Dissertations and theses


Since fall 2009, many Stanford PhDs have opted to submit their dissertations electronically. Unless the student chose to place the dissertation under an embargo, electronic dissertations are available to view as PDFs via the dissertation’s catalog record in SearchWorks.

If a dissertation is placed under embargo, the PDF is viewable only to Stanford affiliated users with a SUNet ID. We are unable to provide non-Stanford users with copies of embargoed dissertations. Authors may select an embargo period of six months, one year, or two years from the date of submission.

For dissertations submitted prior to fall 2009, search title or author in SearchWorks to determine the location of copies. In many cases, there is a copy in the University Archives as well as a circulating copy in Green Library or one of the branch libraries. Patrons must use the circulating copy when one is available. The University Archives copy may be paged for use in the Special Collections Reading Room only when no circulating copy is available.

Most dissertations written at Stanford are still under copyright. Therefore, we are usually not able to provide photocopies or digital scans of dissertations for off-campus users. For dissertations submitted from 1953-2009, check University Microfilms International. Dissertations from 1953 and earlier may be available from Stanford via Interlibrary Loan; see http://library.stanford.edu/using/interlibrary-lending/materials-available for additional information.

Master’s theses

Master’s theses are cataloged in SearchWorks. Theses held by University Archives may be paged for use in the Special Collections reading room. Photocopies and scans of master’s theses may be limited due to copyright regulations.

Undergraduate honors theses

Many departments transfer undergraduate honors theses to the University Archives, but our collection of honors theses is not complete. Honors theses are not individually cataloged in SearchWorks. Inventories of theses by department are available via the Online Archive of California (OAC). Searching by title using the OAC search box  is the fastest way to learn whether the University Archives has a particular thesis. To request an honors theses for use in the reading room, contact specialcollections@stanford.edu with the collection number, accession number, and box number in which the thesis is located.

Permission from the author is required for any photocopies or scans from undergraduate honors theses.