Instructions for Preparing the Dissertation

Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine Thesis Committee update form.

Click here to download the Thesis Committee update form.

In general, successful theses range from 125 -225 pages without references.

i) Manual of Style: Style (including capitalization and punctuation) is not rigid, but the style selected should be adhered to strictly and consistently.

ii) Line Spacing: The text of the Dissertation is to be double-spaced except for footnotes, figures, legends and bibliography, which are to be single-spaced.

iii) Required font: Arial 11 pt., Helvetica 11 pt. or Times New Roman 12 pt. Figure legends may be one point smaller than the text, to set them off from the text, but must be easily readable.

iv.) Paper: The final copies of the Dissertation are to be printed single-sided on 8 1/2″ x 11″ good quality paper that is not punched or perforated in any way. Copies submitted to the Thesis Defense Committee for review may be duplicated on standard photocopy paper, printed double sided and secured using either a three-hole binder or a spring binder. They may also be submitted electronically, but must be in the required format.

v.) Pagination: Every paper in a Thesis is assigned a number. There are two series of page numbers. The first, in small Roman numerals, begins with the title page and ends with the last page preceding Chapter I. The second series, in Arabic numerals, begins with the first page of Chapter I and continues throughout the Dissertation, including graphs, illustrations, tables, bibliography and appendices.

vi) Margins: The margins at the top, bottom and right are to be 1.0 inch; the left-hand margin is to be 1.5 inches. All tables, charts and illustrations are to have left-hand margins of no less than 1.5 inches because of binding requirements. Any over-size material may be folded in from the right, top and bottom in such a way as to leave a 1.5 inch margin on the left side.

vii) Spelling: The spelling given in any standard dictionary may be used. However, whatever forms are adopted should be adhered to consistently throughout the text of the Dissertation.

viii.) Tables, Figures, Reproductions: Tables and Figures and all legends should be embedded into the document at the appropriate places. Tables are numbered consecutively throughout the Thesis. The word “Table” (only the first letter is capitalized), followed by the appropriate Arabic numeral, is placed before the caption text. Figures are numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, with the word “Figure” (only the first letter is capitalized) and the appropriate numeral appearing before the caption text. Captions for figures and tables should be in bold font. If possible, figures should be oriented in the “portrait’ configuration. Submitted figures should be of sufficiently high resolution to be easily interpreted by the reader. Legends should be placed below the figure on the same page if at all possible to facilitate the reading of the Thesis. Figure legends should be complete (including sample size, statistics, doses, time points, etc).

ix.) References and Footnotes: References to published articles within the text should be referred to in abbreviated form, (i.e. Student and Mentor, 1995; or Student et al.,1995). They must be fully spelled out in the bibliography, including all authors. Every reference listed must appear in the bibliography (see below). Footnotes are to be placed at the foot of the page and numbered consecutively for each chapter.


Two Dissertation formats are accepted. Format A is the traditional organization of a Dissertation. Format B is organized with each results chapter corresponding to a published journal article. The accepted Thesis formats (Formats A and B) are described below.

The format chosen must be maintained throughout the Dissertation. Students must discuss with their mentor the appropriate Dissertation format.

Format A – Written as a single overall presentation
Format B – A combination of published manuscripts and unpublished data

The following sections of the Dissertation are common to both formats.

i) Title Page: The title page is to list at the top the title of the Dissertation, the student’s full name the full name and title of the Thesis advisor and, at the bottom, the statement: “Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, The Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine, New York (month and year).” A sample page is shown at the end of this section, which illustrates the format. The date given is not when the Dissertation is submitted, but the day of the defense.

ii) Abstract: The abstract of the Dissertation is to include: a hypothesis, the procedures followed, the significant results and the general conclusions. The abstract is to be presented on a separate page headed with the word ABSTRACT in capital letters centered on the page. On the next line is the title of the Dissertation. The following line is the name of the student.

iii) Acknowledgments: This feature is not required, but offers a convenient opportunity to express the writer’s appreciation to persons who have been especially helpful or to the publishers of materials from which data have been drawn and to whomever else acknowledgment should be given.

iv) Table of Contents: The table of contents should list the chapters or other division headings of the Dissertation, using the same words that appear in the body of the report. The numbers of the pages on which these items appear should also be given. The table of contents is to be followed by separate page listings for tables and for figures and illustrations.

v) List of Abbreviations: All abbreviations used in the Dissertation except for very standard abbreviations such as DNA or RNA should be listed, in alphabetical order.

vi) Bibliography: The format for the references included in the bibliography should follow that in the suggested manual of style of a highly respected scientific journal. At a minimum, each reference must include the names of all authors, the title of the article, the name of the journal, the volume number and the pages of the article. If Format B is selected, the bibliography includes only references from text that is not included in the published manuscripts. The bibliographies of the Dissertation may be compiled for each chapter separately or together at the end of the Dissertation, depending on the format (A vs. B).

vii.) Appendix: The appendix may include but is not limited to:

  • Published papers–reprints if Format B is not used
  • Written permission from the copyright holders if copyright material by the student or other authors (e.g. publications, tables, charts, pictures, etc.) are included in the Dissertation


  • Submitted manuscripts
  • Drafts of manuscripts expected to be submitted shortly
  • Surveys of patient data or other data that is not appropriate for the body of the thesis
  • Computer programs