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Find dissertations and theses

Last Updated: 1-May-2014

This guide provides information about locating dissertations and theses, both those completed at Stanford University and those from other universities. If you need help, please contact our reference services staff or your subject librarian.

Find Stanford dissertations and theses

All Stanford dissertations and theses are listed in SearchWorks. Use the “Thesis” format option to limit your search (left column of the SearchWorks interface).

Most Stanford dissertations written between 1989 and 2009 are available as PDFs from Proquest. You can access these directly from Dissertations & Theses @ Stanford or from the Searchworks record.

If the thesis or dissertation was filed in a digital format (this option was available starting in November 2009) it may not be indexed in the Dissertations & Theses @ Stanford database, but it will be available through a direct link in the SearchWorks record and from Google. If the student opted for embargo restrictions, some of or the entire dissertation may not be available for up to five years after the submission date.

You can submit a request to view a print copy of a dissertation in the Special Collections & University Archives department (library use only). The SearchWorks record will indicate if there is a circulating print copy that you can check out.

You can purchase copies of Stanford dissertations completed before 2010 via UMI Dissertation Express from ProQuest.

Find dissertations and theses from other universities


Several dissertation databases are listed in SearchWorks. Two excellent resources are:

  • ProQuest’s Dissertation Abstracts database is “the world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present day.”
  • OCLC WorldCat lists most dissertations for most colleges and universities in the United States and Canada and a great many from around the world. There is also a public version of WorldCat.

Note that dissertations filed electronically may not be indexed.

There are also a couple of Internet resources that will help you find dissertations from other institutions:

  • The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) Union Catalog contains more than a million records of electronic theses and dissertations from the early 1900s to the present.
  • The DART-Europe E-theses Portal provides researchers with a single European Portal for the discovery of Electronic Theses and Dissertations, with access (at the time of this writing) to 490,746 open access research theses from 557 Universities in 28 European countries.

Find information on submitting dissertations

If you are a Stanford student seeking information about submitting dissertations, see Dissertation and Thesis Submission, which includes the Electronic Dissertation/Thesis FAQ. If you have further questions, send email to for assistance.