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Dissertation Template Microsoft Word

Word Thesis template and instructions

Thesis template

Thesis template instructions

The SFU Library thesis template is a Microsoft Word file designed to assist students in preparing theses, projects, and extended essays.  The template and instructions are .docx files, and have been tested in Word 2011 (Mac), Word 2013 (Windows), and Word 2016/365 (Windows and Mac).  

Updates: [3/14/17, 3.01] fixed line spacing on template page ii. (1/31/17, 3.0) based on user feedback, styles have been simplified, consolidated, and renamed for ease of use.  General formatting guidelines for font, line spacing, margins, and other document elements have not changed, as detailed in Requirements and Format. Template instructions have been edited and condensed for the current update.

LaTeX template

Please note that SFU Library does not provide technical support for LaTeX users.  However, the Library has worked with previous SFU graduate students to provide a template and LaTeX class that sets your thesis according to SFU's Requirements & format before submission.

Download the SFU thesis LaTeX template and class here.

Current release: v2.2.1 (bugfix) - this release fixes a bug introduced in v2.2.0 and is recommended for all users of the template.  If you have started working with a previous version of the template, only needs to be replaced:

  1. Download the new version of the template.
  2. Replace your copy of 
  3. That's it! There's no need to replace any of your other files.

If you run into a problem with the LaTeX template or class, please contact the "Current Maintainer" (Ross Churchley as of 1 May 2015). Students with general questions about using LaTeX or problems are encouraged to consult one of the following resources:

The SFU thesis LaTeX project is a volunteer effort made by many SFU graduate students over the years. Thanks to the following students who contributed to the old template: Stephen Chan (1989), Margaret Sharon (1996), Pepe Kubon (1997-98), Greg Baker (2003-06), Chris McIntosh (2011), Bradley Coleman (2012), Juan Galvez (2012), Firuz Demir (2013), Ahmed Saad (2013), Reynaldo Arteaga (2014). Version 2.0 of the template was written by Ross Churchley (2014-15).

v2.2.1 (July 21, 2017): Version 2.2.0 tightened the spacing of chapter and section titles that go on for multiple lines. Unfortunately, the code that fixed that issue had unexpected side effects when using 

v2.2.0 (Summer 2017): Introduces a redesigned approval page, matching the Spring 2017 update to the official Word template; tightens spacing for chapter and section titles that go on for multiple lines; separates footnotes from body text with vertical space instead of a dividing line; simplifies standard copyright disclaimer; documents the process for adding an Ethics Statement; adds helpful defaults, such as \frenchspacing, to the template's customization suggestions. (Ross Churchley)

Legacy Word templates (pre-Spring 2017)

For assistance with pre-Spring 2017 template files, contact thesis@sfu.ca.

Our thesis formatting tutorial takes you step-by-step through the process of formatting your thesis from our template file. For more information on how to format and edit your manuscript, see our Thesis & Dissertation Formatting General Advice page.
Note: Therules and guidelines for thesis and dissertation formatting are developed by the Graduate School. Questions about the guidelines, or interpretation of them, should be directed to the Office of Degree Requirements at (413) 545-0025.

Download the Tutorials & Template Files

Find your version of Word below to download the tutorial appropriate to your needs. We also provide a template for creating your thesis and an example of what a final thesis should look like. The Graduate School rules permit three different heading and Table of Contents formats. To provide support for the greatest possible number of students, these files help you use the two most-frequently-used formats, numeric (Scientific) and simple (Traditional). See the Graduate School Guidelines for Master’s Theses and Doctoral Dissertations for more information on the permitted formats. Please read the tutorial appropriate to your version of Microsoft Word before you decide which format to use.

* You can use your computer's built-in Archive or Unzip utility to open these .zip files and access the individual sample files. You can also unzip them using dedicated .zip utilities, such as 7-Zip (Windows) or StuffIt Expander (Macintosh). Consult the Help documentation for your computer or program of choice for more information.