Binded Dissertations

For university students, whether they’re completing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or a PhD, it usually all culminates in a dissertation or thesis – a piece of work that heavily influences what result they come out with.

Read more: What Are The Different Types Of Binding

With a document of such importance that will often take literally hundreds of hours to complete, it’s no surprise that universities will usually have very specific instructions on how it should be presented. And that will nearly always include binding of some sort.

We’ve put together some tips for students and binders (those who bind, in case you were wondering) for binding dissertations and theses.

Dissertation & Thesis Binding Tips For Students

So you’ve spent who knows how many coffee-fuelled late nights researching, writing and re-writing your dissertation, and it’s finally ready to be handed in. Well, it needs to be handed in; whether it’s ready or not is a different matter.

Either way, you need to make sure it’s presented and bound properly.

Read your uni’s binding instructions properly

There are no universal binding instructions across all universities, so it’s essential you find out exactly what’s expected of you. Perhaps you didn’t even know you had to actually have it bound!

Does it need to be a certain type of binding? For example, they might insist on it being thermal bound and won’t accept any other type. Do you need to have any specific text or wording displayed on the front/back?

Read more: Thermal Binding vs Other Types of Binding

You need to know all of this so you can communicate it to the person doing your binding. If the university have their own on-site binder then they will have a good idea of what’s needed, but you still need to be as specific as possible so no mistakes are made.

Don’t leave it to the last minute

Whilst many students may be used to leaving their essay writing to the last minute, don’t do the same with your dissertation or thesis. Not only will you end up stressed, but you need to leave time for the finishing touches, such as getting it bound.

And don’t leave the binding until the last minute either. Binders and print shops will be inundated with requests from students, so don’t assume they’ll be able to fit you in at a moment’s notice. It may take a few days to get your dissertation bound, so allow for plenty of time.

Get a couple of copies made

Get at least two copies of your thesis or dissertation bound. One reason for this is that, should the worst happen and you lose or damage your original, you still have a spare. Also, it may just be nice to have a copy to keep for yourself!

Dissertation & Thesis Binding Tips For Binders

If you’re an already-established binder or print shop, then you probably already know what you’re doing. In which case, head straight over to our great selection of binding supplies and get buying!

However, for those new to the binding game…

Understand universities’ conventions

Whilst it is the job of the student to know exactly what they want and need, it really does pay to have some knowledge of what the unis in your area prefer. That way you can advise the students and provide a much more comprehensive service.

It also means you know what equipment and supplies you’re going to need in advance so you can stock up.

Offer a wide range of binding

As mentioned above, different universities have different requirements for how material is bound, so make sure you offer a wide range of binding to accomodate everyone. You may find that students want work aside from their dissertation or thesis bound, and in which case, they may want other types of binding.

Read more: What Is Thermal Binding?

Thermal binding is likely to be a popular request from universities as it looks very professional, so it will definitely be worth investing in a thermal binding machine.

Offer more ways for students to send work to you

Once upon a time, the only way to get something bound was to physically walk into a print shop and hand over your documents. While that’s still an incredibly important service to offer, as it gives that personal touch, it’s important to broaden your horizons and offer more ways for students to submit their work.

Set up an email address or submission form on your website through which students can submit their work. So much is done online now that you need to move with the times.

Check, check and check again

Ensure you follow the student’s instructions to the letter. If you think they’ve made a mistake, then double check with them. If they assure you they’re right, then go with it.

If you make a mistake, such as using the wrong type of binding, missing a page out, etc, then it could lead to the work not being accepted by the university. Of course, this does not look good for you and could impact future business. Put a stringent checking process in place.

If the student makes a mistake and you follow their instructions, then that’s their fault.

Be patient with students

You may well encounter some very stressed out students who don’t know the first thing about binding and what they need doing. You’re the expert, so be patient with them.

If you need any help with your binding supplies and equipment, please get in touch.

Your thesis is the culmination of your higher education journey.

