Dissertation Guidelines and Checklist

A message from Associate Dean Candace Hetzner

Congratulations on nearing the end of your doctoral work at Boston College. If you would like to schedule an optional Exit Interview please contact me at hetzner@bc.edu. This is an opportunity for you to share your experiences and assist us in formulating objectives for future change.

Submit your dissertation online

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Dissertation Checklist

Elements of Your Dissertation

The following should be submitted in this order:

  • Traditional Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Abstract
  • Dissertation

Traditional Title Page

The title page must conform to this sample; otherwise, the Graduate School reserves the right to require the page to be redone. The dissertation title should be concise and meaningful, and the title on the signature page and title page should match.

Copyright Page

Regardless of which option you select with UMI, this page is required and must conform to this sample; otherwise, the Graduate School reserves the right to require the page to be redone. The copyright year should match the date of defense.


The abstract must include the title of your dissertation, your name, and that of your dissertation advisor as the heading. The abstract must be double-spaced in the same type font as the dissertation text.

Dissertation Form and Style

The signature page, traditional title page, copyright page, and the abstract must not be numbered.

The Graduate School does not require use of one particular style manual; however, make sure that you consistently follow one method of reference and bibliographic notation throughout your dissertation.

The typing of all textual material must be double-spaced; notes, bibliographic references, and long quotations may be single-spaced. The font size must be minimum (10) point. While the font size and style should be consistent throughout your text, the notes, bibliographic references, and long quotations may be in a size smaller than your text, but must still be at least (10) point.


Dissertations should ordinarily be written in English. In exceptional cases where there are substantial academic reasons for doing so, departments—with the approval of the associate dean for academic affairs—may accept dissertations in a language other than English.

Margins and Page Numbers

Left and right margins must be 1.25 inches. Top and bottom margins must be (1) inch. Page numbers must be 1 inch from paper edge on top or bottom of page.These margins must be strictly maintained throughout your work.


The traditional title page, copyright page and abstract cannot be numbered and should be submitted in that order. Table of contents, acknowledgments (optional), lists of tables, etc. are considered the introductory material of the manuscript; therefore, the pages should be numbered in lower case Roman numerals (i, ii, etc.). Every page of the dissertation body, i.e., after the introductory material, must be sequentially numbered in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.).

Charts, Graphs, Tables

Illustrative material may be included (in color, greyscale, or black and white).

If you have any questions about the format of your dissertation contact the Dean's Office, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Gasson 108, at 617-552-3268. Dissertations not conforming to the minimum standards described here in may be returned to the candidate and the awarding of the degree delayed.

Dissertation Submission

Dissertation submission

  1. To qualify for graduation you must deposit your completed dissertation with the University by the date indicated on the University Academic Calendar.
  2. In order to graduate your graduation date must match your graduation date listed in Agora. If not, you must contact the Dean's Office at 617-552-3268 or gsasinfo@bc.edu to have this corrected.
  3. Follow the Dissertation Checklist to ensure you have completed all requirements.

All elements on the following checklist must be completed by the deadline for dissertation submission printed on the University's Academic Calendar.