Graduate Policies & Procedures

Preparation of graduate theses

Prior to inclusion on a degree list, copies of each accepted thesis shall be delivered to the headquarters of the department or program in which the candidate is registered. The academic department delivers the required number of copies no later than one month following the degree date to the MIT Libraries, which preserves and makes available the original andcopies of the thesis. The Institute is committed to the preservation of the student’s thesis because it is both a requirement for the MIT degree and a record of original research that contains information of continuing value. Guidance on the physical preparation of theses is described in the Specifications for Thesis Preparation, a manual published annually by the Director of Libraries as prescribed by the Committee on Graduate Programs for graduate theses. The manual specifies the number of copies to be submitted and explains the policies concerning copyright, temporary restrictions, and substitution of pages.

The technical requirements for the thesis are also explained. Specifications is available from the department offices or the Institute Archives. Each thesis submitted for an advanced MIT degree must conform to these specifications. Individual departments may dictate more stringent requirements. Individual departments, not the MIT Libraries, are responsible for the quality of the copies provided to the Institute Archives. Additional advice and assistance in thesis preparation are available from the Institute Archives.

Master’s and doctoral theses may also be submitted electronically, but the electronic version is not considered to be the official copy. Thus, a printed copy of the thesis must also be submitted. The process for electronic thesis submission is available on the website for the MIT Libraries.

Abstracts of all doctoral theses (PhD and ScD) will be submitted to University Microfilms Inc. (UMI) for inclusion in their publication Dissertation Abstracts International. A thesis processing fee is charged. Each doctoral candidate must complete the UMI form included in theSpecifications for Thesis Preparation and submit it with the archival copy of his or her thesis with an extra copy of the title page and abstract stapled to the form.

In order to permit evaluation and grading of theses, due dates for their receipt in department headquarters are published each term by the Registrar. Departmental graduate officers are responsible for ensuring that each candidate for an advanced degree has submitted an acceptable thesis document to his or her department before the final degree list is reviewed and approved by the Committee on Graduate Programs at its end-of-term meeting.