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Services & Policies: Master's Theses

Yes, we've got a policy for that!

How to Submit Theses

Master’s Theses

You will self-submit your thesis to Academic Works, CUNY’s institutional repository.  Your department will inform you if a print copy is also required.  The record of your thesis will be entered into the CUNY online library catalog as well as World Cat.

Please contact your departmental advisor if you have any questions regarding the deposit of your thesis.

For MFA students in Creative Writing

MFA students in Creative Writing can choose to submit either electronically to Academic Works OR a print copy to the Library.   If you select to submit a print copy, you are required to pay a $40 binding fee to the City College Library for professional binding.  You are also required to submit to your department a digital license agreement form and a CD-Rom with a copy of your thesis in pdf format.

PhD. Dissertaions

Please visit Dissertations for further information on Phd. Dissertations.


Further reading:

Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Science and Humanities?

ETDs, publishing & policy based on fear





Q: Why do I submit my master's thesis/Ph.D dissertation to the library? I am already submitting a print copy of my thesis to my department.

A: The accepted thesis/dissertation is considered the property and the scholarly contribution to the college. The City College Library is responsible for protecting intellectual property and making the resources available for the scholarly community. We catalog and archive your thesis/dissertation so that anyone who is doing research in the area or your study can find, use, and cite your scholarly work.

Q: How do I submit my master’s thesis/Ph.D. disseration?
A: For master's thesis, you will be submitting 2 copies of your final approved theses (1 print copy, 1 pdf. copy on a CD-ROM) and the signed Digital Thesis License Agreement forn to your department. A print copy will be kept in the department, and the CD-ROM will be sent to the Library. The Library will upload the pdf. into the digital institutional repository and reposits the CD-ROM in the Archives as a backup copy.
If you are in the Creative Writing Program, you may submit 2 print copies and a pdf. copy on a CD-ROM, along with a $40 check for pfofessional binding. One print copy will be kept in the department, and the second copy will be professionally bound, cataloged, and kept in the Closed Stacks in the Library. The CD-ROM will be reposited in the Archives as a backup copy.
For Ph.D. dissertation, follow the instructions here.
Q: Where would my thesis/dissertation go after the submission?
A: The Departments release theses and dissertations to the Library in batches approximately 2 to 3 months after the degree was awarded. In the Library, print theses and dissertations are cataloged, professionally bound, and kept in the Closed Stacks. Digital theses and dissertations are cataloged and uploaded into our digital institutional repository. CD-ROMs are reposited in the Cohen Library Archives as a backup copy.
Q. Will my thesis/dissertation be listed in your online library catalog?
A: Yes. You can search your thesis/dissertation in our online library catalogs, the digital institutional repository (DSpace), as well as WorldCat.
Q. I found an error in my thesis/dissertation. What do I do? 
A: The Library cannot revise or replace what the Deparyment has accepted as the final approved thesis/dissertation. Please contact your department.

Electronic Submission:

Q: What is the fee for electronic submission?

A: None.

Q: What is embargo?

A: Here, "embargo" means to delay a digital release of your work. While most researchers choose to make their thesis/dissertation available immediately, you may wish to delay the release of  your work for one reason or another. During the submission process you will have the opportunity to embargo (delay a digital release of) your work for up to five years.

Q: I signed the Digital Liscense Agreement form and submitted my thesis/dissertation electronically. Do I still have a copyright to my own work?

A: Yes. As the author of the thesis/dissertation, you have a copyright to your own work. The Digital Liscense Agreement only grants the Library the right to digitally deposit  (=digitally reproduce) and release your thesis/dissertation in the digital institutional repository. Any copyrights in the submission remain with the author or, if any, other copyright holder.

Q: I want to publish my thesis/dissertation as a book or article in the future. Can I? 
A: Granting the City College Library non-exclusive license to preserve and release your work in the digital institutional repository does not prevent you from revising and publishing your research in whole or in part.
Q: Would digital submission/release of a thesis/dissertation be considered "prior" publication by publishers?
A: Usually no. Surveys have shown repeatedly that a majority of journal and book publishers regard the thesis/dissertation as substantially different from a revision that is formatted, reviewed, and rewritten for journal or book publication. See "Do Open Access Electonic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?" College and Research Libraries, 74.4: 368-380 (2013)
Q. Why do I need to include keywords in the Digital Liscense Agreement form?

A: Subjects and keywords can help anyone doing research in your specific area of study find your scholarly work. The keywords that best descrive your work will be added as bibliographic data and searchable in the catalogs.


Print Submission (Creative Writing students only):
Q: I am in a Master's program in Creative Writing. Do I have to submit my thesis electronically?
A: No. If you are enrolled in the Creative Writing Program, you can choose either a print or an electronic submission. If you chose to submit a print copy,  you do not sign the Digital License Agreement form. Please pay the $40 binding fee to the Library for professional binding.
Q: What is the fee for print submission?
A: $40 per copy. The Library outsources binding to a professional binding company. Your thesis/dissertation will be professioally bound, embossed with your name and the title of your work. Please see a sample avaialble in English Department.
Q: To whom should I write the check?
A: Please make the check payable to the City College Libraries.
Q: I was in the Creative Writing Program and submitted my thesis electronically. I changed my mind and no longer want my thesis in the digital repository. Can you take it down?
A: Yes. If you already submitted your thesis electronically and wish to void your electronic submission, you may send a request to the Archives, along with a print copy of the thesis and a check for the $40 binding fee. For more information, please contact the Archives at 212.650.7609 or
 Last updated: 5/27/2015



How to Find Theses in the Catalog