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Master's Thesis & Capstone Project Style Guide

This provides required formatting guidelines for authors of master's theses, capstone projects ,and creative projects prepared for Dominican University of California. Please read the guidelines carefully and consult with your thesis advisor and the Schol

Title Page

  • The thesis title page is the first page of your thesis. 
  • The title page is counted as page "i" but the page number is not visible
  • No images are allowed on the title page

The title page has three sections: (1) title and byline, (2) fulfillment statement, (3) location and date

Thesis Title and Byline

  • The title should be:
    • Top of the page
    • centered
    • bold-faced
    • use title case

Fulfillment  Statement

  • The fulfillment statement is vertically and horizontally centered on the title page
  • The following wording is used for the fulfillment statement (The correct project type, degree, and department name should be inserted in place of the brackets):

A culminating [thesis or capstone project, project submitted to the faculty of Dominican University of California in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of [degree name] in [major]

NOTE: Please replace the bracketed items with the appropriate wording for your document type, degree, and major
Major Degree Document Type
Biological Sciences Master of Science thesis
Clinical Laboratory Sciences Master of Science project
Counseling Psychology Master of Science thesis
Education Master of Science thesis
Humanities Master of Arts thesis
Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts thesis
Occupational Therapy Master of Science capstone project


Location and Date

  • The location and date is:
    • Bottom of the page
    • Centered
  • The thesis should bear the date (month and year) the degree is to be awarded, not the date the thesis is submitted; this means the date will either read May [year] or December [year]. 
  • The following wording should be used for the location and date:

Dominican University of California

San Rafael, CA

[Graduation Month and Year]

Copyright Page

You automatically own the copyright to your work and no one may legally copy any part of it without your permission.   You also may choose to use a Creative Commons copyright to give more flexibility with how your readers may use your thesis.  If you have questions about copyright options please contact Dominican Scholar Administrator

  • The copyright page appears as the third page of your thesis and uses a lower-case Roman numeral three: "iii"
  • The copyright statement is:
    • 1" from the bottom of the page
    • Centered
  • If you would like to use a Creative Commons copyright on your thesis please talk with the University's Scholarly Communications Librarian

Copyright Statement

Copyright © [author's name] [year of publication]. All rights reserved.

Abstract Page

An abstract, no more than one page in length, must accompany each thesis. The abstract is written concisely (usually no more than 300 words) and states the purpose, design, and results of the research or a description of your project.

Biological Sciences and Clinical Laboratory Sciences Abstracts
If you are a Biological Sciences or Clinical Laboratory Sciences graduate student your abstract in your Dominican Scholar entry may differ from the abstract in your paper. Because your paper may be under embargo, be sure to have your PI approve of the abstract that will appear online so that it does not contain unreleased data, results or proprietary information.

Acknowledgements Page

An acknowledgments page includes a short paragraph acknowledging those people who helped and supported you through the thesis process. It's an nice way to say "Thank you".

Table of Contents Page

  • Your thesis must include a Table of Contents listing all major headings that appear including the Abstract, Acknowledgements,List of Tables, List of Figures.
  • Page numbers listed in the table of contents correspond with the material presented in your thesis. If you are asked to make revisions within your thesis, make sure to check that the page numbers listed in the Table of Contents, List of Tables, and List of Figures are still correct.  Any headings, subheadings, or captions listed in the front matter must match exactly with those that appear within the thesis.

List of Tables Page

  • If you have any tables in your thesis you must include a List of Tables after the Table of Contents
  • The List appears on it's own page
  • The List includes each table (even if there is only one) listed sequentially as they appear in your paper
  • Each item in the List includes the table number and a short description (usually the whole or a portion of the table caption) and the page number on which the table appears.

List of Figures Page

  • If you have any images, charts, graphs, etc. in your thesis you must include a List of Figures after the Table of Contents.
  • The List appears on it's own page.
  • The List includes each figure (even if there is only one) listed sequentially as they appear in your paper.
  • Each item in the List includes the figure number and a short description (usually the whole or a portion of the table caption) and the page number on which it appears.

Abbreviations Page

If your paper includes constantly appearing abbreviations you may include a list of abbreviations. Abbreviations usually appear, but are not limited to, scientific papers.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License