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The Library's Theses Office assists with formatting theses, projects and extended essays for submission to the Library. You are encouraged to use the Library's thesis template to help format your thesis. The requirements stated on this page are default settings for the thesis template
Parts of a thesis
File format, file size, and page size
The final copy of the thesis must be converted to .pdf (PDF/A format) for submission to the Library (maximum 400 mb). See the guide Saving your thesis in PDF/A format for instructions.
Theses must be formatted for US Letter (8.5X11) pages. Landscape 8.5X11 and 11X17 pages are permitted. Legal, A4, or other paper sizes are not permitted.
The default template line spacing is 1.5 for text, with single-spaced block quotations.
Margins should be set to:
- 1.25" left/right
- 1" top/bottom
All pages must be numbered sequentially as outlined below, with the exception of the title page. Page numbers should appear at the bottom centre of each page, at a minimum of 0.5” from the edge of the page.
Preliminary pages of the thesis must be numbered with Roman numerals. On the first page of the main body, page numbers must restart with 1. The thesis template is preset with this numbering style.
SFU Library does not require a specific citation style. Consult your supervisor, your department’s graduate handbook, or a liaison librarian for help with determining which style is appropriate for your research.
The default formatting in the library’s thesis template may differ from some requirements of your citation style, but it is acceptable for SFU library submission.
Cumulative, or paper-based, theses must use the same general format as other submissions. Consult your supervisor or your department's graduate handbook for more information. If including published papers in a thesis, please consult the Copyright and your thesis FAQ.
Extended essays should be combined into a single document and single submission. For an example of an extended essays title page, see the Title page formatting information.
For theses written in a language other than English, the Library requires a second complete English title page and abstract. Supporting documentation must be in English.
Individual personal information must be removed from the thesis before publication, including signatures, email addresses, and phone numbers. For example, if you are including a survey instrument or consent form, your own contact information must be removed.
Blank pages in the thesis must be removed before publication.