Guide to Locating Dissertations and Theses

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This guide was created to help you find theses and dissertations related to social sciences, health, and education from around the world. For further assistance, stop in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (Rooms 100 - SSHEL North and 101 - SSHEL South, Main Library) or Ask-A-Librarian.


Searching Databases | Obtaining Dissertations | Browsing Call Numbers | Additional Information


Searching for Theses and Dissertations

Dissertations & Theses  (Proquest)
Citations (1861-present), abstracts (1980-present), and full-text (1997-present) for doctoral dissertations from accredited American and Canadian universities, as well as selected British and European universities. Selected masters theses are also included.  Most dissertations submitted from 1997 forward are available for free full-text download in pdf format from Dissertations and Theses. After performing your search, look for the "Full text - PDF" button below each result on the "Search Results" screen. You will then be able to download the entire document. You can also choose to download only a selection of the document using the "Preview - PDF" button, which will give you a short sample of the document, including the Table of Contents. If a dissertation is not available for download, the Interlibrary Loan office can help you in acquiring a copy--see the instructions below. 

Theses Canada Portal
Theses Canada Portal provides a searchable catalog of all Canadian thesis published since 1965, many of which are available in full text electronic versions which can be downloaded free by students, scholars, and the public. 

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
A collection of over four million theses and dissertations from around the world. Many items, including those dating back to the early 1900s, are available in full text for free. For those not available in full text, fill out a standard interlibrary loan request.

Find International Electronic Theses and Dissertations (Country Repository Links)
Many countries have their own online libraries of electronic theses and dissertations. This directory provides links to 44 country-specific and international online libraries of electronic theses and dissertations. This is particularly helpful for elusive dissertations from countries such as Pakistan, Lithuania, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Brazil and more, which may be difficult to locate through other dissertation search resources. The list of links is maintained and hosted by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.


Obtaining Dissertations and Theses

Online Library Catalog
The Library should have at least one copy of all theses and dissertations granted at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Library may also have selected theses and dissertations from other institutions, so the online catalog is a good place to look first. Copies of dissertations deposited at Illinois from 1978 to the present are accessible by author and title through the I-Share Catalog. Beginning with 1983, archival copies can also be searched by department and year. (See  browsing section below for instructions on how to do this.)

All Illinois theses and dissertations deposited from Fall 2010 onward are available in IDEALS, the University of Illinois' digital repository for research and scholarship. (See IDEALS Help for information on finding theses and dissertations.)

Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary Loan can help you obtain theses and dissertations not owned by the Library and not available in pdf format through Proquest Dissertations and Theses. Interlibrary Loan provides 2 options for University of Illinois students, staff and faculty:

  1. Place a standard online Interlibrary Loan request using the "Thesis Request" form. This is usually the preferred method, and it is the only option when requesting international/foreign dissertations and theses.
      2. Dissertation Express (via the Interlibrary Loan Office) is a fee-based service that obtains dissertations in 4-5 business days. The Library will pay for the item, but you are responsible for a $25 shipping charge. You may choose this method for domestic (U.S.) dissertations, or the option may be offered if Interlibrary Loan is unable to obtain a copy via the standard request. Contact Interlibrary Loan for more information about placing a Dissertation Express order.

Dissertation Express (direct via ProQuest)
If you quickly need a print copy of a dissertation that is not available for download and don't mind paying the full cost yourself, you can order it directly from Proquest's Dissertation Express as an individual. Otherwise, use one of the Interlibrary loan options described above.


Browsing Thesis Call Numbers for Degrees Granted at Illinois

Theses and dissertations completed at Illinois in the areas of education and the social sciences are located in the Main Stacks and on microfilm in the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library (246 Library).

Beginning in 1993, theses completed in the academic departments served by the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library were assigned the following generic call numbers:

Q.150               Psychology     

Q.301               Sociology        

Q.306               Anthropology   

Q.320               Political Science

Q.350               Public Administration

Q.360               Social Work

Q.362.1            Community Health

Q.370               Education

Q.612.76          Kinesiology

Q.612.78          Speech & Hearing Science

Q.617.03          Rehabilitation

Q.790.01          Leisure Studies/Recreation, Sport & Tourism

For theses cataloged 1993-1999, the second line of the call number begins with TA, for doctoral dissertations, or TAM, for master's theses, which is then followed by the year of the granted degree and the first letter(s) of the author's surname. Starting with the year 2000, the second line of the call number now begins with TB or TBM. 

To browse the online catalog for theses or dissertations, select "Call Number" under the Search By options on the   Quick Search screen of the Classic Search catalog. When typing in the call number range to browse, do not include the Q. prefix, but do include the TA, TAM, TB, or TBM suffixes. For instance, to look for pre-2000 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign masters theses in education, your search string would be 370tam.

Examples of Theses and Dissertations' Records in the Library Catalog

Doctoral dissertation record:

Braswell, Gregory S.
Early mother-child interactions during symbolic production
Subject (Other): Theses--UIUC--2000--Psychology

Masters thesis record:

Onishi, Kristine H.
Effects of typicality on word order in sentence production
Subject (Other): Theses--UIUC--2000--Psychology


Additional Information 

For instructions on searching for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign dissertations in the online catalog, see the guide to Finding Dissertations. This guide also includes information about keeping track of dissertations in your field with RSS feeds.