Senior Project or Thesis

The Senior Project or Thesis

In order to graduate from New College of Florida, all students, regardless of Area of Concentration, undertake and complete a senior project or thesis. The completed project should demonstrate the ability to express ideas and information in writing. When the thesis is approved by the thesis sponsor, the original copy is archived in Jane Bancroft Cook Library. The student is responsible for delivering the final copy of the thesis to Cook Library by the Monday of graduation week by no later than 5:00 p.m. If the Library has not accepted the senior thesis, the student will not be able to participate in the College’s graduation ceremony, his or her diploma will be withheld, and a hold will be placed on his or her transcript until the library copy has been accepted. The printed library copy should be submitted unbound, preferably in an envelope. The student must also email the complete .pdf of the thesis and a Word or rtf file of the abstract to The Cook Library will pay for one bound copy of the thesis for the archive. A divisional copy of the thesis may be made at the request of an appropriate faculty member and will be charged to that division. All theses that have been completed at New College are available in Cook Library. Signature of the abstract by the faculty thesis sponsor or sponsors signifies approval of the thesis for deposit in Cook Library.

If the project or thesis takes other than written form—for example, a work of art—the student must also submit a written description of the project to the Cook Library, along with slides, a video, or a recording as the baccalaureate committee deems appropriate.

Project or Thesis Format

The bound copy of the thesis available to library users should be professionally presented as the scholarly document it is. Hence the thesis must comply with certain regulations as to format. Each year the Dean of the Library assigns a library thesis coordinator who checks the theses for form and who receives and signs off on the final document. The library copy of the thesis must conform to the requirements listed below.


The thesis must be printed on acid free, 20-pound weight, at least 25% rag cotton content, white archival bond paper. It is available for purchase in the campus bookstore. The thesis must be printed single sided.

  • Margins - The left margin must be 1.5 inches wide to allow space for binding. The top, right and bottom margins must be one inch wide.
  • Print - A standard unified type size and typeface is customary, with script, italicized or slanted typeface reserved for emphasis, technical or other special terms and foreign words. Any necessary variations should be discussed with the faculty thesis sponsor. Any symbols to be inserted in the text, which are not on the standard qwerty keyboard, should be made in the same color ink (black is customary) as the printed text.
  • Page Numbers - Pages of the thesis should be consecutively numbered. Roman lower-case numbers are used for the front matter. Arabic numerals are used for the body of the text.
  • Spacing - The abstract and the body of the text should be double-spaced. For directions on how to space indented quotations, footnotes or endnotes, or bibliographies, please consult the style guide recommended by the faculty thesis sponsor.
  • Illustrations - Photographs, charts and other materials mounted on sheets for inclusion in the thesis must be securely fixed to pages, and should follow the guidelines for margins stated above. Graphs, charts and tables may be in color or black and white. Visual materials may be inserted at the appropriate point in the text, or at the end of the manuscript. Short tables may be placed on a page with some text, or centered on separate sheets.
  • Oversize Materials - Because of difficulties in binding, the library recommends avoiding the use of oversize materials. Charts and other illustrations to be included in the thesis should be reduced or redesigned to fit a standard page. If oversize material is used, it must be folded to fit in a pocket inserted into the thesis.
  • Abstract - The library copy of the thesis will contain an abstract of approximately two hundred words that is signed by the faculty thesis sponsor(s).
    • If the abstract lacks a signature, the student will be instructed to secure one before the thesis will be accepted. Consider making an appointment to obtain this signature.
    • For senior theses, the abstract should summarize the problems addressed, the research, the methods, and the major findings. For senior projects, the abstract should describe the project, its medium and its shape, and the problems or issues that the project addressed.

Electronic Copy of Project or Thesis

Every student must submit one final copy of the entire thesis in pdf format to thesis@ncf.eduThe file should be submitted at the same time as the print copy. The pdf will be uploaded to the Thesis Database by the library staff.

Additional Materials on Disc

Additional materials submitted on CDs or DVDs will be archived with the thesis. The discs should be labeled appropriately as to authorship, thesis title, and content, placed in a protective case or sleeve, and submitted at the same time as the print thesis.

Citations and Bibliography

Style of citations and format of bibliography (footnotes or endnotes) must be approved by the faculty thesis sponsor.

Arrangement of Project or Thesis

In general, the manuscript is arranged in three sections:

  1. Preliminaries or front matter
  2. Text
  3. Back matter

Preliminaries or Front Matter

This section contains the following components, some of which are optional. Pagination in this section is in lower-case Roman numerals.

  • Title Page (Count as “page i,” but do not number this page.)
  • Dedication (optional). If included, begin pagination here (ii).
  • Preface or Acknowledgments (optional)
  • Table of Contents (List all parts of thesis, except title page)
  • List of Illustrations and List of Tables (when relevant)
  • Abstract


Pagination in this section is in Arabic numerals and begins on page 1 of the text. The text may be divided into chapters.

Back Matter

This section should be arranged in the following order:

  • Appendices (when relevant). If the thesis contains only one appendix, do not “letter” or number it. If, however, the thesis contains more than one appendix, provide a title, letter, or number for each one.
  • Endnotes (when relevant)
  • Bibliography

Students in consultation with the faculty thesis sponsor may make variations on this model.

