Answered By: Judith Jablonski
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2017     Views: 519

No APUS undergraduate paper or Master's thesis/capstone paper is a public domain document.  The student retains the copyright to his or her work. The fact that a student's paper is visible or accessible by the general public does not imply that it is the public domain.

Here’s how the U.S. Copyright Office defines "public domain": “A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.”

University Declarations: For the Master's capstone/thesis paper there is a statement the student must include in the front matter called the University Publication License. (See the End of Program Assessment Manual for Graduate Studies for information on this.)

  • In this statement, the student grants the university a nonexclusive license to publish the submission on its Web site and/or in the library.


See also: What happens after I finish my Master's capstone thesis/project? How does it get submitted to the library?