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Guidelines for Preparing Master's Theses in Arts & Sciences



CUNY Academic Works is the online research repository for the City University of New York. By depositing your work in Academic Works it will receive wide visibility via search engines such as Google, Google Scholar, and Bing. You will receive a permanent URL to include on your CV, as well as monthly download reports telling you how often your work has been downloaded and read.

The following are the general requirements for the School of Arts and Sciences master’s theses submitted electronically through CUNY Academic Works. Candidates should check with their departments for information about any additional requirements specific to their degree program.



The degree candidate should consult her/his graduate advisor for the requirements of the graduate program with regard to choosing the thesis topic and submitting the first and final drafts.  Readers will review only final approved theses drafts through the online CUNY Academic Works portal ( For more details, see Step by Step Guide for Students. BOTH GUIDELINES FOR READERS AND STUDENTS ARE POSTED BELOW


The thesis should be read by at least two readers (thesis sponsor and a second reader). At least one of readers must be a fulltime faculty member.  Readers’ approval of the thesis should be certified by their typed signatures on the title page of the thesis. When both readers electronically approved a thesis through CUNY Academic Works by, it will be electronically forwarded to the department graduate advisor. If the advisor is satisfied that the thesis has met the departmental and School requirements, she/he electronically approves the thesis. Once the program adviser and readers approve the thesis via CUNY Academic Works, the degree candidate may not make any revisions. For more details, see Step by Step Guide for Readers.



Thesis text should be typed using a legible font such as Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman. All margins of both text and illustrations must be one inch. The text is to be double-spaced, except for quotations of more than four lines, which will be set apart (single-spaced and indented). Footnotes and bibliography will be single-spaced, with double spacing between notes and entries. Pages, including pages of illustrative material, bibliography, and appendices are to be typed or scanned and numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.

 No ink insertions are allowed. Striking over or crossing out an error is not permitted.

 Illustrations, graphics, charts, and photographs must be scanned or produced with an appropriate computer program. Graphic materials must include a descriptive caption which includes the author and original source.  Generally, all graphic materials should be scaled to fit the electronic page size of 8 1/2 by 11 inches. If and when appropriate, other sizes can be accepted.  The graduate program and the library liaison for CUNY Academic Works, Mason Brown, should be consulted for technical guidance on uploading illustrations and permissions for copyrighted materials.

The content of the thesis should include the following, when applicable, in order as listed:

  • Title Page
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Acknowledgments (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Title of Chapters
  • Appendices
  • References

 In addition, for all electronic submissions, degree candidates should be prepared to upload into the online repository an informative abstract of no more than 50 words, a list of ten keywords, and a CUNY Academic Works submission agreement.


The first page of the thesis must be a completed Thesis Title Page. The names of the first and second readers are typed onto the title page. Original signatures should not be scanned onto the title page. For date enter the month, day, and year of the thesis deposit deadline. See for the deposit deadline date. The following page displays a sample of completed electronic Thesis Title Page.

Sample 1 –title page-MA degree

Sample 2 –title page- MFA degree

*Please make sure to type in names of the readers and date*



All theses deposited in the online repository must conform to an accepted style guide for publication and writing. References sections and in text citations must follow an acceptable style guide consistently and correctly. The Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association, and the University of Chicago Press publish widely accepted style guides. The degree candidate should consult her/his graduate advisor for the style guide preferred by the discipline.


DEADLINE  Spring 2017 -Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The graduate program will set its deadline for the final approval of the thesis. The deadline for the electronic deposit of the approved thesis via CUNY Academic Works is set by the Office of the Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences and is typically about three(3) weeks prior to the date of graduation at which the degree is conferred. The specific due date for each semester is posted at



 When the thesis has been accepted by the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, the thesis approval form will be signed and forwarded to the degree audit department of the Registrar’s Office to certify the final approval of the thesis. A copy will be forwarded to the Department’s Graduate Advisor. The Dean’s Office will electronically submit the approved thesis to the CUNY Academic Works administrator for Hunter College Libraries.


Step by Step   FOR READERS

Step by Step  FOR STUDENTS

If you have any questions about master's theses, please contact your graduate advisor or the Dean's Office, School of Arts & Sciences, at (212) 772-5121.

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