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Thesis Dissertation or Record of Study FAQs

Are there resources for formatting a thesis, dissertation, or record of study manuscript?

Just as in any other publishing house, Texas A&M University has a number of specific formatting regulations that are required of all theses, dissertations, and records of study. Please use the following resources to help you with formatting:

  • Guidelines for Theses, Dissertations, and Records of Study
    • Pages 1-7 provide in-depth guidance for formatting your document
    • Pages 8-1 provide sample pages as examples
  • Document templates are available for Microsoft Word and LaTeX and highly recommended.
    • Although these don't eliminate the need for you to add formatting, they do come pre-formatted with most of our requirements, particularly for the preliminary pages.
    • Be sure to follow the accompanying instructions closely.
    • If you're new to Overleaf and LaTeX, help is available via their free introductory course and short tutorial video as well on their FAQ and Help pages. 
    • Overleaf also offers a free webinar series. The levels and topics vary, and you can find registration information for upcoming webinars along with recorded versions to play on demand. 

Can I use previously published material?

You are permitted to include textual material as well as figures and tables that you have published previously in your manuscript. However, you must be very careful about asking for permission to use each quote, figure, table, or data and giving the source proper citation.


If you have previously published parts of your manuscript, it is likely that the journal now owns the copyright. You must ask for permission to use the material in your manuscript. Then you need to send a copy of that permission to the Graduate and Professional School either by uploading it to Vireo or by emailing it to Please see our Permission to Use Copyrighted Material guide for more detailed instructions.


If your manuscript contains previously published figures/tables, you must consult a Fair Use Checklist to determine whether or not you need to ask permission to use them. If you need permission, please send us a copy of the publisher’s release statement.

Changes After Submitting or Clearance?

When you submit your thesis, dissertation, or record of study, its content should be finalized. After submission, you are not allowed to make any changes to your document other than those requested by your reviewer. After you clear Thesis and Dissertation Services for graduation, there are no changes allowed to your document.

How do I submit my document?

All theses, dissertations, and records of study will be submitted electronically to Vireo in final PDF form. The submission process can take approximately 20-30 minutes, so please give yourself enough time when considering our degree candidate deadlines. Vireo is also where you can upload copyright permissions (if needed) and where you will retrieve a list of corrections once a review has been completed.

Be sure to submit your document (and Written Approval Form) by 5 p.m. on deadline day. The Vireo system closes at that time; all submissions must be completed (not just begun) by 5 p.m. on deadline day to be accepted. Submitting earlier in the semester, prior to deadline day, is highly encouraged and will result in a faster review time for your document.

How long does the thesis and dissertation review process usually take?

The length of the review process varies greatly depending on the time of the semester, how closely the document follows our formatting guidelines, and the timeliness in which corrections are completed. Generally, the process can take approximately 2-3 weeks during non-peak review times and approximately 4-6 weeks during peak review times (from the week of deadline day through graduation).

What are theses, dissertations and records of study?

Theses, dissertations and records of study showcase different scholarly forms (single monograph, essay collection, articles, manuscripts, or record of research activities) to satisfy a degree program. Ultimately, each presents original student research, findings or creations. Whether you are required to produce a thesis, dissertation, or record of study depends on your degree type and the conventions of your discipline as described by your committee.

What format do I need to follow for my research proposal?

While it is recommended that proposals follow the formatting recommendations in the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines, the Graduate & Professional School does not require a specific format. Please consult your academic advisor.

What is the fee for processing my Electronic Thesis, Dissertation or Record of Study (ETD)?

Once your Written Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form and your document have been submitted, you will be charged a processing fee of either $110 for master’s or $170 for doctoral students. The processing fee is payable in person at Student Business Services or online through the Howdy portal.

What resources, handouts, or guides are available to help with formatting my Electronic Thesis, Dissertation or Record of Study (ETD)?

Binding Companies
Changing Document Page Size
Changing Page Numbers from Roman Numerals to Arabic Numbers
Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis (by ProQuest)
Copyright Basics Presentation
Creating PDF Files
Customary Ways to Cite Material in the Text
Journal Style Format
Landscape Figures/Tables: Re-orienting pages in Word
Notes and Endnotes
Oversized Illustrative Material
Oversized Illustrative Material Sample
Page Numbering in Word 2016
Permission to Use Copyrighted Material/Acknowledgement Statement
Roman Numeral Page Numbers in Table of Contents Set to Lowercase
Spanish Guidelines - Specific Guidelines for Theses Written in Spanish
Subheading Tips
Vertical Spacing in Word

Where can I find important forms and surveys I need to complete with my dissertation, thesis, or record of study?

In addition to submitting the PDF manuscript of your thesis, dissertation, or record or study to Vireo, Thesis & Dissertation Services also requires the following be submitted through the Academic Records Completion System (ARCS), accessible via the Howdy portal:

  • Doctoral Student Exit Surveys 
    • This should take about 15 minutes to complete. When finished, you will receive Certificates of Completion to upload in ARCS. 
    • Must be completed before you can initiate the Copyright and Availability Form. 
  • Copyright and Availability Form  
    • This form must be initiated in ARCS before you can initiate the thesis/dissertation approval form. Your committee chair must approve. 
  • Written Thesis Approval Form or Written Dissertation Approval Form
    • Your advisory committee and department must approve this form before we can review your document. 
    • If we do not receive this form by 5:00 pm on the deadline day of your graduating semester, you will be ineligible to graduate. 

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