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Senior Thesis 2021-22: Honors Guidelines

Checklist for Key Due Dates and Requirements

For winter grads, theses are due December 10 to the library.

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. We will be doing everything virtually to avoid close contact in the library. Recording of thesis workshop explaining process.

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

2. Submit a final draft to the library for approval.

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 on a Mac, submit a PDF and we will convert it. If you are writing in Overleaf, contact Amy Blau ( for information

4. The following will be sent to you and your advisor for signature by email once we have received your completed thesis, please sign them promptly.

  • A signed non-exclusive distribution license. Both you and your advisor must check the appropriate boxes and sign the form. (The version you will sign will look slightly different to accommodate our digital signage needs).
  • A certificate of approval form signed by thesis advisor (this will be extracted from the PDF you submit, there is nothing extra you need to do.)

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 certificate of approval page. These will be emailed to you for digital signature once you have submitted an approved thesis. 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. This year, we will take care of printing for you.

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. If you plan to make your thesis open access and make a bound copy available in the Allen Room, 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 (see the box below for formatting guidance) 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. If you are on a Mac, submit a PDF and we will convert it.

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 12. It will be sent to you to be signed after you have submitted an approved thesis.

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. Because of the closure of Penrose Library, we will be handling printing this year. 


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

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