Thesis Preparation

The following information is provided to assist Chemistry graduate students as they prepare their theses. If graduate students have any questions that are not answered by this guide, they should either email the Chemistry Education Office or stop by in person (6-205, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm).

Degree candidates must fill out the Degree Application via WebSIS at the start of the term. Important dates and deadlines (including late fees) for the upcoming academic year are listed below.  It is strongly advised that degree candidates apply for the degree list even if there is uncertainty about completing the thesis defense and submission by the  deadline, as there are no penalties for being removed from the degree list.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Scheduling your Thesis Defense

All PhD candidates must have a Thesis Defense. As soon as your defense is finalized, please email the Chemistry Education Office with the date, time, location, and thesis title. The office staff can assist with reserving conference rooms or classrooms for defenses. To request a room reservation please fill out the request form.

The committee must receive a copy of the thesis at least one week before the defense, however degree candidates are encouraged to talk with their committee members to find out if the committee requires the thesis further in advance, or if there are preferred formats. Degree candidates should allow time in between their thesis defense and the submission deadline to make edits and print the final copies.

Please note that Chemical Biology students receiving a PhD degree are required to present a seminar as part of the thesis defense. This seminar is open to the department. The degree candidate is responsible for reserving the room and any A/V equipment needed for the seminar, and providing the Chemistry Education Office with information about their thesis defense at least two weeks ahead of time. Following the seminar, the candidate will meet privately with the thesis committee.

Thesis Formatting & Printing

The Institute has very specific requirements for thesis preparation and printing. Specifications for Thesis Preparation is available on the library’s website and should be read very carefully. The MIT Thesis FAQ may answer additional questions and a helpful checklist is also provided. The specifications also include information about copyright and use of previously published material in a thesis. Do not rely on any templates or prior theses from your research group – they may not reflect the most current guidelines. We have highlighted some especially important points below.

Final Thesis Submission

For Final Submission to the Chemistry Education Office:

Postdoctoral Appointments

If you plan to transition to a postdoctoral appointment within the Department of Chemistry at MIT, please contact Jennifer Weisman and Michele Harris (Human Resources Administrator) as soon as possible. Your final signed thesis must be submitted before a postdoc appointment can start. If you are an international student, it is extremely important that you start this process early to allow sufficient timing for visa processing. In addition to talking with Jennifer and Michele, please consult with the International Students Office.