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Green Cards are no longer being issued as proof of thesis completion. Instead, you will receive a thesis acceptance letter at your NPS email address, after you have completed the final review process with your thesis processor. The acceptance letter is also sent to your advisory team, your ed tech, the Registrar's Office, and the International Program Office, if applicable.

The Thesis Release Form, Publication Announcement List, and Final Draft Checklist. Find them here.

If a signor is unable to sign the form electronically, print the document and sign it by hand. Then scan and e-mail (or fax) it to next signor, who repeats the process, until all signatures are in place.

No. A thesis is not considered final until you have obtained all signatures.

Please refer to the thesis timeline that applies to you on our Submission Process page (look for red text that says, "please tell us which type of student you are"). Your timeline describes each step in the process in detail. Beside most timelines will be a thesis scheduler, which can help you keep track of thesis tasks in relation to our submission deadlines.

We use Turnitin software to analyze each unrestricted thesis for plagiarism. All your questions are answered here.
Submission policies are outlined here.

Yes, some students on co-authored theses and final project reports have to depart before their research partners. Your team has two choices:

  1. You and your team can complete the thesis and have it approved by your faculty members and Thesis Processing before your detach date, assuming your advisors and chair are available for advising, reviews, and signature.

  2. You can detach without having your thesis completed and approved, but the following must take place:
    1. You and your co-authors will continue to work together after you detach, because you are collectively responsible for the quality of the final product. 
    2. You will need to be available via email to sign off on the Thesis Release and Approval Form after your advisor says the thesis is complete and he or she is ready to sign. 
    3. According to NPS academic regulations, you must file an extension to keep your degree eligibility active between the time you detach and the time your thesis is accepted as final by Thesis Processing (assuming all other degree requirements have been completed). To file an extension with NPS, you will need to work closely with your department ed tech and thesis advisor. 
    4. If you are in the military, you must also notify your military service representative and program officer of your plans to detach before your thesis is complete. They will discuss with you service-specific requirements and the career implications of your decision, which vary by branch of service.

If you are in the U.S. Navy, your detaching fitness report will indicate that you have NOT yet finished your thesis and degree. On your next evaluation/fitness report at your new command, you will need to include a statement that the thesis was completed and you have graduated from NPS; this should erase the negative comment in your record for promotion purposes. Your new command may want verification of your graduation from NPS, which can be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

If you have further questions, please contact your military service representative and your department's ed tech and program officer.

Please provide proof of early departure to your thesis processor, and she will accomodate you. However, please note you must still allow at least four days' processing time.

This small, standalone building is west of Watkins Hall, near the Sloat gate entrance, next to the parking lot. Building 255. Access through the double-glass doors of the Watkins Hall lobby. Thesis briefs are held here.

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SharePoint / Software

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You will be emailed your site address three months before your graduation. Your address will be https://researchsp.ern.nps.edu/sites/USERNAME/default.aspx (replace “USERNAME” with your NPS username). If your site is not found, contact the SharePoint group at spresearch@nps.edu.

  • Are you using a computer at NPS?

  1. Try entering “ERN\” before your user name: ERN\username. If you are using Windows 7, you may have to choose a new login, even though you are presented with an "ERN\" username automatically.
  2. If you still cannot access your site, contact the SharePoint group at spresearch@nps.edu
  • Are you using a personal computer or are you off campus?
  1. Log into the NPS network via Cisco AnyConnect before you go to your site. Download the software here (see "Virtual Private Network" box) or here (video instructions). After logging on, go to your SharePoint site and enter “ERN\” before your user name: ERN\username.

  2. If you don't have VPN or cannot install the software, try NPS CloudLab:

  • Write down your site address.
  • Go to https://cloudlab.nps.edu/ Choose the HTML option, then click the SOF icon to connect to the NPS environment. If this doesn't work, choose the option to install the Cloudlab client.
  • Once connected to Cloudlab, open your browser and type in your SharePoint site.
  • Download your thesis to your desktop.
  • Email the file to yourself using NPS webmail.
  • Then, sign out of Cloudlab.
  • Finally, open the email you sent yourself and download your thesis to your computer.
  • You will now be able to work on your thesis in Word.

If none of these work, please contact the SharePoint group at spresearch@nps.edu.

