pages, references, and appendices. Page numbers must be at least ¾" from edge of page.

If you intend to bind your manuscript, margins must be as follows:

  • Left margin: 3.8 centimeters / 1.5 inches
  • Right, top, and bottom margins: 2.5 centimeters / 1 inch

If you do not intend to bind your manuscript, margins may be either as above or as follows:

  • Left , right, top, and bottom margins: 2.5 centimeters / 1 inch

Prefatory pages:

  • The prefatory pages include the Title Page, Thesis Examination Committee Members Page, Dedication Page (optional), Table of Contents, Preface, (optional), et cetera (see Sequence of Materials, below).
  • Numbered consecutively, beginning with the Title Page, which does not have the page number on it. With the exception of the Thesis Examination Committee Members page, the remaining prefatory pages are numbered with a small Roman numeral centred at the bottom of the page.

Main body pages:

  • The main body pages begin at the Introduction or first chapter, and include the remainder of the manuscript;
  • Numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals centred at the bottom of the page. Numbering starts at “1”.

The Bibliography/Reference List and Appendices are part of the main body, and so must be numbered consecutively with the preceding main body pages. Do not number Appendix pages A1, B1, et cetera.

Pages must be in portrait orientation. Illustrations, including figures, tables, and images, may be presented in a landscape orientation if required for clarity.

The paper must be letter sized (21.5 centimetres × 28 centimetres / 8.5 inches x 11 inches).

It can include oversize pages (i.e., legal size) as fold-outs, folded so they are no more than 20 centimetres wide.

If supplementary materials—such as audio, video, and spreadsheets—are part of your Thesis/Project, you can submit them as supplementary files during the online submission process. Upload them as part of the submission process, and provide a description of each supplementary file or files in the abstract of your graduate work.

  • Do not embed media files in your PDF.
  • Upload media files as supplementary files. During online submission, you will be asked to upload any supplementary files.
  • Describe files in your abstract. Add a description of each supplementary file in your abstract.

Including supplementary materials with your submission may require additional paper documentation before ProQuest can complete the publishing process. For further information see the Library's Sample Permission Letter for Use of Previously Copyrighted Material.

Reprint Permission Letters: If you are going to include multimedia material covered under someone else's copyright—an audio or video clip, a digital photograph, et cetera—you must provide written permission to include it.

Third Party Software Licenses (if needed): If you are including third party software with your submission, you must provide written permission to distribute it. Note that this is different than including a file generated by a particular program. For example, including a Microsoft Excel file (XLS) does not require including the software license.

Some departments, faculties/schools, and/or areas may have additional guidelines and requirements for formatting of your Thesis/Project. You should consult with your Advisor and/or Graduate Program Office for additional submission and/or formatting guidelines and requirements. In cases of discrepancies between department, faculty/school, and/or area guidelines and requirements and those outlined above, the requirements outlined here shall prevail.

If, for any reason, you will need to deviate from the formatting requirements outlined above, you will need to obtain written permission from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies before submitting your request for final Thesis examination.

Sequence of materials

  • Has no page number, but is page i of the prefatory pages
  • Must include the universal copyright notice. The copyright date should be the year that your thesis was submitted for decanal approval. For example: © John A. Smith 2001
  • Use single-line spacing
  • thesis title page template is available online
  • Lists all members of the Thesis Examination Committee
  • Has no page number, but is page ii of the prefatory pages
  • Use single line spacing
  • Page iii of prefatory pages
  • Use double line spacing
  • Page iii of prefatory pages (or page iv if there is a Dedication Page)
  • Normally between 100 to 300 words
  • Use double line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use double line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use double line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use double line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use double line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use double line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use single line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use single line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use single line spacing
  • Prefatory page
  • Use single line spacing
  • Beginning of the body of the Thesis/Project
  • Main body pages
  • Use double line spacing
  • Main body pages
  • Depending on your style guide, references may appear at the end of each chapter or at the end of the main body and before the Appendices
  • Use single line spacing for each reference
  • Use double line spacing between references
  • Main body pages
  • Use single line spacing