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Thesis Holds

A brief thesis hold enables an undergraduate or graduate student with patentable material in their thesis to delay public access to research findings in order to pursue patent applications or explore other business opportunities associated with the work. Please note: OVC cannot hold the thesis from submission to the libraries.


A request for a thesis hold must be made jointly by the student and advisor and directed to OVC via the Thesis Hold Request Form. The form, signed by the student and the advisor, should be brought to the Office of the Vice Chancellor in 7-133 or submitted to If the request is granted and signed by the Vice Chancellor, the form will be sent to Institute Archives and Special Collections. The Archives is responsible for managing thesis holds and will make sure the thesis is placed on hold and released at the appropriate time. Additional information about thesis holds and related policies is available on the Thesis Specifications info sheet.

OVC acts with power in approving thesis holds and requesting that the MIT Archives hold a thesis from public access for up to three months. OVC will not approve a petition for a thesis hold beyond three months. A request for a longer period must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Research.

Please note: the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) student page provides details and additional forms you need to submit related to your patentable discovery. What you need to submit will depend on whether you will share the patent for your work with MIT or request that MIT waive the right to your discovery. Please contact the TLO if you need clarification on the process and what form to fill out.

Graduate Students

Detailed policies about graduate student thesis holds are outlined on the Office of Graduate Education website.