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Embargo Request

Doctoral dissertations and abstracts are normally made publicly available upon degree conferral when they are deposited electronically in Deep Blue. In limited circumstances, a doctoral student may wish to postpone public release of the final dissertation of record that is deposited in Deep Blue, the permanent digital repository of the University Library.

A student who is considering such a postponement, also called a dissertation embargo, should discuss this option with his or her faculty advisor and the rest of the dissertation committee. The student is responsible for requesting an embargo of the dissertation, and the request must be approved by the chair (and co-chair, if any) of the dissertation committee.

Two dissertation embargo options are available:

  • U-M only access. A student may choose to restrict access to the dissertation to members of the U-M community (those with a uniqname and a Kerberos password) for up to one year from the date of degree conferral. The title and abstract will be displayed in online listings of the University Library, but the content of the dissertation will not be available to view or to download.
  • Full restriction. A student may seek permission from the Graduate School for an embargo that restricts all access to the dissertation for up to one year from the date of degree conferral. Permission will be granted only when:
    • The student (or his or her collaborators) is applying for a patent on research contained in the dissertation and does not wish to make the contents public until the patent application has been filed; or
    • The dissertation includes information that is covered for a limited period of time by a confidentiality agreement or contains third-party proprietary information.
  • Dissertations that are fully restricted are not included in the online listings of the University Library and the title and abstract are not available to the public or the University Community. A full restriction cannot be extended beyond one year. Unless the graduate requests and is granted permission for an additional year of U-M only access, the dissertation will be fully released.

Dissertation embargo renewal:

Renewal request. At the end of the one year U-M only or full restriction embargo period, graduates may ask the Graduate School to postpone full public release for an additional year at the U-M only access level. Full restriction cannot be renewed. Permission from the Graduate School is required to renew an embargo. Permission will be given only for specific reasons, such as the graduate’s intention to publish work from the dissertation in a journal or book with a publisher that restricts consideration of manuscripts derived from dissertations that have been made available online. (Please note that most publishers do not have restrictive pre-publication policies.) It is the graduate’s responsibility to request a renewal of the U-M only dissertation embargo. Permission is not guaranteed. Graduates may ask for up to two annual renewals, for a total of three years of U-M only access (or one year full restriction renewed into two years U-M only access).

A student may independently choose among several levels of embargo for the copy of the dissertation that is deposited electronically with UMI/ProQuest.

Embargo requests must be submitted before the final dissertation submission deadline with which the student is working.

Dissertation Embargo Policy

Contact Academic Records and Dissertations

0120 Rackham Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Phone: 734.763.0171
Fax: 734.936.1809


Academic Records and Dissertations is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.

Rackham Graduate School will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21. We will return at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 26. During the holiday, there will be no processing of application materials and no updates to your Wolverine Access account. After we reopen, there will be a delay in processing application materials. Thank you for your patience as we process the high volume of materials.