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How do I find dissertations and theses?

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University of Chicago Dissertations and Theses

The University of Chicago relies on the ProQuest dissertation database for dissertations completed after June 2009. The Library holds a paper copy of most University of Chicago doctoral dissertations deposited before Summer 2009, as well as many early masters' theses, and those with current University of Chicago Library borrowing privileges may borrow them.  Records for these items appear in the Library Catalog.

Using the Library Catalog

The Library Catalog contains records for University of Chicago dissertations and theses held by the Library.  Enter keywords in the Search box to find a catalog record.  If you do not have a specific work in mind, use chicago as one of your keywords.  Once you have a list of results, look at the Narrow Search options in the column on the right and select Dissertations (under Format) to limit to dissertations or theses.  Select additional limits (for example, Topic/Genre or Call Number) to further narrow your set of search results.

You might also try an Advanced Keyword Search.  This will allow you to enter multiple search terms and to specify different fields where the terms should appear (all fields, title, author, subject, and so forth.)  Under Format:, select Dissertations.  Then select Notes as the field for one of the search boxes and enter the keyword chicago.  The department or school (anthropology, law, etc.) and degree (Ph.D. or D.Min. or J.S.D. or S.M. or A.M.) usually appear in the Notes field and may also be included in your search.

Using ProQuest Dissertations & Theses @ University of Chicago

In some cases, it may be better to use ProQuest Dissertations & Theses @ University of Chicago to identify a University of Chicago dissertation or thesis.  Records for recent dissertations appear in ProQuest before they appear in the library catalog.  (We no longer accept paper copies of dissertations, so the catalog records for e-only dissertations link to ProQuest records.)  The ProQuest database provides access to the complete text of most dissertations produced since 1997, which means you may be able to view a dissertation online.  Full text is available for many earlier works also.  If you wish, you may limit results to full text documents only.

If you use ProQuest's Advanced search interface, please note that some fields (Abstract, Advisor, Committee Member, Department) will not work for dissertations produced before a certain date.  Note also that searching for a specific degree usually works, but limiting by manuscript type after performing a search usually does not.

If you are using ProQuest Dissertations & Theses instead of the University of Chicago subset, you can search for University of Chicago dissertations by entering 0330 in the School name/code--SCH field.

Information for Users Not Affiliated with the University of Chicago

If you are not affiliated with the University of Chicago, check with your local library to determine what databases and borrowing options are available to you.  Many college and university libraries subscribe to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.  If you have access, connect to the dissertation database from your library's website and then go to the Advanced Search page. You can search for University of Chicago dissertations by entering 0330 in the School name/code--SCH field.  You might also search WorldCat to see if the dissertation you need is held by a nearby library.

The University of Chicago Library will lend most University of Chicago dissertations and theses deposited before Summer 2009.  See the Library's Interlibrary Loan lending policies to learn more about borrowing material.

Copies of most University of Chicago dissertations and some early theses may be purchased through ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. Call 1-800.521.3042 or order a dissertation online.

If ProQuest does not have a copy of one of our doctoral dissertations, please contact the University of Chicago Dissertation Office.

Call Number Browse

Click the call number to browse records for some of the U. of C. dissertations deposited in the Library before Summer 2009.