Graduate Degree - Thesis and Dissertation - Human Subjects Data Collection

If a thesis or 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 thesis or dissertation. The thesis and dissertation will not be approved if it fails to comply with IRB policy.

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