Document Template

These template files are meant to help guide students in creating an ETD that meets the requirements for Texas A&M University as set forth in the Thesis & Dissertation Manual. They are a companion piece to be used in unison with the Thesis Manual. Using a template file does not negate responsibility to follow all Thesis Manual guidelines.

Most templates have been prepared in Microsoft Word® but are often usable in other word processing programs. Prior to using these template files, students should check with academic committee members or department personnel to verify if special requirements apply. Several Texas A&M University departments, especially within the College of Engineering, use LaTeX software to develop ETDs rather than using MS Word. Thesis and Dissertation Services accepts documents prepared in any of the three templates below.

Template Overview

Template Word Processing ETDs
Basic May be the right choice for students with limited word processing experience, especially in the Microsoft Office suite. May be appropriate for ETDs that have few text sections, headings, figures, tables, and equations.
Recommended - Chapter
Recommended - Section 
Recommended - Journal Article
May be the right choice for students familiar with word processing software and/or proficient in the Microsoft Office suite. Might save time when working with ETDs that have numerous sections, headings, figures, tables, and equations.
Overleaf (for LaTeX users) May be the best choice for students experienced in using LaTeX. Might provide needed capabilities for highly technical ETDs, including those with numerous equations.


The Word Templates

The templates provided above are in the format designated by Texas A&M University, including spacing, page numbering, margins, and headings. Please see below for tips on navigating the templates.

  1. Download a template.
    • Basic - Please note that the Basic Template is exactly that, basic. In the Basic Template, the layout is present but the student fills in each part by hand, including page numbers in the Table of Contents (this can get frustrating and difficult to keep accurate).
    • Recommended - The Recommended Templates use Styles to automate the Table of Contents and other lists, which also automates all page numbers. Choose which Recommended template best describes your document layout: chapter, section, or journal article style. 

  2. On the Title Page, choose the appropriate items from the dropdown menus (e.g. degree, semester, etc.).​

  3. Either type your thesis directly into the template or copy and paste from another source. If you are copying from another source, be sure to remove formatting for easier use. (You can drop the content into Notepad or another plain-text editor to remove formatting.)

  4. Remove any optional pages that you do not want to include (such as Acknowledgements, Nomenclature, etc.). Please note that the Contributors & Funding Sources page is NOT an optional page; it must be included in every ETD.

  5. Be sure each level of subheading is consistently formatted. If you would like to change the style of a subheading, select text from your document that is in the style you’d like to change, open up the Styles menu (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S), then select Manage Styles at the bottom of the Styles menu.  Currently, the Recommended Template has the following subheading styles:
    • First Level Subheading – Centered, Bold
    • Third Level Subheading – Left, Bold
    • Second Level Subheading – Centered, Italics
    • Fourth Level Subheading - Left, Italics

  6. Do a final update on all lists (Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables) to ensure text and page accuracy. Then change the preliminary page numbers in the Table of Contents to lowercase (see handout).

  7. When you are completely done, convert your document to PDF. Then check document for the following:
    • Margins – Consistent throughout document, including all figures/tables within margins
    • Page Numbering – No page number on Title Page, preliminary page numbers in roman numerals, and first chapter beginning on Arabic page 1
    • Font – All regular text font in 12 pt and the same style
    • Spacing – Document is double spaced
    • Blank Pages – Remove them
    • Content – Double check all of your pages. Sometimes the conversion to PDF process causes random errors like removing images, adding blank pages, removing captions, etc.

Overleaf for LaTeX Users

For assistance with the Overleaf template, please consult the Overleaf online knowledge base, their "Learn LaTeX in 30 Minutes" guide, or sign up for one of their pre-recorded webinars.


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