Now, let the Multimedia & Print Center help you re-create and preserve your important work with professional copying and binding services. We'll take great care in reproducing your thesis according to standards set by the Graduate School and the Library Binding Institute.

Thesis options are described below, and samples are featured at our HUB and Hostetter Building CopyCentral locations. Please note that pricing below is subject to change; exact charges will be calculated at time of order.

Contact Us at 814-865-7544 to learn more.

Hardcover Binding

Penn State Binding: $31.00

  • Penn State mark stamped on the front cover in white or gold
  • Buckram cover in navy blue or black
  • White or gold lettering on the spine a
  • Up to seven lines on cover; additional lines at $1.05 per line
  • Double-fan adhesive binding up to 2" thick
  • Off-white acid-free endpapers

Standard Binding: $23.00

  • No Penn State mark stamped on the front cover
  • Buckram cover in black
  • Gold lettering on the spine and front cover
  • Up to seven lines on cover; additional lines at $1.05 per line
  • Double-fan adhesive binding up to 2" thick
  • Off-white acid-free endpapers

Other Binding

Coil Binding: $2.50

  • 1/4" up to 1"
  • 1 1/8" up to 2" at $4.00

Custom Thermal Binding:

  • Up to 125 sheets: $2.00
  • 126 to 250 sheets: $2.50
  • 251 to 325 sheets: $3.00

These prices are for thermal binding strip. Covers are extra.

Custom Foil Cover Printing White, Silver and Gold:

(8.5 x 11, 1 sided)

  • 0-5 copies: $2.00
  • 6 + copies: $1.75

Custom Vinyl/Clear Covers:

  • Black, Navy, Clear: $1.00

Thesis Copying

Black and White
9.5¢ per page, 25% cotton content bond paper
7¢ per page, 20# copier bond paper

Color Print
60¢ per page, 24# white laser paper

For optimal copy quality, cutting and pasting should be kept to a minimum. All double-sided, fold-out, and color pages should be flagged.

Supplied copies are the responsibility of the customer and will be bound as submitted.

Customers must provide two blank sheets of paper for use as front and back end-sheets for each thesis.

If you submit your thesis electronically please provide as a PDF. If you choose not to review a proof of your thesis, you accept full responsibility for any issues associated with the artwork or other content the file contains.

Please be aware that we cannot be held responsible for any variations between the electronic file you send us and the final printed version of your thesis.


Pockets can be created for special enclosures for materials less than 1/8" thick at an additional $10.00 per book.

Other Services

We offer binding of periodicals for Penn State related materials.  Please call for available options.


In order to ensure timely delivery of your books, payment must be made in full at the time the order is placed. We accept personal checks, Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards. The Penn State id+ Card is accepted only at the CopyCentral HUB location.

A $25 fee will be charged for any check returned for insufficient funds.

Please note that all personal sales are subject to 6% PA sales tax.

Timelines and Shipping

If you need copies made of your original document:
– submit your originals to us by noon Tuesday
– your order will be available for pickup on Monday six weeks later at the CopyCentral location where the order was placed.

If you are supplying all of the copies you need:
– submit your copies to us by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday
– you will be contacted when your order is available for pickup. (approximately six weeks from the time payment is received) 
-The finished copies will be available for pick-up at the CopyCentral location where the order was placed.

Please note that non-thesis bindings require six weeks or longer for processing.

We also offer shipping of your bound volumes by Courier to on campus locations, UPS domestic and international, or USPS express mail. Shipping charges will be calculated according to weight, region, and class. Charges must be paid at the time the order is placed. Please Note: UPS does not deliver to P.O. boxes.

Placing Your Order

Email a PDF to or contact either of our CopyCentral locations to learn more.

HUB CopyCentral Student Center

039 HUB-Robeson Center
Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Hostetter Business Services Location

101 Hostetter Business Services Building
Services Road (15 minute curb side parking available)
(Behind Lewis Katz Building)
Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Note: Hours subject to change. No walk-ins taken after 4:00 p.m. at either the HUB or Hostetter.

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