This information provides an overview of the preparation, formatting, submitting, and completing a dissertation, thesis, or other research manuscripts. For additional information and formatting questions, please contact:

UW Oshkosh
Office of Graduate Studies
800 Algoma Blvd
Dempsey 345
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 424-1223

Manuscript Preparation

1. Before a student may register for dissertation or thesis credits, they must be in full/good academic standing and have completed their Admission to Candidacy. Registration may be completed before a student submits their Research Proposal Form.

  • Note: if certain conditions exist (e.g. an “Incomplete” (I) grade), registration may be delayed.

2. The student selects a committee chair/advisor and members as appropriate from their graduate degree program.

3. The student prepares a short proposal and defends to the selected committee, depending on the program.

4. If human participation, animal care or use, or biohazardous material is involved in research or preparation, the student is required to obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Participants (IRB), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and/or the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).

5. Complete a Research Proposal Form and a 250-word proposal or Abstract to their research committee and graduate program coordinator. After the research committee members and graduate program coordinator have approved and signed the form, the student should forward it to the Office of Graduate Studies. If applicable, include a copy of the IRB, IACUC, and/or IBC approval.

If there is a change in any of the following after the Research Proposal Form is approved, the student should submit a memo listing these changes to the Office of Graduate Studies. This memo should be signed by the student, advisor or committee chair, and the graduate program coordinator:

  • Change in Dissertation or Thesis Committee Membership
  • Change in Title of the Dissertation or Thesis
  • Change in Course Registration (i.e. change from thesis to capstone; this may require additional documentation, including an Add/Drop Card or Appeal to Late Add/Drop)
  • Change in Proposed Research – This may require resubmission for IRB, IACUC, and/or IBC review.

6. After all of the above is complete, the student may begin their research and write their dissertation or thesis manuscript.

Manuscript Writing

Students are no longer required to submit drafts of their work for approval prior to the defense of their thesis or dissertation.

Submitting the culminating research project: In order to graduate in a particular semester, you need to submit your thesis or dissertation on the last day of the 14-week semester or 8-week summer term which is also the official graduation date. To find your final date for submission, you can view the academic calendar and look for the academic year you plan to graduate. On the appropriate calendar, look to see when the last day of the 14-week semester or 8-week term falls and that’s the due date for your research to be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office.

There are certain requirements that the Graduate Studies Office has for theses and dissertations. They must include both an abstract on the first page of the document and a signature page on the second page. It is also acceptable though to have the signature page submitted separately at the time of the submission of the final manuscript. Note – the final signature needed for the signature page (the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Dean of Graduate Studies) will be obtained by the Office of Graduate Studies.

This MS Word signature page template may be filled out and used in your manuscript. Please simply replace the words without altering the format.

Here’s a thesis and dissertation template. For each, only the first two pages are required. The other pages are only an example of how your thesis or dissertation might look. Please consult with your thesis and dissertation advisor for specific formatting instructions.

Your final submission must be in PDF format.

If you are interested in help with style, this manual has been created and might be helpful. However, the Graduate Studies Office no longer provides guidance or requirements on format or style on the actual writing and citations. You should consult with your thesis advisor for the formatting and style requirements for your research project. Approach this manual as simply a helpful guide to how your document might look.

Preserving and sharing your work

Once you send us your manuscript, with your permission, we share it with MINDS@UW, a University of Wisconsin System web site designed to gather, distribute, preserve, and share digital materials related to the University of Wisconsin’s research and instructional mission. For MINDS@UW to distribute your work globally, you would need to agree to their terms by verifying you hold the rights to your work. In order for us to share your work with them, you need to fill out the copyright form below. It is your choice whether or not you want them to preserve and share your work.

Binding your manuscript

Often graduate students like to have their manuscript bound. You can make your own decision about binding. Binding your manuscript is not a requirement of our office.

If you plan to have your manuscript bound, please set the manuscript margins at 1 ½ inches from the left and top and 1 inch from the right and bottom. In turn, the page numbers should be set at the top of the page in the upper right corner, 1 inch from the top of the page. Page numbers positioned at the bottom of the page should also be 1 inch from the edge of the page and centered horizontally. Any running copy should be set at 1” from the top and/or bottom of the page. These margin requirements ensure that none of the copy is cut off in the binding process.

If you would like your manuscript bound,  you can do so through through Thesis on Demand.  This website allows you to upload the PDF of your final, approved manuscript, specify your order details, and have the bound copied shipped directly to you.  The traditional order details are:  Summit Cloth cover in black, gold spine printing, single-sided printing on 60# white paper.


Overview of submission process

On the final day of the 14-week semester or the final day of the 8-week summer session, the following are due to the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • A PDF copy of the complete, approved manuscript (one continuous file) emailed to Graduate Studies ( The PDF copy will be added to Polk Library’s circulating collection and will also be included in MINDS@UW, a University of Wisconsin System research database designed to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the University of Wisconsin’s research and instructional mission.
  • A signature page (in PDF format) that is signed by all committee members.
  • A signed copyright agreement form.

A Request for Extension of Project Completion Form is required if all final materials listed above are not turned into the Office of Graduate Studies on the final day of the 14-week semester or the final day of the 8-week summer session.

UW Oshkosh Graduate Studies

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901-8621


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Dempsey Hall,  Room 345

Office hours Monday–Friday
7:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m

Phone: (920) 424-1223
Fax: (920) 424-0247

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