Yes. All students are required to use SharePoint when working with Thesis Processing. DL students may be excluded from this requirement if internet connectivity is unavailable. 

Yes–as long as the user is listed in the NPS global directory. Contact a thesis processor

MathType can be downloaded here.

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Format and content

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En dashes (–) separate ranges of numbers, such as page numbers. En dashes are slightly longer than a hyphen.

Em dashes (—) signify sudden breaks within a sentence. Em dashes are the longest type of dash.

To type an en dash, use the Insert Symbol menu, or use these shortcut keys: Control and the minus key on your number pad.

For an em dash, the shortcut keys are Control, Alt, and the minus key on your number pad.

To create and number equations, use MathType, which you may download from the NPS Technology website. DO NOT use the Insert, Equation option in Microsoft Word because math symbols will disappear when converting your file to PDF. The only time Word's equation editor is better than a MathType equation is when you need to place an equation within a footnote.


For display equations, the most popular format is to center them and place the equation number at the right margin. Choose “Right-numbered” equation in MathType to achieve this.


If you created equations outside of MathType and need to number them, or if you created equations in MathType without first numbering them, but now want them numbered, follow these instructions:

  1. Place your cursor in front of the equation, go to your style list, and choose either Equation or MTDisplayEquation.

  2. Then, press tab. Your equation should jump to center of the page. If it does not, remove extraneous spaces and tab markings from around the equation. There should be only one tab space in front of the equation.

  3. Place your cursor after the equation and press tab. The cursor will jump to the right margin.

  4. Now click Insert Number on the MathType menu if you want MathType to number your equations (to format the numbers, click Insert Number). Or, you can manually number your equations.

One. The U.S. Navy Style Guide prescribes one space as well. See "punctuation" entry here.
Click here for a short discussion of abstracts and executive summaries and for a list of the departments that require an executive summary (all theses must contain an abstract). For formatting considerations of an executive summary, see p. xv of the thesis template. 

That depends on your needs and/or willingness to learn software. Click here for help deciding which software to use.

Just remember that any software-created list will need manual editing for format and punctuation—sometimes substantially.

We’ve found that most often, the easiest way to edit a completed reference list is to strip the list of its coding so that you may edit the list directly, versus editing each individual entry inside the software and regenerating the list. To remove the coding from your reference list, select the entire list and press Control, Shift, F9. The text will now be normal text so that you can edit it.

Example of problem: "The red line in Figure 3. shows an upward trend . . . " (note the period in the middle of the sentence).

The easiest thing to do is to place all cross references at the end of the sentence—the period would then perform its intended function (ending the sentence).

If you really want the cross references to remain in the middle of sentences, and you do not have many of them, wait until figures or tables are in their permanent places in your file. Then, one by one, highlight each cross reference and press Control, Shift, F9. This converts the cross reference to normal text, and you can then simply delete the unneeded period.

Alternatively, if you have many instances to fix:

  • Insert cross references where needed.
  • Next, remove the period and tab space from the Figure Caption style.
  • Then, highlight all body text, and press Control, Alt, F9. This breaks the linked fields.
  • Now find any sentences that end with a cross reference and re-insert the periods.
  • Finally, re-add the period to the Figure Caption style.

Of course, wait until your figures and tables are in their permanent positions before you do this. If you need help, see your thesis processor.

Please drop by our offices; we are happy to show you how to use the template. You can also watch formatting in action in the brief video or get written instructions starting on page 1 of the thesis template.

For writing help, the Graduate Writing Center offers one-to-one coach and workshops. A writing coach can review your work and help you express your ideas clearly, powerfully, and concisely. Please visit its website to make an appointment.

The Naval Postgraduate School does not endorse or recommend particular editors or editing companies. If you wish to hire an editor, we offer this guidance.

International students have access to free editing of their nearly final drafts; see this timeline for details.

Please see the LaTeX formatting FAQ. Thesis Processors are unable to provide formatting help for LaTeX.

Also, see "Crash Course for LaTeX" on our LaTeX thesis wiki page.

The template comes packaged with a BibTeX tool; the code for each entry type is also shown here.

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More help

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If your account has been disabled, contact the TAC at (831) 656-1046 or TAC@nps.edu