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 after the end of the term in which the thesis was accepted to the MIT Libraries, which preserves and makes available the original and copies of the thesis. The Institute is committed to the preservation of each 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. 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 MIT Libraries.

Master’s and doctoral theses may be submitted electronically. The process for electronic thesis submission is described on the website for the MIT Libraries.

Abstracts of all doctoral theses (PhD and ScD) will be submitted to ProQuest/UMI for inclusion in their publication ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Each doctoral candidate must complete the UMI formProQuest forms will be submitted to the department along with the thesis PDF.  The completed ProQuest form, unsigned thesis title page, and thesis abstract page should be a single PDF that combines all 3 documents.

Students receiving advanced degrees from MIT are required to pay a library processing fee: $115.00 for a doctoral thesis ($50 for processing and $65 for the ProQuest/UMI abstract fee) and $50.00 for all other advanced-degree theses. Thesis charges will be added to student bills during the semester immediately preceding graduation.

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 Graduate Academic Performance Group, acting under the authority of the Committee on Graduate Programs, at its end-of-term meeting.