GitHub, Repository Scope Definitions and How to Change It

Defines the different repository scopes/visibility and how to change them.

GitHub Repository Scopes

There are 3 visibility scopes available that can be set when creating a repository:

  • Public: visible by anyone on the internet, but you may choose who can commit.
  • Internal: visible to anyone who is a member of the University of Illinois System enterprise, but you may choose who can commit.
  • Private: you choose who can see and commit to this repository. This is the default for repositories in the Technology Services Organization


  • Favor Internal over Public before making a repository public. This will make your repository visible to everyone in the enterprise and give a test of its overall general applicability in a safe space.
  • Consider your support model very carefully before making a repository public.
  • Consider putting end of life dates on repositories that are made public.
  • Consider your access model when collaborating with entities outside the university carefully.
  • A license should be included in any non-private and non-internal repository.
  • file should be written for any non-private repository.

Changing Repository Scope

Changing repository scope requires someone with admin access. When you set up your repository, usually the creator has admin access. Failing that, you can send a request to to request this option and/or granting a member of your team admin access to the repository. Once this has been done:

  1. Select the Settings menu.
  2. Scroll down to the Danger Zone section of the repository General settings.
  3. Select the Change Visibility button.
  4. Select which visibility option you would like for your repository.