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NSU Halmos College of Arts & Sciences Capstone, Thesis, and Dissertation Submission Guide: Capstone

Instructions for NSU HCAS students submitting finished work from their capstone, thesis, or dissertation for graduation.

Capstone Templates

Capstone Links

Capstone Submission Requirements and Guidelines

CAPSTONE Submission Requirements:

  1. SUBMISSION: Submit your final manuscript for review & approval online via the NSUWorks portal:  
    • Please note: All Capstone, Thesis, and Dissertation signature pages are submitted electronically by committee members in the NSUWorks online ETD submission system, which will create a digital signature page for your work.
  2. Printed copies are no longer required!
    • If you would like to order personal printed copies for yourself, your committee, or others, you can do so through the binding options linked here

Formatting of Paper: 

  • Create a title page that follows the format shown in the template available on this page. 
  • Include keywords - place them after your abstract on the same page (if possible). Keywords should be important terms not included in your title.


  • All margins = 1 inch


  • Times New Roman

  • 12 Point Font


  • 1.5 spaced, except for:

    • Abstract should be single spaced.

    • Figure & Table captions should be single spaced (The caption for a figure appears below the graphic; for a table, above).

    • References should be single spaced with a hard enter between each citation or a layout space between each one.


  • There are no set guidelines on length, but most capstone review papers are around 50 pages in length (excluding tables and figures).

Citation and Writing Style

As part of your online submission process you will be required to upload your thesis into NSU’s Institutional Repository, NSUWorks.  Please review the copyright statements contained therein before submission.  While entering text into the appropriate fields, please take note that the email address you provide will be the only form of contact for your thesis in the event that someone needs to ask for your permission to use or view it.  Please use a permanent email address.  Embargoes will only be approved for works that are being published in a journal or if a grant stipulates an embargo.

You will need to create an account in NSUWorks if you do not have one is fast and free! 


Taken from the most recent HCNSO Course Catalog at:



NSU Oceanographic Center Guidelines to the Capstone Student

6.1 M.S. Programs Thesis and Capstone Tracks

6.1.1. Definition of Capstone and Thesis Tracks

The M.S. in Marine Science (all concentrations) and the M.S. in Biological Science (Research concentration only) require all students to complete either a capstone project or a thesis project. All entering students to these programs are accepted on the capstone track. A student can switch to the thesis track upon agreement with a major advisor to take them as their thesis student.


A capstone is a scientific manuscript, based upon a comprehensive literature search, review, and synthesis of the chosen topic. It is similar to a thesis, inasmuch as data need to be acquired and analyzed within the framework of a scholarly article with the exception that these data can be acquired from the literature. In certain cases, a study subject may not lend itself to quantification. In such a case, the argument for the chosen approach in the proposal must be as clear and convincing as any quantitative argument. Carrying out a capstone is possible with agreement from a major professor, typically, capstone students find a major professor on their own by approaching faculty in the student’s area of interest. Students will be assigned a capstone advisor if they have difficulty finding one. Prior to beginning a capstone and registering for capstone credits, the student must write a proposal which must be approved by the student’s major professor, committee, and the Department Chair. The approval process takes place through submission in Before starting a capstone, students should read some of the completed capstone projects in the Oceanographic Campus Library. After choosing a topic, students must check that the subject area is novel and has not been dealt with by a previous capstone.

Once the capstone proposal has been approved, M.S. capstone students sequentially register for and complete a minimum of six capstone credits for Marine Science or nine capstone credits for Biological Science in each succeeding term until the capstone is complete and has been successfully defended. Sequential registration continues until the capstone is finished. If a student fails to register for any given term without written approval by the Chair, missed credits must be made up before graduation, usually during the next term of registration. It should be noted that while a minimum of six (Marine Science) or nine (Biological Science) capstone research credits is required; more than this may be necessary for the completion of M.S. research. 

  • The paper should contain at minimum: 
  • Title page
  • Approval Page (generated by NSUWorks)
  • Abstract with Keywords
  • Table of Contents (detailed outline, using outline headings in text, same format)
    1. Introduction
    2. Statement of Purpose or Objectives
    3. Methods
    4. Results or Review
    5. Summary and Conclusions
    6. References
Before starting a capstone, students should read some of the completed capstone papers in the Oceanographic Campus Library. After choosing a topic, students must check that the subject area is novel and has not been dealt with by a previous capstone review. A list of all capstones completed is available in the graduate student office and from the library online here.
There are no set guidelines on length, but most capstone review papers are around 50 pages in length (excluding tables and figures).

To avoid additional tuition, the final capstone must be submitted within 30 days of the last day of the term you defended in. Capstones with major revisions after the oral defense will be required to register for an additional term.

Search for past NSU OC Capstones by title, author, and year.

If you would like to request a digital copy of a document, please fill out the online form below, or email the Oceanographic Campus Library at