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Senior Thesis 2022-23: Honors Guidelines

Checklist for Key Due Dates and Requirements

Theses are due on Reading Day.

This page details many different aspects and policies related to theses. Focus on the information in this box and continue down if you have further questions. Please don't hesitate to get in touch via chat or email. Please follow these steps for submitting your thesis. 

1. Download and begin using the Thesis Template for Word. (If you're writing in LaTeX, contact Amy Blau,, for a LaTeX template.)

2. Submit a final Word draft to the library for approval or come to the library May 9-11 for in-person approval. We can work with you in person before the 9th, but we will be at the public computers all day that week to help people with their theses.

3. Once you have received approval, you will get the link to submit a pdf/a version through the digital submission form. If you are writing in Overleaf, contact Amy Blau ( for information on saving it as a PDF/A.

4. You will have to submit the following paperwork to the library to office 213. Neither of these should be filled out electronically, unless prior arrangements are made.

  • A signed non-exclusive distribution license. Both you and your advisor must initial the license AND embargo option you select and sign the form.
  • A certificate of approval form signed by thesis advisor. This will need to be printed on archival paper supplied by the library, it is available at the public computers by the WCTS where there is a printer for theses specifically.

5. If you are choosing open-access and would like a copy of your thesis bound and put in the Allen Reading Room, you will print a copy at the Thesis Printer on archival paper supplied by the library on the public access computers by the WCTS desk.

Honors Theses

The Library acquires copies of honors theses and reports on honors research projects to serve the needs of students and faculty at Whitman College, to provide access to Whitman College student scholarship outside the Whitman community, and to ensure that these original works are available to researchers for consultation in the future. The guidelines are to be followed by the students in the preparation of their honors theses.

You are only required to submit a digital copy of the thesis, though you will still need to sign the Non-Exclusive Distribution License and your advisor will sign the printed certificate of approval page. The distribution license requires you to pick which level of access you are providing to your work:

  1. Open: Worldwide distribution via the Internet, or
  2. Limited: Local distribution only to authorized users of Whitman’s network (current faculty, staff, and students), or
  3. Opt-out: Not available to anyone (but still deposited). This is intended for cases where the topic or the treatment of the topic are sensitive or should not be shared

If you elect to have open access to your thesis, you can choose to print your thesis to be bound and shelved in the Allen Reading Room.

Honors Thesis Template

For honors theses, certain structural elements are required, such as the title page, certificate of approval, table of contents, etc. These requirements are laid out on the formatting page. You have the option to use a formatted thesis template which includes the required elements and is designed to facilitate proper formatting and pagination in Microsoft Word. Please consult with librarians if departmental guidelines differ from formatting requirements outlined on the formatting page. Use of the template is highly recommended.

For a short guide to using the thesis template, consult our guidelines. For detailed instructions for common issues, consult our help page.

If you do not have Microsoft Word, you can download it from Office 360 website. As a Whitman student, you can log in with your Whitman email and password and download Microsoft Office on up to five computers and five mobile devices. If you do not want to download Office/Word, you can also use Word Online, log in with your Whitman Email address and password and upload the template there. For more information, please contact WCTS.

Submitting Your Thesis

This year, we are going to have you first submit a Word version of your formatted thesis for us to approve before you formally submit a final PDF version: Pre-submission Form.

When your thesis has been approved, you will get a link for the Thesis Submission Form. Students are required to submit a digital version of their work to the Library. This is the copy of record and will be stored in the college’s institutional repository (ARMINDA). The digital copy must be a pdf/a file. Create one by following the pdf/a instruction sheet and we will verify it is a pdf/a at the library. Macs can not save to pdf/a, but they can be converted from PDFs on the public access computers in the library.

Distribution license. The author of the thesis must complete a non-exclusive distribution license and select a level of access, subject to thesis advisor’s approval:

  1. Open: Worldwide distribution via the Internet, or
  2. Limited: Local distribution only to authorized users of Whitman’s network (Current faculty, staff, and students)
  3. Opt-out: Not available to anyone (but still deposited). This is intended for cases where the topic or the treatment of the topic are sensitive or should not be shared.

You may choose to embargo and restrict electronic access to your work for up to two years from the date the work is submitted to ARMINDA.  When the embargo expires, your work will automatically become available under the conditions specified above unless an extension is requested and approved by the library

If the thesis is co-authored, it is the responsibility of the primary author to notify all other authors, even those not earning honors designation. It is strongly encouraged that additional authors and/or thesis advisors sign the non-exclusive distribution license. If applicable, all thesis co-authors and thesis advisor(s) should sign the same license. The non-exclusive distribution license must be submitted with signatures to the Library by May 11.

Printed Version

If you have chosen open access to your thesis, you are welcome to choose to have your thesis bound and shelved in the Allen Reading Room. This copy will be added to the Library’s circulating collection and be made available for circulation to other libraries through interlibrary loan. Be sure that your final printed thesis conforms to the formatting guidelines. Your printed copy is due to the library by May 11th. It must be printed on archival paper, supplied by the library. Printing happens at the thesis printer on the public access computer desks by the WCTS desk.

Personal Bound Copies

No matter what distribution access you have chosen, students desiring to have personal copies of theses bound at their expense can order copies for $22 each, including tax and shipping. There is no limit to the number of personal copies you may order. Make sure that your left margins are set to 1 ½” for the printed copy, otherwise the binding might cover some of your thesis.

To order bound copies, please fill out the online order form by May 13, 2022. Bring a printed copy (or however many you're ordering of your thesis to Penrose 213). These are not on the special paper, you can print them at the print shop, but not double sided.

Payment can be made by charge to your student account or by check mailed in (made out to “Penrose Library, Whitman College”).


If you are the author of all the text, image, audio, and/or video files contained in your honors thesis, you hold copyrights and can grant full permission to post a digital copy online. If portions of your materials have been produced by others, these portions must be in the public domain or fall within the parameters of fair use. If the material does not fall within either of those categories, authors must receive permission from the copyright owner to include that material in their digital thesis. If you are unable to get permissions, consider restricting access to Whitman-affiliates only. For more information, see the library’s tutorial on copyright at Whitman or contact Dalia Corkrum, Library Director, at


Forms and Instructions


Presubmission form

Certificate of Approval Form

Non-Exclusive Distribution License

Personal bound copy order form (will open toward the end of April)


Honors Thesis Template (MS Word). The thesis template is optional but highly recommended; it is designed to facilitate proper formatting and pagination.

PDF/A Instructions

Thesis Title Page only

Creating a Table of Illustrations/Figures in Word (optional)

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