Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Graduate School Policies
Proprietary or Classified Theses and Dissertations

In certain instances a portion of students' thesis or dissertation research might involve proprietary, controlled, or classified information. Although some results might need to be summarized for the sponsor in a separate embargoed document, a completely embargoed thesis or dissertation conflicts with scholarly values of peer review and promotion of knowledge and should be avoided. All theses and dissertations produced to meet Virginia Tech degree requirements should be subject to an open defense and open publication (including ETD submission), and capable of standing as academically-complete works.

Since any proprietary or governmental restrictions should be known at the outset, students are expected to seek a pre-research review of their thesis or dissertation plans with the sponsor whenever there is a possibility that certain findings might be subject to embargo. In coordination with the Chair of their Advisory Committees, students should communicate to the Graduate School as soon as possible any anticipated restrictions on their research. Similarly, a pre-publication review should be conducted with the sponsor as early as is prudent to identify any restrictions on publication, including acceptable separation of restricted findings into an embargoed document. Any publication restrictions should be communicated to the Graduate School as soon as they are known or predicted.