Doctoral Degree - Dissertation and Project - Human Subjects Data Collection

If a dissertation includes data gathered from human subjects, whether experiments, surveys, or interviews, the students must obtain approval from the SJSU Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB). Information concerning the use of human participants is available online at or from the or from the IRB coordinator at 408-924-2479. Approval must be obtained from SJSU prior to data collection regardless of whether the research is done in conjunction with another institution that has given its approval. Approval must also be obtained even if the work is ultimately determined to be "exempt." Federal law prohibits retroactive approval of human subjects research. Any human subject work conducted before IRB permission cannot be included in a dissertation. The dissertation will not be approved if it fails to comply with IRB policy.

Once the research is approved, dissertation submission must include a copy of the permission letter, whether as a document separate from the dissertation or as an appendix to the dissertation. Failure to submit the appropriate documentation can result in a delay or denial of dissertation approval by College of Graduate Studies.