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MBZUAI Graduate Thesis Guide: Structure Thesis

A rubric


Arrangement of sections in thesis
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In order to meet MBZUAI graduate thesis submission requirements,  ensure the following sections are included, arranged and numbered in the correct order.

Front Matter 

Page description Page number (Roman numerals) Notes
Title page i


Examining committee membership/signatures ii Required
Author's declaration iii Required
Abstract iv Required
Acknowledgements v Required
Dedication vi Optional
Table of contents vii Required
List of figures viii If applicable
List of tables ix If applicable
List of illustrations x If applicable
List of abbreviations xi If applicable
List of symbols xii If applicable


Main Section (main body of thesis)

Section Notes
Page numbering Arabic numerals (e.g. 1, 2, 3) 
Chapters Follow template format
Headings Follow template format
Spelling, font sizing and spacing Maintain consistency in the use of different typefaces for headings, footings, and titles.


Back Matter

Page Description Page numbering  (Arabic numerals) Notes
References Continued from previous section Required
Appendices Continued from previous section Supplementary files
Glossary Continued from previous section If applicable
Index Continued from previous section If applicable



Page numbering
  • All pages have visible page numbers with the exception of the title page.
  • Page numbers are centered at the bottom of the page. 
  • Omitted page numbers  (title page and blank pages) should be accounted for in the page numbering sequence. 
    • Front matter page numbering
      • Use lower case Roman numerals (e.g. i, ii, iii) for front matter
      • Omit page number from the Title page but include in page count
    • Main section and back matter
      • Arabic numerals (e.g. 1, 2, 3) are used for all pages in the main section and back matter.
      • The main section of the thesis begins with page number "1," and numbering is consecutive to the last page of the back matter.
      • Each chapter/section must begin on a separate page.
      • Page numbers are centered at the bottom of the page. 
Title page
  • Follow the format for the title page as described in the provided templates

  • Note the following:

    • The author's name must be consistent with with name provided on the student information system, and should appear the same in the author line and copyright notice.

    • The name of the degree must appear in full. 

      • The name of the discipline is the degree program in which the student is registered

    • The universal copyright notice © must appear on the title page of the thesis.

      • The copyright date is the year the thesis is accepted and submitted to MBZUAI Digital Library

Author's Declaration

1. Include the following statement if you are sole author:

I hereby declare that I am the sole author of this thesis. This is a true copy of the thesis, including any required final revisions, as accepted by my examiners.

I understand that my thesis may be made electronically available to the public.

2. Include a Statement of Contribution if you are not the sole author of the work.


  • The abstract should not exceed 500 words or 2 pages.
  • The abstract should explain the domain of the thesis, identify topic area, include the hypothesis or problem statement, provide a general overview of the methodology, and identify research benefits and key findings and/or contributions.
  • Each list of items (figures, tables, illustrations) in the text must be numbered consecutively.
  • If the accompanying title/caption cannot fit on the same page as the figure/table/illustration, the title/caption may appear on the previous page.
  • Be consistent in the use of citation styles
  • See MBZUAI Library  Referencing Guide for assistance in compiling bibliographic references and using reference management tools.
Spelling, font sizing, and spacing
  • For consistency prefer American spelling conventions.
  • Line spacing, or leading, and font size should permit ease of reading.
  • Footnotes/endnotes may be included in the text.
  • Maintain consistency in the use of different typefaces for headings, footings, and titles.
Supplementary files
  • Reference and describe each supplementary file in a separate appendix in your thesis.

  • Do share the link to research data and code deposited on an external digital repository and that supports your thesis when depositing your thesis in the MBZUAI Library's institutional repository.


Adapted from the University of Waterloo Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs Thesis Formatting guidelines, Nov. 2021.