Requirements for Format and Deposit of Theses for Honors

The following policy, which requires submission of theses in both physical and electronic
formats, aims to provide access to interested readers to theses, portfolios, and projects presented
in partial fulfillment of requirements for a degree with honors at Amherst College.

Format | Deposit | Restrictions

I. Format

A. Style

The formatting of footnotes, bibliographies, tables, appendices, etc., should conform to
those outlined by standard authorities such as the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA
Style Manual, APA Style, etc. Some departments prefer styles issued by other
organizations or journals in their respective fields. Students should follow the style
requested by their department and/or thesis advisor.

B. Information to Appear in Both Print Copy and Electronic Copy of

       Please create a front page to include the following:

1. Title.
2. Author.
3. Statement to read:
Submitted to the Department of __________ of Amherst College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Bachelor of Arts with honors.
For Interdisciplinary majors, the statement should read "Submitted to the Department of Special Programs of
Amherst College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with honors."
For those students submitting a thesis in either Greek or Latin, please print the statement in the following manner:
"Submitted to the Department of Classics of Amherst College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with honors in Greek/Latin."
4. Name of faculty thesis advisor(s).
5. Names of readers (optional).
6. Date.
7. A completed copy of Appendix A (below).

C. Additional Format Requirements for Print Version

1. To ensure preservation of the printed version, the student should print the deposited copy on a laser printer to alkaline-buffered bond paper of 20-pound weight. IT stocks all public printers on campus with 20-pound acid-free paper.

 2. Students no longer have to use black spring binders for their thesis submission.  The Office of Archives and Special Collections will give thesis students file folders that should be used to submit the final copy of the thesis to the Registrar's Office.  Archives is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Just stop by and ask for one.  Your major department will tell you if they need a bound copy or if a digital copy is all that they need.  We do still ask that the margins measure 1.5 inches on the left and the other margins should each measure one inch. The document should be double-spaced and each page should be numbered.

3. The document may be either single-sided or double-sided, but the mirror or book
margin option must be used on a double-sided document to ensure that the inside
margin is the larger margin

D. Additional Format Requirements for Electronic Version

Students should submit works in formats specified by the library. Current
standards are as follows

1. For works that consist primarily of text: PDF (Portable Document Format)
● Associated file type: .pdf; .pdfa

2. For non-textual works:
         a. Audio
                  Preferred: Broadcast WAVE
                      ● Associated file type: .wav
                  Acceptable: AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)
                      ● Associated file types: .aif; .aiff

b. Images
           Preferred: TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
                ● Associated file types: .tiff; .tif
           Acceptable: JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
                 ● Associated file types: .jpeg; .jpg; .jp2

c. Video
           MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group)
                 ● Associated file types: .mpeg; .mpg; .mp4

d. Other
           Students should discuss requirements for other formats with the


A. Students shall submit physical and electronic versions no later than the next-to-last day
    of classes of the semester.
           1. Electronic copy with attached cover sheet (Appendix A of this document):
               Upload into the repository. 

           2. Physical copy with attached cover sheet (Appendix A of this document): Submit
               in person at the Registrar's Office.

B. Instructions for submitting work with special requirements, including work in the plastic
    arts, film, and performing arts.
           1. Students should submit work involving the plastic arts, film, performing arts, and
               other similar activities as physical photographs of the work, prints of the film,
                production books, etc., accompanied by a statement of purpose.

           2. Students should also submit in electronic form photographs, film, and the
               statement of purpose. See item I.D above.

           3. Unless an exception is granted, all material—both physical and electronic—
               should conform to standards in section I above. Wherever possible, non-written,
               physical materials should be enclosed within the binder. The Registrar's office can
               help with securing non-written material.

           4. If it is not economically feasible, or if it is physically impossible to deposit a nonwritten
               project, a statement of purpose and description of the project—prepared in
               the prescribed format, preceded by a title page, enclosed in a binder, and copied
               as a .pdf—should be submitted to the Registrar.