Submission of the Library Copy

A senior thesis is a scholarly document. Digital copies of theses are made available upon request to members of the public for a fee.

The print thesis must be submitted to the Jane Bancroft Cook Library in a 10” x 13” envelope. Audiovisual materials that are part of the thesis project should be submitted with the print copy. All non-paper materials, such as photographs, CDs, and DVDs, must be labeled with the thesis student’s name and year of graduation.

Students must submit an electronic copy of their thesis via email to The complete thesis should be submitted as a .pdf file. The final library copy should be as clean and correct as possible. The library thesis coordinator will review the thesis copy for margins and signatures, and may reject manuscripts with light or unreadable print or those that otherwise do not meet the specifications described here. The library thesis coordinator is responsible for accomplishing review in a timely manner. After the thesis has been reviewed and accepted, there will be no further review by library staff. The library copy of the thesis, both in print and as a .pdf, must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm on the Monday of graduation week.

Sample Title Page

(2" top margin)

(4 spaces)

(6 spaces)
A Thesis

(4 spaces)
Submitted to the Division of______________
New College of Florida
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree
Bachelor of Arts     (Single space all of this)
Under the sponsorship of_______________________

(4 spaces)
Sarasota, Florida
Month, Year

(Note: Both the title and the author’s name are generally capitalized. If the title is more than one line long, an inverted pyramid form is the customary layout.)

Sample Abstract


Jane Smith

New College of Florida, 2013


Follow this format. The type of information given at the top of the page and at the end (title, author, school, year and “abstract” at the top, name of professor and academic division at the bottom) must be included in all abstracts.

The abstract should not exceed two hundred words, or a page and a half of text. It must be double-spaced. The customary arrangement calls for the information at the top to be centered in the manner indicated, and for the title to be capitalized. Variations on this should be discussed with the faculty thesis sponsor. Triple-space (or otherwise mark a clear break) before and after the word “abstract”. The faculty thesis sponsor’s signature is required. If an unsigned thesis is submitted, the faculty thesis sponsor will be notified.

Type Name of Faculty Thesis Sponsor
Type Name of Academic Division

The Baccalaureate Examination

The baccalaureate examination, conducted by the baccalaureate committee, is an oral defense of the student’s performance in three areas: the senior thesis, the Area(s) of Concentration, and the student's undergraduate education in general. It is typically the final requirement for graduation, coming in the final semester and presupposing completion of the senior thesis and substantial completion of the requirements for the Area(s) of Concentration. No student may graduate until the quality of their educational achievement has been closely examined and approved by three faculty members. The ability to express ideas and information orally is assessed as part of the baccalaureate examination process. The baccalaureate examination usually is held two or three weeks prior to the semester's end, but examinations can be scheduled earlier. The dates reserved for baccalaureate exams are announced in the academic calendar.

The procedure for announcing baccalaureate examinations, which are open to the College community, is as follows:

Not later than one week before the baccalaureate examination, the student who is to be examined shall apply to the Division Office of their thesis sponsor for a room in which to hold the examination. They shall provide the Division with the following information:

  1. Name of student
  2. Title of thesis or project
  3. Area(s) of Concentration
  4. Members of baccalaureate committee
  5. Date and time of examination

A Division staff member shall assign a room for the examination and the student then posts an announcement of the examination (consisting of all of the preceding information) on the Baccalaureate Announcement website, found on the Office of the Provost intranet page. The student may also post paper announcements in any or all of the following places:

  1. Division Offices
  2. Library
  3. Office of the Registrar
  4. Office of Student Affairs
  5. Any available student publication

A student’s senior thesis project committee, which is also the baccalaureate committee, includes a senior thesis sponsor and at least two other faculty members, all of whom have signed the Thesis Prospectus/Area of Concentration Form on file in the Office of the Registrar.  In the event that a student wishes to change the membership of the committee, a new Thesis Prospectus/Area of Concentration Form, signed by the new committee members, must be filed in the Office of the Registrar two weeks before the baccalaureate examination. The Office of the Registrar will notify previous committee members of the change. A baccalaureate examination may be held only with the approval of the thesis sponsor.

A satisfactory Baccalaureate Examination Report signed by all of the members of the committee must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than 5:00 p.m. of the Friday preceding graduation week. A satisfactory Senior Thesis or Project Evaluation must be submitted online, through the Student Evaluation System by 5:00 p.m. of the following Monday. In addition, the student is responsible for delivering the final copy of the thesis to the Library that same day. If a baccalaureate is held and one or more members of the committee refuse to sign the baccalaureate examination form, then the student may:

  1. Fulfill conditions set by the committee to the satisfaction of the thesis sponsor;
  2. Request another baccalaureate examination with the same committee;
  3. Reconstitute the thesis committee. If the committee is reconstituted, then a new Thesis Prospectus/Area of Concentration form, signed by all of the members of the new committee, must be filed in the Office of the Registrar; the baccalaureate examination may not be held sooner than two weeks after the new form is filed. The deadlines in the previous paragraphs remain in effect.

The faculty members of the SASC review the list of potential graduates and make their recommendation(s) to the New College faculty as a whole, in an executive session called by the Chair of the Faculty. The New College faculty, in that executive session, vote on conferral of all degrees. If a student has not met the requirements for the degree by the time of that faculty meeting, the student cannot graduate until the next degree conferral date.