Academic Policies & Procedures

Master's Thesis Students

Submission of Thesis Materials

There are two thesis submission options, open access and limited access. A student who elects to allow open access may submit the thesis electronically. In this case, the thesis will be published on the IU ScholarWorks Website, which is maintained by the IU Library system. A more restrictive submission option allows a student to limit access to the thesis by submitting a printed, bound copy of the thesis, and requesting that the access to the thesis is limited. In this case, the printed, bound copy of the thesis must be delivered to the director of academic program administration in SPH room 115 B. Under this option access to the bound copy will be managed by the School of Public Health-Bloomington Library.

Open access submission is the far more popular choice among graduate students due to the expense of having bound copies made and a willingness by most students to share the results of their research with others. Students who wish to allow open access may succcessfully submit their thesis materials to the director of academic program administration in SPH room 115 B by attaching the following three documents to an email message to

  • Document 1.  The thesis: Submit the thesis in the form of a Microsoft Word document. Students may attach the MS Word thesis document to an email message to This document must be proof read and acceptable to both the student and the student’s master’s thesis committee chair. No handwritten signatures may be included in this document. For formatting instructions, please contact the chair of the thesis committee. Formatting instructions may also be found online at the University Graduate School’s Website at However, School of Public Health-Bloomington thesis students should ignore the instructions on the University Graduate School's Website which direct students to submit their theses to Proquest for a fee. The School of Public Health-Bloomington, does not require this type of submission. A School of Public Health-Bloomington student pays no submission fee, and simply attaches a MS Word copy of the thesis to an email message to
  • Document 2. The signed acceptance page: A printed acceptance page with the signatures of the members of the thesis committee is required to confirm that the thesis committee members have viewed and accepted the final draft of the thesis which the student is submitting. The signed acceptance page may be scanned and attached, as a pdf to the same email message to which the thesis document is attached.
  • Document 3. The permission to publish form: Visit, and print a blank permission to publish form. This form may be found under forms "For Master's Degree Students." Print, complete, and sign this form. Then scan it and attach the resulting pdf to email message, along with the thesis and the acceptance page. This form grants the IU Library permission to publish the thesis on the IU ScholarWorks Website. 

Upon receipt of the three items listed above, students who have completed all other master's degree requirements will be approved to graduate. Master's degrees are awarded in May, June, August, and December. As stated under "Application to Graduate", students should apply to graduate at least six months before requirements are all competed in order to be in the graduation ceremony program.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: Why are there two submission options?
Answer: The Indiana University Library system may not force students to allow publication of their master's thesis on the IU Scholarworks Website. For this reason, the limited access thesis submission form exists.

Question: Which one of the options is more popular?
Answer: The open access option is far more popular. In fact, as of the date on which this bulletin was published, no master's thesis student has chosen to submit a thesis under the limited access option.

Question: I am submitting my thesis under the open access option. I have seen signed acceptance pages in bound theses? Why are no signatures allowed in the Microsoft Word thesis document?  
Answer: The Indiana University Library system will be posting your thesis on the IU ScholarWorks Website. It is not advisable to post documents with signatures on the Internet due to the potential for fraud and identity theft.

Question: Do I graduate as soon as I turn in my thesis materials?
Answer: You are eligible to graduate when you have successfully completed all course, credit, and GPA requirements for your degree program, and when you have submitted your required thesis materials. When these requirements have been met, you are eligible to graduate on the next possible degree conferral date. Master's degrees are conferred in May, June, August, and December. Your application for graduation should list the date on which you plan to graduate. If submission of required materials happens after your expected graduation date, please check with the School of Public Health - Bloomington recorder to learn the next possible graduation date, and update your graduation application. 

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