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Caltech Theses

Ph.D. theses must be submitted in electronic form as part of the graduation requirements for Caltech. This guide serves as a tool for this process.

CaltechTHESIS - Deposit Theses

Deposit theses in CaltechTHESIS

CaltechTHESIS is the digital archive for of Ph.D., Engineer, Masters, Bachelor and Senior theses authored by Caltech students.  It also contains essays submitted by students for writing prizes to the Hixon Writing Center.  It is updated continuously as students add new theses, and as library staff scan and add older theses.

  • Log into CaltechTHESIS to deposit your thesis.
  • Students depositing their theses must have an active IMSS account to be able to log in.
  • Contact us directly via thesis@library.caltech.edu if you have any questions.

Important Notes

  • Send a copy of your thesis to the Grad Office proofreader at least a couple of weeks before your defense.
  • Do NOT deposit your thesis before your defense.
    • Both the Grad Office and the Library expect that the deposited copy is the final version.
    • You have 2 months to deposit your thesis after your defense. We recommend not postponing it, as life gets in the way.
    • Caltech anticipates that you will need to make revisions to your thesis based on both your committee's and your Grad Office proofreader's comments and suggestions.
  • Attach two (2) files of your thesis to your CaltechTHESIS record
    • One (1) PDF file
    • One (1) source (pre-PDF) file - can be a zip file

Caltech's Expectations for a Thesis

What should a thesis look like?

Caltech theses have a common format and there are regulations regarding the contents, submission, proofreading, and final disposition.

  • Authors are encouraged to use the templates included in this Thesis LibGuide regardless of type of thesis, from dissertation to senior thesis.
  • Please use the Grad Office's "Regulations for the Format and Presentation of a Graduate Thesis" as your primary guideline in formatting your thesis. 
  • Do check out examples of already viewable theses in CaltechTHESIS using the Browse options.
  • If the thesis consists of relative independent chapters, a unifying summary should be included at the end or beginning of the thesis. Such a summary will generally be quite different in style and length than the abstract.
  • Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with both the Grad Office regulations as well as any special requirements in their Option/Division.  
What is a graduate thesis?

The PhD Dissertation, Engineer's Thesis, or Masters Thesis, is a document prepared by the candidate and represents an exposition of the candidate’s research topic and findings. There are specific requirements for format as well as the process of thesis acceptance, but the content and length are flexible and vary substantially between individual candidates. The expectation by the faculty and the Dean of Graduate Studies is that the thesis should represent independent work by the candidate and meet the highest standards of scholarship as well as written expression. The Dean relies on the candidate, the advisor, and thesis committee to uphold these standards.

What if I'm writing a senior thesis?
  • Check out the section on Senior Theses
  • Undergraduate students are welcome to use one of the templates created for PhD theses, and to modify it as needed. 
  • Do browse the CaltechTHESIS senior thesis records.  Some theses' files are restricted, so look at more than few records.
  • Approval from the advisor is required by the Library before the thesis deposit is approved and the record released. The email should be sent to thesis@library.caltech.edu.
  • Senior theses can be embargoed. Please use the same embargo forms as for graduate theses.