Requirements for theses in Sustainability Management

The University of Waterloo expects that graduate theses, regardless of subject area, will meet appropriate standards of clarity and coherence in written English. Thesis formatting requirements are specified by the University.

SEED defines additional requirements for theses abstracts in the masters and PhD programs in Sustainability Management. The title and abstract are the most public-facing elements of a thesis – published on UWSpace under the name of the School.

The SEED associate director of graduate studies reviews abstracts before approval for defence.


  • Abstract should be less than 500 words and written as a single continuous paragraph.
  • Thesis titles should be written in title case (all main words capitalised).

The title should describe the scholarship and address the general usefulness of the work (for example using non-specific articles or no article at all, if appropriate). A good title is often phrased to reflect the results of the research.

The abstract should provide reference to the research objective or question; the academic basis of the work (e.g., to literature, either generally or specifically); a brief explanation of method and data; the contribution of results to scholarship and, as appropriate, implications to practice.


  • Abbreviations and initialisms must be defined (unless very common, e.g., USA).
  • Direct verbs
  • Citations are normally not used

Grammar – check for common errors

  • Proper sentences
  • No run-on sentences
  • Commensurate lists
  • Appropriate tenses
  • Correct use of articles
  • Proper capitalizations

When registering your thesis in UWSpace confirm with your supervisor their preferred name in the database.

Resources for Master’s and PhD students