I am a PhD student in a UK university. As I was putting my thesis together, I did not know how I should order the preliminary pages, which are as follows:

  • Abstract.
  • Dedication.
  • Acknowledgment.
  • Declaration.
  • An empty page with a quote at the top.

I have found that different people ordered them differently. Is not there a "standard" order for them?

  • You'll probably need to mention at least your general field (history, comp sci, etc) to get the most helpful answer, as a thesis in psychology tends to look quite different from one in robotics. Aside from that, I'd recommend you see if your institution makes previous student theses available, especially from students who shared some of your advisers, as that's an easy way to get an idea of what's 'normal' where you are.
    – BrianH
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 21:48
  • 1
    @qsp Or she could be a fan of William Gibson.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 23:24
  • 3
    There's definitely no requirement for a quote. That's just what students add in the dark hours of procrastination, but I've always thought out a bit naff.
    – beldaz
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 5:31
  • 1
    Several of your peers have probably graduated during your time at your working group. Get their theses and follow their example. If they didn't follow a common order there is no standard and you can choose what you like best from these examples. You can also ask your adviser.
    – user9482
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 8:18
  • 1
    I would not recommend including a quote (unless, of course, you are quoting me). Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 14:30

3 Answers 3


No, there is no general specification, but your suggested content is perfectly reasonable. There may be requirements specific to your institution, so I strongly recommend that you check with a representative from your own department to get a definitive answer.


There is no formal order that applies 'worldwide' no. Though you should consider getting in touch with the service responsible for thesis publication at the university (usually the library I'd expect), there may be a format that you need to meet regarding the front page, back page and potentially abstract page.

  • Even if the library doesn't have the format, they might have older thesis works of students in your research domain.
    – svavil
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 20:12

Your university may have specific guidelines as to how your thesis should be formatted (this is VERY common, actually - please consult the appropriate office at your school so there are no surprises). My university has the following ordering:

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contributors and Funding Sources
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures/Tables
  • Nomenclature

Again, it depends on what your university says they want.

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