Formatting & Submission

Begin with the End in Mind

Take some time to peruse the completed theses of recent Harvard Extension (aka Harvard Division of Continuing Education) ALM graduates. This is where your completed thesis will be published, alongside dissertations and theses from students across all of Harvard University: DASH

  • Your work will be world-viewable to scholars and other interested parties around the globe. As such, your content and format are held to the highest Harvard standards


Your work culminates in a single PDF that complies with two standards:

  1. The format guidance on this web site, beginning here

  2. Your discipline-specific style guide APA or CMS or MLA


When you submit the final version of your thesis to your Thesis Director for grading, you also submit one electronic or unbound hard copy to your Research Advisor for format review.

  • In both cases, this can be by email, hand-delivery, or other method
  • Before submission to your Research Advisor, however, your challenge is to polish your manuscript so that it is fully compliant with the two standards noted above

Attached below is a list of frequent format-related issues to consider and/or resolve before submission for format review. 

You can expect one or more requests for revisions from your Research Advisor before your work is approved for uploading to the university’s system. 

  • Your goal is a single, approved PDF, ready for upload
  • Your Research Advisor will provide upload instructions at the time of approval
  • Please do not upload before approval
checklist_of_important_format_topics-1.pdf273 KB