Graduate Studies


Preliminary Review

We recommend the following:

  1. Review all information on the Thesis/Project web pages.
  2. Use the example editable formatted thesis template document with editor's notes (DOC) to assist you.
  3. Meet with your graduate advisory committee chair for guidance.
  4. Professional formatters may be available (see below).
  5. Contact with specific questions or to request an individual appointment.

Student’s Final Submission of Thesis/Project

Please review the Instructions for the Final Submission. (PDF) The student will be responsible for submitting the completed and signed Thesis/Project Final Verification web form. The student must also submit the following to

  • PDF of the Thesis/Project (save as T/P, Last Name, First Name)
  • PDF copies of copyright permissions, if applicable

Final Clearance by Office of Graduate Studies

  • Thesis/Project received for final approval will not be accepted if any of the final submission documents (see above) are missing.
  • All theses/projects must follow the specific guidelines established by the Office of Graduate Studies per Guide to Graduate Studies and Procedures.
  • The Office of Graduate Studies will allow one final edit of each thesis/project if the revisions are cosmetic and not content related.
  • Thesis/Project not in compliance with all aspects of both the University format and departmental style guide requirements may be rejected. Note: Candidates for graduation will not be cleared if out of compliance and will be required to reapply for graduation for a subsequent semester.
  • The Office of Graduate Studies will not allow for any extensions to the submission deadline. Rare exceptions deemed an emergency will be reviewed by the Dean.

Degree Evaluations

The student’s academic record will be reviewed before clearance of the master’s degree by Academic Evaluators to confirm that all degree requirements have been met. Contact the evaluators with any questions or concerns regarding your graduation check and degree clearance.

  • Sarah Lehner, Master's Degree Evaluator for students with last names beginning with A-H
  • Meredith Huddleson, Master's Degree Evaluator for students with last names beginning with I-Z

Working with a Formatter

Many candidates prefer to leave the specifics of the technical format requirements to a professional formatter. See list of formatters. However, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to determine if the chosen formatter has the necessary qualifications for the work involved. Formatters’ fees vary, so rates need to be discussed and agreed upon prior to making any final arrangements.

Note: The formatter works independently from Chico State and has no connection. You must sign a document provided by the formatter that is a binding agreement that you have carefully reviewed the final draft provided by the formatter and understand that once this final draft is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, no changes can be made.

A clear understanding of the responsibilities of the formatter and the student will avoid problems, time delays, and excessive costs. The Office of Graduate Studies recommends the use of contracts to delineate the responsibilities and cost of the final product. The following are common guidelines followed by many formatters and students.

Student Responsibilities for Working with Formatter

  • Structure the document as closely as possible to the university format.
  • Clearly and consistently indicate all sections and headings throughout the work.
  • Follow the format dictated by the departmental style guide for all tables and figures.
  • Follow the departmental style guide for content and format for all references.
  • Deliver the material on time and keep the formatter informed of any schedule changes.
  • Once a formatter is selected, book the approximate block of time and stick to your delivery date of the approved thesis or project.
  • Use the designated departmental style guide.
  • List the references completely and in proper sequence at the end of the work.
  • Use proper spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
  • Show formulas, equations, and symbols legibly, with all sub and superscripts clearly indicated.
  • Make sure you review the thesis or project closely before submitting it to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Thesis or Project Formatter Responsibilities

  • Assure the final thesis/project adheres to the university format and the required departmental style guide.
  • Apply standard mechanics of neatness and professional appearance to the university guidelines for margins, spacing, paragraph indentation, and other specific requirements.
  • Assure proper word divisions are used for all hyphenated words.
  • Complete the formatting assignment within the agreed-upon time frame; if unable to do so, notify the student so that other arrangements can be made.
  • Produce an exact copy of the draft submitted.
  • Correct typographical errors at no additional cost in the final copy.
  • Changes in content made by either the committee members or the student are beyond the scope of the usual agreement; charges for reformatting retyping due to content changes will generally be negotiated separately.

Questions Students Should Ask Formatters

  • Do you guarantee that your work will meet both the university and the departmental style guide requirements?
  • What computer programs and which platform do you use?
  • Will you provide a printed-out copy as well as a disk or CD with the final formatted document for my use?
  • If provided, will the final formatted copy of the thesis or project provided for my use be in a Word document (not a PDF) so that it can be modified for future publications?
  • Have you done work for other students in my particular discipline?
  • Do you have the most recent edition of my departmental style guide and the most recent edition of A Guide to Graduate Studies?
  • How long will it take to complete the formatting of my document?
  • When must my document be to you to guarantee submission by the semester deadline?
  • What are your rates, and how are they calculated?
  • Can you provide references from previous master’s candidates?
  • Do you use a written contract?

Questions Formatters Might Ask Students

  • Approximately how many pages is the thesis/project?
  • Is this a final copy, approved by all members of the graduate advisory committee?
  • Have you applied for graduation in the Office of Graduate Studies?
  • Have you followed the required department style guide?
  • Do you have special formatting requirements such as tables, figures, charts, the use of a foreign language, or math?
  • When will the material be submitted for final formatting?
  • Will all the material be submitted at once?
  • Do your expectations of the formatter include editing or checking grammar or spelling? If so, is your committee aware of this?

(If you need special accommodation to access any documents on this page, please contact the Office of Accessible Technology and Services.)