Dissertation Milestones

    Year 1, Summer Quarter: Review/Portfolio of Student Progress

    Year 2, Winter/Spring/Summer Quarter: Qualifying Examination and Selection of Dissertation Chair/Committee

    Year 3, Fall/Winter Quarter: Proposal Defense Examination

    Year 3, Summer Quarter: Dissertation Completion and Defense

Dissertation Formatting

Doctoral dissertations are University records. As such, they must conform to a standardized "look and feel" in order to achieve consistency.

The University Library personnel will assist doctoral students in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program in uploading dissertations to the Bronco Scholar repository at dates and times announced by the doctoral program director(s). Note that the dissertation chair must review the final submission to ensure that all corrections have been completed following the final dissertation defense before the document is provided to the “university reader” for the final review of the dissertation.  The doctoral program assigned “reader” must approve the final document for format before the dissertation can be uploaded. 

Formatting Rules


Paper used for the two library copies must be white, at least 25% cotton, 20 pound, 8.5" x11".  Paper for other additional copies may be of lower quality.  Suitable paper is available at the University bookstore and most office supply stores. 


Dissertations must be typed double-spaced on one side of the page. Font size must be no smaller than 10 points or larger than 12 points.

Standard typefaces of Times New Roman is required. When in doubt regarding type font, format, illustrations or non-printed materials, consult your dissertation chair before the final copy is prepared.

When making the final printout, the printer must be of letter quality with standard typefaces. Erasures and corrections are not acceptable. 


Margins on the top, right and bottom must be 1", and the left margin must be 1.5" (to have room for binding). [Exceptions: The Title Page and Signature Page should each have 2" margins at the top.] All material to be included (including appendices) must fit within the margins.  Double check with a ruler before submitting. Margins are measured from the edge of the text to the edge of the sheet.


Beginning with the first page of the main body of the text, pages are numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). All pages preceding the first page of the body are counted and numbered with lower case Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.). The title page is counted but the number is not printed on the page. Follow APA guidelines for the placement of the numbers.

Figures and Tables

All figures and tables must fall within the spaced margins, follow APA format, and use type size no smaller than 10 point Times New Roman.

Sequence of Dissertation Parts and Templates

Download the dissertation template here (.docx).

  1. Cover sheet. The cover sheet is a blank page. 
  2. Title page [counted but no page number printed]. The title page templates show the required form and spacing.
  3. Signature page [page ii]. The Signature Page templates show the required form and spacing. The name of each member of the committee must be included with the department or discipline identification, and the chair is always listed first, as shown in the templates. Your name, on this page, should be consistent with how it appears on the title page. In the Date area, indicate the quarter and year submitted.
  4. Acknowledgments [page iii]. This page is completed after the final dissertation defense.
  5. Abstract [page iii or, iv.]. The abstract should be 150 words or less. (See examples of dissertation abstracts)
  6. Table of Contents (includes all parts listed in this Sequence of Parts section, with the exception of the title page) [each page counted and numbered]. NOTE: On the Table of Contents page template provided, two tab stops are already set for you. You may choose to use this template, but be sure to note that for a dissertation, all sub-headings are required to be listed in the Table of Contents. Press the first tab to insert ellipsis dots between the entry and the page number. If you press the second tab and type the page number, the page number will be right-aligned.
  7. List of Tables (if applicable) [each page counted and numbered]

  8. List of Figures (if applicable) [each page counted and numbered]. Use APA format.

  9. Dissertation Chapters [ page 1, 2, 3, etc.]. The APA style manual is to be followed.  It is the responsibility of the student's chair committee, and department reader to verify that the style manual is followed.  Style manuals are available at the university bookstore and in the University Library.

  10. References (or Works Cited or Bibliography) [each page counted and numbered]. COMPLETE CITATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Follow the style manual to construct your bibliography or list of references. Take special care to note the full citation information when referencing electronic or web resources.  It is the responsibility of the student's dissertation committee to verify that proper bibliographic forms are followed. 

  11. Appendices (if applicable) [each page counted and numbered consecutively].

Dissertation Abstracts

Cal Poly Pomona Ed.D. in Educational Leadership dissertations are open access on the web and can be located by the author’s name or by the dissertation’s title.

Dissertation Abstracts by Cohort

2015 Abstracts [PDF]

2016 Abstracts [PDF]