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MIT Thesis FAQ: New Degree Candidates


Reminder: Students - submit your thesis electronically to your department or program.

Please pay close attention to the following sections of the Specifications for Thesis Preparation:

Here are some sample title pages to assist you with formatting:

You can also use the official MIT Thesis Template in Overleaf, which is already formatted for the Thesis Specifications.

What to submit to your Department/Program

Submit the following:

  • A PDF/A-1 of your final thesis document (without signatures)
  • Signature page (if required by your department; your department will provide specific guidance)
  • Source files (not required)

File naming

Files must be named according to this scheme: authorLastName-kerberos ID-degree-dept-year-type_other.ext

  • Thesis PDF: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-dusp-2024-thesis.pdf
  • Signature Page: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-dusp-2024-sig.pdf

Temporary Holds

Please review the Holds section of the Thesis Specifications. The Office of Graduate Education oversees the policies and procedures for requesting a temporary publication hold of your thesis. They offer a publication request form.

Note: Request for temporary holds must be submitted prior to graduation.

To contact OGE and the Vice Chancellor's office, email
To contact the Technology and Licensing Office, email

What to submit to the Libraries

The Libraries' Thesis Form must be completed by the day of graduation.

The information you provide must match the title page and abstract of your thesis. You will be asked to confirm or provide:

  • Your name as it appears on your thesis (Family Name, Given Name Middle Name)
  • Thesis title
  • Department or Program
  • Degree(s)
  • Abstract
  • Supervisor(s)
  • Copyright (see the Copyright and Licensing section below)
  • ORCID iD
  • ProQuest opt-in (for Graduate and Doctoral candidates only)

Copyright and Licensing

You may, optionally, choose to apply a Creative Commons License to your thesis. The Creative Commons License allows you to grant permissions and provide guidance on how your work can be reused by others. For more information about CC, see Creative Commons About page.

Before you apply a CC license or CC0 (public domain), to your work, please note that the licenses cannot be revoked. This means, once you apply a CC license to your material, anyone who receives it may rely on that license for as long as the material is protected by copyright, even if you later stop distributing it.

  • To determine which CC license is right for you, use the CC license chooser
  • Note: You do not need to apply a CC license to your work. If you choose not to have a CC license, you should write "All rights reserved." next to your copyright.

Formatting Your Copyright Statement

  • Following the instructions in the thesis specifications under How To Copyright your Thesis.
  • If using a CC license, replace "All Rights Reserved" with your chosen CC license (CC-BY-NC 4.0).
  • Remember to also include the following statement below your (c): "The author hereby grants to MIT a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to exercise any and all rights under copyright, including to reproduce, preserve, distribute and publicly display copies of the thesis, or release the thesis under an open-access license."

What Copyright information to submit to the Libraries

  • You will choose from the following Copyright options:
    • I hold copyright (if you choose this option you will have the option of also choosing a CC license)
    • I hold copyright and give it up to the public domain (this means that your thesis will be released openly under CC0 "No Rights Reserved" and opts out of copyright and database protection. This may not be revoked.)
    • This is a work of the US government
    • Another person or organization owns copyright

For more information
Review the Copyright section of the Thesis Specifications.

ORCID: Open Researcher & Contributor ID

What is ORCID?

ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a method of linking research-related items, such as articles as datasets, to these identifiers.

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. The goal is to support the creation of a permanent, clear, and unambiguous record of scholarly communication by enabling reliable attribution of authors and contributors.

Register for an ORCID ID.

This process also associates your ORCID with your MIT profile. Once you have the ID you also have the option to build your profile through the "import works" button, associating your papers, data sets, and other research output with your ID. You can then include the ID as a link on your CV or web page. You can also create an ORCID account without linking it to your MIT profile.

See our ORCID FAQ for more information.

ProQuest Opt-in

What is the ProQuest Opt-in?

When submitting the Libraries' Thesis Form, you may choose to opt in to the pilot program to provide additional open access to MIT theses through ProQuest Dissertation Theses Global (PQDT). The aim is to make theses more visible and discoverable. By opting in, you consent to your full thesis being available in ProQuest's database. If you are a Bachelor's candidate or do not opt in, ProQuest will only access your abstract.

There is no cost to you and your thesis will not be sent to ProQuest until it is published by MIT. See the Thesis Specifications and Author Dissertations FAQsfor more information about participating.