M.I.T.'s rules require that copies of all graduate theses shall be deposited in the Institute Library where they are available to the public. Consequently no student is permitted to embark on a thesis project which might be classified by the government as 'Confidential' or 'Secret' for reasons of national security, or 'Company Confidential'' by a company for proprietary reasons. Theses done in classified areas of VI-A companies, Lincoln Lab or Draper must be reviewed by the government to confirm that they are unclassified. A statement must be attached to the proposal when it is submitted indicating that in the best judgment of the student and the supervisor the thesis will be unclassified. A sample statement is attached. (See Section 25.)
Patent and copyright: If while a graduate student, the student has received any financial support for the thesis in the form of wages, salary, stipend, RAship, or grant from M.I.T. administered funds, the thesis is copyrighted to M.I.T. Otherwise, the student may copyright the thesis. [For more information consult the MIT thesis specifications.] Students may consult their thesis supervisor or the MIT Technology Licensing Office and the Office of General Counsel.
It is occasionally necessary for theses to be placed on hold briefly while they are checked for classified information or while patents are being filed.