C. After Commencement, the Registrar will deposit the physical copies and electronic
    copies of all theses with Archives and Special Collections.


A. Theses are available to members of the Faculty for examination prior to the meeting at
     which the Faculty votes on the degree.

B. Copyright and Licensing.
             1. By law, copyright in the thesis belongs to the author, including all rights of
                 publication and reproduction. U.S. copyright law does not protect facts, data, or
                  ideas: see 17 U.S.C. § 102(b).

             2. Physical and electronic copies of the submitted thesis become an official record of
                  the Registrar and Amherst College. The author retains copyright in the work

              3. Each thesis must include the cover sheet in Appendix A—completed and signed
                  by both student and thesis advisor. This coversheet will govern how the library
                  distributes the thesis. 

i. If the thesis advisor and the student cannot agree on the appropriate option
   in Appendix A (i.e., if the advisor and student insist on incompatible
   options), the college shall assign the more restrictive of the two options.
   Only the more restrictive option should be indicated on the cover sheet.

ii. The restriction may be modified at any point with the consent of both the
    advisor and the student. If either party cannot be contacted, the original
    agreement will stand.

It is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with the policies of academic
departments that require separate copies of the thesis.


Catherine A. Epstein
Dean of the Faculty
         Jesse Barba
         Interim Registrar
      Michael Kelly
      Head of Archives and Special Collections

Appendix A: Cover Sheet to be Appended to ALL Theses

Apendix A & B Form Link



By law, copyright in your thesis belongs to you, the author, including all rights of publication and reproduction. Only the copyright holder may determine what others may do with the thesis.

STEP 1. What should the library do with your thesis? (Choose one)

Share my thesis

You authorize the library to share your thesis with others according to the Creative Commons license selected in step 2. (See Appendix B for an explanation of the three options.)

Place an optional embargo on my thesis

The library should not allow anybody except college officials to see its copy of my thesis until January 1st of the year ___________. (e.g., 1 year=2018, 5 years=2022, 100 years=2117)

Under this option, you ask the library to prevent anyone else from accessing its copy of your thesis. At the end of the lockdown period, the library will distribute its copy of your thesis according to the license you choose below. (See Appendix B for an explanation of the three options.)

STEP 2. Select a license for your thesis. (Choose one)




The type of Creative Commons license you choose determines what others may and may not do with your thesis.(See Appendix B for an explanation of the three options.)

STEP 3. Sign.

Please note that, by choosing to make your thesis available (whether now or at a future date), you are waiving any protections of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that may apply with respect to your thesis as of the date specified. FERPA generally restricts disclosure by the college of records related to your education.

________________________                 ____________________________       __________
Student Signature                                   Student Name                                     Date

________________________                 _____________________________     __________
Thesis Advisor Signature                        Thesis Advisor Name                          Date

Appendix B: Creative Commons Licenses


logo Creative Commons Non Commercial Non Derivative

This license is the most restrictive, only allowing others to download your works and share them with
others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
      ● License Deed:
      ● Legal Code:


Image Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike logo

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
        ● License Deed:
        ● Legal Code:


graphics of Creative Commons By attribution

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered.
Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
          ● License Deed:
          ● Legal Code:

More infor-mation about Creative Commons licenses is here:

Appendix C: An Additional Note on Copyright

Those who produce ideas, facts, and data (e.g., academic advisors) may demand credit for their work; but, by law, they may not claim copyright in such information: copyright recognizes and protects only “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression”: see 17 U.S.C. § 102(b).

Because the author (e.g., a thesis student) of a work fixed in a tangible medium owns the copyright in that work (regardless of whether a copyright symbol appears in the work, and regardless of whether that author is the sole author or a joint author with an advisor), the author (student) may, by law, disseminate or publish that work without restriction and without regard to the preferences of any co-authors or advisors.

This policy, therefore, governs only how the library may disseminate a thesis; it does not govern how the author or authors may disseminate the thesis. The college encourages advisors and advisees to agree amongst themselves before beginning thesis work how each will (or whether each will) distribute the thesis following its completion.