Instructions for Final Submission of Master's Theses

The following steps must be completed before the library will notify your department that you are formally eligible for graduation. If you have any questions or need help, please contact us at or phone (630) 752-5625.


1. Ensure that your thesis is complete and formatted properly

Front matter: Your thesis must contain the following pages, in this order: fly leaf (blank sheet), title, certification (typed names of your faculty advisors with actual signatures only on paper copies), disclaimer, dedication (optional), abstract, table of contents.

Margins: 1 ½ inches on the left side of each page, 1 inch on the other three sides. Page numbers, running head, or tables cannot print inside these margins.

Pagination: Paginate front matter using lowercase roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv and so forth). Paginate the body of your thesis, including bibliography, appendixes, etc., using arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, and so forth). Use your word processor’s tools for creating tables of contents and cross references in order to ensure that pagination remains consistent when you create the PDF file in step #2, below.

Formatting: To align text, use tabs instead of the space bar. Insert page breaks to start a new page. Use section breaks to change the format between pages.

2. Convert your thesis to PDF format

Create a PDF file of your entire document. If you do not have access to PDF creation software, you can use the feature in Word to save as a PDF or the free Adobe software.

Carefully examine the entire PDF file, checking in particular the appearance of all fonts and page breaks.

Upload the PDF with the Buswell Library thesis form. Buswell Library will forward a PDF copy of your thesis to the Theological Research Exchange Network (see step #3, below). Master of Arts in teaching (action research papers) will not be sent to TREN.

Wait for Buswell to review and approve your PDF before proceeding to print any personal copies.

3. Submit the following other items to Buswell Library

a) Ask the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School to send a message to, stating that you have met all requirements.

b) Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN) form. Omit this step for Master of Arts in teaching (action research papers). TREN is a repository of theses and dissertations written by students at Christian colleges and seminaries. Based on the permissions you grant on the agreement form, TREN will list and/or sell copies of your thesis from its website at TREN is the primary means by which your thesis will become known and read by others beyond Wheaton.

c) No paper copies are required by Buswell Library. You may submit paper copies to be bound for your own use, if desired. You may print on regular copy paper. Print one side only. Wheaton College closed its copy center in June 2019. Please consult this information about printing vendors options for students.

d) All necessary payments (as listed on Buswell Library thesis form).

To submit printed copies for binding:

  • Package securely and send through campus mail, addressed to Buswell Library Administrative Office
  • Package securely and send through postal mail, addressed to Buswell Library Administrative Office, Wheaton College, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton, IL, 60187.
  • Deliver in person to Room 221, Buswell Library. To ensure that we will be available when you arrive, please email or call (630) 752-5625 to make an appointment.

4. A note about copyright

As the author of your thesis, you automatically own the copyright to your work. You do not need to register your copyright with the U.S. copyright office, although you may want to do so for the following reasons. First, registration creates a public record of copyright, which will provide other parties with a means of contacting you to ask permission for uses of your work that exceed the standard provisions granted in US. copyright law. Second, registration is required if ever you wish to bring suit against another party for violating your copyright.

If you wish to register your copyright, TREN can assist you, or you may register directly at There is a registration fee.

In submitting your work to TREN, you are granting TREN a non-exclusive right to display, copy, and profit from sales of your work. You remain the copyright holder, and you are free to enter into other arrangements with other parties in the future, including other publishers.

The copy of your thesis that you supply for the library’s collection may be used by others according to the provisions granted in U.S. copyright law, in the same manner as all other library materials.