Here are the steps you need to follow to submit your electronic thesis or dissertation. You will also find formatting guidelines required by the Graduate Board and Doctor of Philosophy Board.

Submission Checklist

  1. Start the process after you have defended and made any final edits to your thesis or dissertation
  2. Check the formatting guidelines to make sure your pages are numbered correctly and are arranged in the proper order
  3. Contact if you have any questions
  4. Save your ETD as a PDF/A file
  5. Login to the submission system using your JHED ID
  6. Enter the required descriptive fields
  7. Read and agree to the submission agreement
  8. Upload your PDF/A
  9. Go to the fee payment site and pay your $60.00 fee
  10. If you get an email asking for changes, follow the link and resubmit your corrected ETD
  11. Forward a copy of your approval email to your appropriate graduate office, if required

General Formatting

Following these formatting guidelines while preparing your ETD will ensure that you have an easily readable, professional-looking work. In addition, these requirements will enable you to print copies for yourself, your advisor, or family members, if you so choose.

Order and Content

An asterisk (*) indicates required by the library. Your department or school may have additional requirements.

Front Matter – the front matter elements must appear in the order listed below (note that some elements are optional). Each new part should begin on a new page.

  • Title page*
  • Abstract*
  • Preface, including acknowledgments
  • Table of Contents, with titles and page references*
  • List of Tables, with titles and page references
  • List of Figures, with titles and page references
  • List of Plates, with titles and page references


  • Introduction
  • Main body, with the larger divisions and more important minor divisions indicated by suitable, consistent headings*


  • Appendices
  • Bibliography
  • Curriculum Vitae* – this is required to be the last part of your ETD

Spacing and Type

  • The body of the text and abstract must be double-spaced except for footnotes or long quotations.
  • Fonts such as Times Roman, Bookman, New Century Schoolbook, Garamond, Palatine, and Courier are acceptable and commonly found on most computers.
  • The same type must be used throughout the body of the text.
  • The font size must be 10 point or larger and footnotes must be two sizes smaller than the text but no smaller than eight (8) points.
  • Chapter, section, or other headings should be of a consistent font and size throughout the ETD, as should labels for illustrations, charts, and figures.


  • The ETD must have a margin of 1½ inches on the left side of the page if you are planning to print and bind it. Only one inch is required if you are only producing a digital version.
  • The other three (3) sides of the page, top, right side and bottom, must have a one (1) inch margin.
  • This requirement applies to all portions of text (including footnotes/endnotes), as well as to pages containing charts, graphs, tables, photographs, etc. and appendices.
  • When landscaping page orientation for a chart or table, etc. the binding side must maintain the 1½ inch margin. For landscape, that would be at the top of the page.


  • For the front matter, (abstract, acknowledgments, etc.) use small Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.).
  • The numbering begins with ii on the abstract. While the title page counts as i, the page number on the title page must be suppressed.
  • Each page in the manuscript, including all blank pages, must be assigned a number.
  • You must print on each blank page “Intended to be blank.”
  • Each page must be numbered within the margin. All numbers must be centered at the bottom of the page.
  • For the remainder of the ETD, including text, illustrations, appendices, and bibliography, use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.). The numbering begins with one (1) and runs consecutively to the end of the manuscript, including the Curriculum Vitae. Do not use suffixes to the Arabic numerals, such as 12a.
  • If the description of an illustration or table is too long to be placed on the same page, it should be placed on the previous page and numbered accordingly.
  • Pages containing charts, graphs, tables, or photographs must be numbered consecutively with the text.

Title Page

Words chosen for the title should be carefully selected to represent the subject content as accurately as possible. They are frequently used as keywords when the subject is being searched. Appropriate substitutes for Greek letters, symbols, formulas, superscripts, and subscripts must be used, as these may not be included in the title of the dissertation/thesis.

The entire title page must be centered within the left and right margins. The title itself must be written in all capital letters, single or double-spaced. The page should adhere to the format on the sample provided (link on the bottom of this page).

  • Title: Approximately 1 ½ inches from top of page
  • Author: Drop down approximately 1 inch below the title and type the word “by.” On the next line below “by” (single spaced) type your name, see example
  • Statement: If writing a dissertation, write the following in two lines as shown here, approximately 1 ½ inches below your name: “A dissertation submitted to Johns Hopkins University in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy” do not include additional information such as your department name.
  • If writing a masters thesis, write the following in two lines as shown here,  approximately 1 ½ inches below your name: “A thesis submitted to Johns Hopkins University in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of…” (e.g. Fine Arts, Science etc.). Do not include additional information such as your department name.
  • Location of JHU: Approximately ½ inch below the statement, type the following: “Baltimore, Maryland”
  • Submission date: on the next line below the location (single spaced) enter the month and year (such as “April 2019”) you submit your thesis to the ETD Submission Tool. Do not include any additional information such as a day.
  • Notice of Copyright (optional): If you choose to type the notice of copyright it will be approximately 1 to 2 inches from the bottom of the page, it will include the copyright symbol, the year you completed the thesis and your name on the first line. The second line (single spaced) will have the statement “All Rights Reserved.”
  • See an example of a properly formatted title page in our dissertation repository.


Each dissertation or thesis must contain an abstract immediately following the title page. It should present a succinct account of the work. The abstract must be double-spaced and should not be more than 350 words. The abstract should contain:

  1. a statement of the problem or theory
  2. procedure or methods
  3. results
  4. conclusions

The abstract must provide the name of the readers/advisors at the bottom and conform to all requirements for the printing of the dissertation. All abstracts must be in English, even if permission has been granted for a dissertation to be written in a language other than English.

Footnotes & Endnotes

The arrangement of footnotes or endnotes should conform to the established practice in a given field. Students may ascertain what this practice is from the department or use a standard manual of style such as A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, or the MLA Style Manual. Footnotes must be produced in a font size two point sizes smaller than the text.

Acknowledgments & Curriculum Vitae

If the student desires to make acknowledgments, these should be printed on a separate page. The final page of the thesis or dissertation should contain a brief biographical sketch. This “scholarly life” or “curriculum vitae” should record the date and location of the author’s birth and the salient facts of his or her academic training and experience in teaching and research.

PDF/A Creation

PDF/A is an ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format (PDF) specialized for the digital preservation of electronic documents. You need to save your dissertation as a PDF/A file and upload it as your official submission. For more information, see the Wikpedia article on the format.  Please note that while you can save a Word for Windows document as a PDF/A (see below for instructions) you cannot do so directly from Word for Mac. If you are a Mac user, consider saving your Word document as a PDF/A using a Windows computer, such as at the library, or using the Adobe Acrobat Pro method.

Some things to keep in mind about PDF/A are:

  • you cannot include audio and video content; still images are fine
  • you cannot include JavaScript or executable files
  • fonts must be embedded

If you need to include audio, video, or other files, you can submit them as supplementary files. Contact us at for more help with PDF/A or supplementary files.

Students may use Adobe Acrobat Pro to convert regular PDF files into PDF/A files using its “Preflight” function on the edit menu. Simply choose “Convert to PDF/A-1b”.

To create a PDF/A from Word for Windows:

  • click “file” then “save as PDF”
  • make sure file type is “pdf files”
  • click on Options and a box with “PDF Options” will open
  • check the “Create PDF/A” box, then click “OK” and “Save”.

To create a PDF/A from LaTeX:

  • follow the instructions for using a LaTeX template
  • the Library has no LaTeX experience, so use this method at your own risk!