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Portable Document Format

All thesis and dissertation materials must be submitted in pdf format.

pdf files can be created with a variety of programs, including word processors (e.g. Microsoft Word) and full versions of pdf editors (e.g. Adobe Acrobat).

MU’s computer labs feature the full versions of both Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat. There are also a number of free word processors and pdf editors available for students without access to proprietary software such as Word or Acrobat.

Multimedia File Formats

Multimedia files may also be included with your thesis or dissertation and submitted through Canvas or on a disk.

Only certain file formats are acceptable. The list below indicates which file formats are appropriate for a given medium.


  • GIF (.gif)
  • JPEG (.jpg)
  • pdf (.pdf)
  • TIFF (.tif)


  • AIF (.aif)
  • CD-DA
  • MIDI (.midi)
  • MPEG-2
  • SND (.snd)
  • WAV (.wav)


  • Apple Quicktime (.mov)
  • Microsoft Audio Video Interleaved (.avi)
  • MPEG (.mpg or .mpeg)

Copyrighted Material

Any previously copyrighted works (including images, video, graphics, text, data and images of individuals) must be accompanied by written permission to include said media in your research paper. Paper copies of these permission documents must be submitted to the Graduate School.

If you are unable to obtain copyright permission for some of the materials in your research, you may substitute the copyrighted material in the manner described below, provided you are able to show evidence that you tried in good faith to obtain the copyright in a paper document submitted with the rest of your thesis/dissertation materials:

  • Redraw or trace maps, images, graphics, etc.
  • Redact the image in question and reference a URL or printed document where the material can be found
View the Copyright Guidelines for More Information

Third-Party Software

Third-party software that will be used, distributed and replicated with the research may be included, as long as copies of licenses for the third-party software and written permission to distribute any third-party software are also included.

Paper copies of these licenses and permission documents must be provided to the Graduate School.

Binding Information

Binding is no longer available through MU Printing Services.  We encourage you to use one of the vendors below or another vendor of your choice.

655 Driving Park Avenue
Rochester, NY 14613
International shipping available

Houchen Bindery HF Group
340 First St
Utica, NE 68456

Thesis on Demand
1010 North Sycamore Street
North Manchester, IN 46962

Need Help Formatting Your Thesis/Dissertation?

Many programs, such as Word and Acrobat, contain help menus embedded within the program itself that can troubleshoot more common formatting issues. There are also a number of online resources that can assist with formatting issues that are difficult to resolve using other methods. These resources include, but are not limited to, the websites for software being used to format the paper and online forums.