for Biology, ESBI,  and MBB majors
 with biology advisers

(Neuroscience thesis students:  please visit the Neuroscience Independent Study and Senior Thesis web pages for instructions.)

Check with your adviser for any format preferences.  Below are general guidelines.

There are three versions of the thesis title page:  one for high honors, one for honors, and one without honors.  Once you know which level of honors you're receiving (some time after your defense), print copies of the appropriate title page to accompany your final thesis copies.  How many to print depends on how many you will need:  One each for your adviser and committee members, two for the Bio department, and one (or more) for your own personal copies.  

  • Margins:  Generally one-inch margins are fine for all copies, including the cloth-bound copy.  (For clothbound copies, the bindery trims up to .5”, on all four sides.) 
  • Set the line spacing to be 1.5 for all sections except the Bibliography, which can be single-spaced.
  • Print the copies of your final thesis double-sided (see exceptions below).
  • Start all new sections on a new page:  Abstract, Intro, Methods and Materials, Results, Discussion, Bibliography, Appendices. These are still double-sided, but each section should start on the right hand page.
  • Charts, graphs, and photos should be single-sided (although not necessary if they are embedded within text).
  • Your personal copy can be single-sided if you prefer.
  • Citation format is at the discretion of your adviser.

Once your final revisions have been approved by your committee, print copies of your thesis for the Department, your adviser, your committee members (should they want a copy), and yourself.

By NOON on the last day of exams, you need to have completed the following:

  • Print copies* of your final thesis
  • Print copies of the appropriate title page (see examples under Forms and Worksheets) 
  • Obtain signatures of your committee members on all copies of the title page.
  • Turn in at least four copies of your final thesis with title page, secured with binder clipsto Joanna Shipley (MBH 375)

       PLUS:  EMAIL the following information via email to Joanna (

  • If your thesis title is over 60 characters including spaces, send Joanna an abbreviated title that is no more than 60 characters long (including punctuation and spaces). This is for the spine of the clothbound copy only.
  • Your home mailing address to send your personal bound copy  (allow 4-8 weeks).

 *How many copies do you need to print?   

 At least four: 
- One for the Bio Department Thesis Cabinet (will be clothbound)
- One for the Library Archives (not to be confused with the digital archives)
- One personal copy for you, clothbound at no charge. 
- One for your Thesis Adviser (you may give it to him/her directly, or to Joanna)

Plus any additional copies:
- Do your committee members want copies?   If so, paper, or electronic?
- Do you want any additional personal copies clothbound?  If so, the cost is $15 each (this covers the cost to us).

Theses to be clothbound are sent to a bindery in Boston.  It takes 1-2 months to get them back, at which time we’ll mail the bound thesis to you.

If you have any questions - don't hesitate to ask Joanna or your thesis adviser!

rev. 4/2015

Department of Biology

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753