Student Research

How to Determine if a Review is Needed

Master's Theses and Dissertations

If the thesis or dissertation involves human subjects or secondary (archival) data, the project must be reviewed by the IRB before data collection can begin.

Class Assignments

As long as your course instructor has reviewed your proposal, most class assignments are not considered research, and do not need IRB review. Check with your instructor if you are unsure.

Faculty-Led Research Projects

For faculty-led projects, the faculty researcher should have already obtained IRB approval. If your portion of the research will be used for your dissertation or master's thesis, a separate approval will be necessary.


Securing a Faculty Sponsor

For your dissertation, your faculty sponsor will most likely be your Chair. A faculty sponsor will also be required if you are conducting a master's thesis or undergraduate research. Faculty sponsors work with you to ensure that proper ethical standards are applied, that informed consent is used when appropriate, and that the research design is sound.

If you are unsure of how to secure a faculty sponsor, contact your college or department for guidance.