Due to wide variations in style between disciplines, the HC does not provide formatting requirements for the actual text of the thesis. Use the style guide recommended by your mentor or major field of study to format elements including acknowledgments, table of contents, thesis chapters, tables, graphics, bibliography, appendices, etc.

The Honors College has established formatting requirements for the “pre-text” parts of the thesis. Pre-text elements include the front cover, front flyleaf, abstract, copyright page, title page, approval page, and back flyleaf. Each of these elements must appear in your thesis and must follow the HC formatting requirements outlined below.

In additions to the specific instructions below the HC has created a series of templates for your use. Download the appropriate template of formated pre-text pages or create your own using this as a guide (Be sure to complete the red text fields converting the red to black before printing, and include the underline where necessary)

  • If you are earning a single degree - here
  • If you are earning an international degree - here
  • If you are earning a double degree - here
  • If you are completeing a double major - here
  • If you are interested in using LaTeX formatting - here (provide by Honors College student Keith Lippincott)


Your thesis must include the following, in order:

1. Front cover: The information printed on the front cover of the bound copy (80 lb., Royal Marble or Royal Sundance Linen Cover Stock) is an exact duplicate of the title page described in the formatting template. The title page can be photocopied onto the marble card stock.

2. Front flyleaf: The front flyleaf is a blank sheet of paper that provides added protection for the text. It must be the same watermarked cotton rag paper as the thesis.

3. Abstract: The abstract extracts the key points of your research, highlighting its purpose, methods, major findings and substantive conclusions. It does not include figures, tables or citations. Do not exceed 200 words.

-Student name: Your first name should appear first, followed by your middle name(s), if any, and finally your last name(s).Your name must appear exactly on the abstract page as it does on the title and approval pages. Be consistent if using a nickname, initials, or hyphenated surname.

-Degree: Honors Baccalaureate of Science, Arts, or Fine Arts, followed by the official name of your major(s) (not department). The official name of your major may be obtained from the current OSU catalog.

-Defense date: The date of your thesis defense.

-Title: The title of your thesis.

-Approval signature: The abstract included in the bound thesis must contain the original signature of the mentor(s). The mentor’s name (without his or her title) must be typed under the signature line.

-Abstract text: In 200 words or less, describe the purpose, methods, findings, and conclusions of your research. Use the same spacing and font as your thesis text.

-Key Words: At the bottom of your abstract, skip a line, type the phrase “Key Words:” and list up to five key words, separated by commas, describing your thesis.

-Corresponding e-mail address: List your preferred corresponding e-mail address.


4. Copyright page: This page is recommended. The date indicated should be the date of your thesis defense. The HC does not claim copyright on HC thesis projects. The inclusion of your thesis in the Digital Repository does not compromise your copyright.

Copyright Rights: In the US, if you have created an original document, it is automatically copyrighted for the period of your lifetime plus seventy years.  Formal notice or registration is not necessary; nevertheless, you should include a copyright page (see formatting template) in your document to alert readers that you are the copyright owner and that you acknowledge your legal rights. You may wish to register your copyright, though this step is optional. Certificate of Registration establishes public record of your document, its copyright and your name and address. Students who choose to register the copyright personally should contact the Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office, 101 Independence Ave, S.E. Washington, D.C. 20559-6000 or visit copyright.gov


5. Title page: Please follow the template exactly to format your title page with center alignment and variable spacing.

-Title: Do not underline or italicize the thesis title.

-Student name: Remember that your name must appear exactly on the title page as it does on the abstract and approval pages.

-Degree: Use the official name of the degree.

-Major: Use the official name of your major, which can be found in the updated OSU catalog.

-Honors Track: Indicate either Honors Scholar or Honors Associate (not both).

-Presented date: The date of your thesis defense.

-Commencement date: Always the June following the term in which your degree is awarded—for example, Commencement June 2013 for a degree awarded Spring term 2013; Commencement June 2014 for a degree awarded Summer term 2013.  This is the case regardless of the commencement ceremony you may participate in.


6. Approval page: Please follow the template exactly to format your approval page.

-Degree and Major: Use the complete name of the degree. The official major names can be obtained in the current OSU Catalog.

-Student name: Your name must appear exactly on the approval page as it does on the abstract and title pages.

-Defense date: The month, day, and year that you held your thesis defense.

-Approval signatures: The first signature line is for your mentor. Type the mentor’s name, role (Mentor), and the mentor’s official department. The second and third signature lines are for your committee members. Type the member’s name, role (Committee Member), and department. The fourth signature line is for the Dean of the Honors College. Type the dean’s name, role (Dean), Honors College. The dean’s signature will always be the last one obtained upon by the HC after submitting the bound thesis to the HC office.

-Student signature: Signing your name constitutes consent to shelve your thesis for public reference in the Honors College.

When you submit the bound copy of your thesis to the HC, your approval page must contain all committee member signatures including your own. All signatures must be original, and it is your responsibility to obtain them. Be sure to check on committee members’ availability well in advance of the due date.


7. Thesis text: The only HC requirement for the body of the thesis is that the entire project must be written in English. Exceptions may be made, if appropriate, in appendix material, or on dedication or acknowledgment pages only.


8. Back flyleaf: The back flyleaf is a blank sheet of paper that provides added protection for the text. It must be the same watermarked cotton rag paper as the thesis.


9. Back cover: The back cover is a blank card stock cover in 80 lb., Royal Marble or Royal Sundance Linen Cover Stock.


Refer to the HC Bound Thesis Printing Specifications for other instructions, including spacing margins and paper stock.