How Do I Find Dissertations and Theses?

“The first American Ph.D. program was initiated at Yale University in 1860. The first recipient was James Morris Whiton, whose dissertation in Latin on the proverb "Brevis vita, ars longa" was accepted in 1861. Handwritten, it was six pages long.” Dissertation Lore , UMI (University Microfilm), http://www.umi.com/umi/dissertations/lore.shtml 

What is a Dissertation or Thesis?

Dissertations and theses are published items of original research, data or literature reviews on a specific subject. The University Libraries collects dissertations and theses electronically and in print form. This guide will assist you in finding a dissertation or thesis published at Notre Dame or another institution.

How Do I Find Dissertations or Theses?

Dissertations and Master's Theses can be found using a variety of resources:

Resource Description Best used
when …
Dissertation Abstracts Online
  • Electronic index to information about almost all American dissertations and selected theses
  • Some foreign dissertations also included.
  • Dissertations from all institutions since 1997 have 24-page previews freely available without restriction
  • Basic and Advanced search functions
  • Full text access to dissertations and theses published at Notre Dame from 1997 to the present are available to users with a valid Notre Dame NetID.
You wish to locate dissertations on a topic, by subject, title, author, school name, etc.
ND Libraries Catalog
  • ND dissertations
  • Selected ND Theses
  • Selected non-ND Dissertations and Theses
  • Links to ND Dissertations in electronic format
  • Basic and Advanced search functions
You wish to search by subject, title, etc.for dissertations and theses owned by University Libraries

ND Dissertations subcatalog

(OR choose "More" tab from ND Libraries Catalog; from the "Notre Dame: Full Catalog" column, choose "Theses and Dissertations")

  • Subcatalog of ND Libraries Catalog
  • ND Dissertations Only
  • Links to ND Dissertations in electronic format
  • Basic and Advanced search functions
You wish to search by subject, title, etc. for Notre Dame dissertations and theses owned by University Libraries
Electronic Theses and Dissertations
  • Database of ND dissertations and Theses published in electronic format since 2002
  • This database is not a comprehensive collection of all ND dissertations and theses
  • Basic and Advanced search functions

You wish to access the electronic format of a recent ND dissertation or thesis;

You wish to browse the ETD database by author, department, keyword, etc.

Center for Research Libraries
  • Over 350,000 out of 750,000 foreign dissertations currently cataloged
  • Basic and Advanced search functions
  • Items can be requested through University Libraries Interlibrary Loan
You wish to search for foreign dissertations by author, title, country, language, etc.

Copies of dissertations and theses may also be available in print and could be in some of the following locations within the University Libraries. Please check the ND Libraries Catalog for location and availability:

  • Hesburgh Library General Collection
  • University Archives
  • Other campus libraries

For borrowing privileges, please see the Circulation Loan Periods. Interlibrary Loan is available for items that cannot be obtained at Notre Dame. Please make note of the bibliographic information and submit an Interlibrary Loan Request form to order the item. For additional assistance, Ask a Librarian.