In November 2015, the Graduate School’s Executive Committee approved a new policy requiring that all theses and dissertations submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a graduate degree be published in electronic form. Doing so serves both to document the basis upon which individual students’ degrees have been awarded and to share the results of our students’ research with the scholarly community and the public. A copy of the full text of the policy is published in the Graduate School Bulletin.

Electronic versions of theses and dissertations are stored on and available from ProQuest and Lauinger Library's DigitalGeorgetown. Under this new policy, a student may embargo their thesis or dissertation on the ProQuest side during the uploading process. Permission to embargo the thesis or dissertation from distribution via Georgetown’s own digital resources, however, requires special permission.

The Graduate School offers two types of Georgetown embargoes:

  • A restrictive embargo for cases involving a pending patent application. Under this type of embargo, the text of the thesis or dissertation will be completely suppressed.
  • A common embargo under which the text of the thesis or dissertation will be withheld from public distribution but will be available to anyone with a Georgetown NetID and to any researcher who contacts Georgetown Library in advance and arranges to travel to campus to read it.

See the full policy for more information on both types of embargo and how to request a restrictive embargo. The common embargo requires a letter from the student.

Both types of embargo are available for a period of up to two years. Neither type is renewable except under rare circumstances. During the period of either embargo, metadata concerning the thesis or dissertation, including title, author, and an abstract of the work, will be available online.