Mary and Jeff Bell Library

Thesis, Dissertation, and Graduate Project Binding Guidelines

General Information
This document is intended to assist students and college departments in the preparation of physical copies of theses, dissertations, and graduate projects for binding as required by each graduate program. It does not provide specifications for content or format of text and introductory/cover pages. Please contact the appropriate college office for format and style guidelines.

The Library retains two print copies of all theses and graduate projects that are received for binding. One copy is kept in the circulating collection and other in the University Archives, which is located in Special Collections. The student is responsible for making these copies. In lieu providing a printed copy for circulation, you may deposit an electronic copy in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository at no cost. For more information about this option, see One printed and bound copy is still required for the archives.

  • Master's theses and graduate projects are bound in blue buckram with white lettering.
  • Binding cost is $15.00 per volume currently (documents that are more than 2 1/2 inches thick must be separated into two volumes).
  • If your work includes a CD, map, or other loose items, you may purchase pockets and attach them to the bound volumes or request that pockets be added at the bindery (paper pockets cost $5.50 each, cloth pockets cost $8.50 each).

Print & Paper Requirements

Please check with your department for print and paper requirements for official copies.

  • Print must be letter quality: dark, crisp, clear, and straight on the pages. A word processor should be used to produce the text. Dot matrix printers should not be used.
  • We strongly recommend producing photocopies at a professional copy store.
  • Library copies must be duplicated onto standard size (8 1/2" x 11") 25%, 50%, or 100% cotton, 20- or 24-pound acid-free white bond paper with a plain finish. This ensures that copies will not deteriorate rapidly.
  • Library copies and personal copies may be printed double-sided.
  • Library copies do not require original signature pages (photocopies are fine).
  • Unless they contain artwork, library copies may be made in black and white.
  • The student is responsible for ensuring that all pages are present and in order within each copy.
  • Students may submit personal copies for binding. Personal copies may be on any kind of paper.
  • All copies must be delivered un-punched and unbound. A sheet of colored paper should be inserted between copies.
  • All copies must be clearly labeled as to their purpose (e.g. library copies, personal copies, official copies).
  • Theses/ Graduate Projects more than 2 1/2 inches thick must be divided into two separate volumes.
    • The student must pay for each separated volume.
    • Each volume should be separated at the end of a major division.
    • Each volume must have its own title page, all of which are identical except for the designation Volume I, Volume II, etc., which is placed just below the title.
    • These title pages should not be counted or numbered.
    • The remaining preliminary pages (table of contents and acknowledgments) are part of Volume I only.
    • Text (including references and appendices) is numbered continuously from Volume I though all subsequent volumes.

Bindery Checklist

  • Contact the appropriate college official to determine any formatting guidelines and how many copies will be required by the thesis committee or college department.
  • Determine the number of copies needed for your department, for the library, and for your personal use.
  • Have the appropriate number of copies made following the Print & Paper Requirements and any department regulations period.
  • Go to the University Business Office to pay for the number of copies that will be bound. This includes the copies that Bell Library will be retaining.
  • Bring a copy of the Business Office receipt and the copies of the theses to the Periodicals Department in the Bell Library.
  • The Periodicals Department will ensure the number of copies matches the receipt. They will then prepare the theses for shipment to the bindery, which is located out of state. This process can take up to two months.
  • The Periodicals Department will check the returned bound volumes for quality and contact either the department that delivered the copies or the author directly.
  • Arrangements can be made to mail personal copies to students living out of state or to have someone else pick them up from the Library.

Frequently Asked Questions
What style and format should I use?
Your graduate department is responsible for all style and formatting guidelines.

Can I just make photocopies of my thesis/graduate projects to be bound?
For your personal copies, plain photocopies are fine. However, the library copies must conform to the Paper & Print Requirements listed above. The quality of your departmental copies is up to the discretion of your graduate department.

How many copies should I make?
You should contact your graduate department (for Masters Candidates) for the number of copies that they require. Regardless of how many copies are presented for binding, the Library will always retain two of the copies for its collection (one may be electronic). Make sure you factor these two copies into the number of departmental and personal copies you will need.

Where do I pay for binding the copies?
Go to the University Business Office (in the Round Building) to pay for the copies. You will be paying for all copies, including the copies retained by the Library.

Where do I take the copies to be bound?
If you are a Masters candidate, find out from your department chair if the college department will deliver copies to be bound to the Periodicals Department. If they do not, bring the copies and a copy of your Business Office receipt to the Periodicals Department in Bell Library. Doctoral candidates follow the requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies.

Where is the Periodicals Department?
The Periodicals Department is located in the Bell Library, in Room 112. When you enter the library, head straight past the Circulation Desk and the elevators through the double doors. The Periodicals Department is directly to your left as you pass through the double doors. You can see a map here.

When will my thesis be ready?
Shipments are sent to and returned from the bindery once per month. Depending on when you deliver your thesis or dissertation to the Periodicals Department, your college department, or the Office of Graduate Studies, it can take between six and eight weeks for your thesis or dissertation to be bound and returned to you.

If you dropped off the thesis/dissertation in the Periodicals Department of the Library, the Periodicals Department will contact you once the shipment is returned and checked for binding quality. If your college department or the Office of Graduate Studies dropped off the thesis/dissertation, the Periodicals Department will contact that department directly. They will then distribute the copies.

My thesis/dissertation has a CD to accompany it. What do I need to do differently?
The Periodicals Department recommends that you buy flat adhesive CD holders to be placed in the back of the returned bound thesis/dissertation. The bindery can provide a paper pocket (at a cost of $5.50 each), but Periodicals staff feels it is an inappropriate size and quality to properly store a CD. However, you are welcome to use this pocket. Let your department staff or the Periodicals staff know when you drop off your thesis/dissertation that you will require the bindery's CD pocket.

Why does the Library need two copies of my thesis/graduate project?
The Bell Library retains two copies of all theses and dissertations that are brought for binding. One copy is kept in the circulating collection for others to use and the other is kept in the University Archives. In lieu providing a printed copy for circulation, you may deposit an electronic copy in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository. For more information about this option, see One printed and bound copy is still required for the archives.

Is binding my thesis/graduate project a requirement for graduation?
This is determined by your college, department, and/or the Graduate Studies Office so be sure to check with them. Please do not bring your thesis/dissertation to be bound if you have not presented/defended with your graduate committee.

Contact Information
A pamphlet version of this document was prepared and distributed by the Bell Library Periodicals Department, September 2011. You may print copies of the .pdf for your use here, or contact the Periodicals Department at 825-2356 for copies.

We invite questions and/or comments and look forward to hearing from you. Contact Catherine Rudowsky at, (361)825-2644.

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