Answered By: Library Staff
Last Updated: Jul 10, 2017     Views: 1313


An academic dissertation or thesis is a large research paper written by students in order to complete their master's or doctoral degrees (PhD). Generally, "thesis" refers to a Master's degree and "dissertation" refers to a Doctoral degree.



See Help Finding Masters Theses & Projects for finding Masters Theses and Projects done here at Cal Poly.


We have some databases for finding theses:

  1. Dissertations & Theses (Proquest) This database lists more than 1 million dissertations and theses and contains the full text for many of them. It does not include Cal Poly Pomona theses, but does have quite a few from other CSUs.   
  2. Use the database OregonPDF to get full text for theses and dissertations for Kinesiology. Items with a masters degree abbreviation (M.S., M.A., etc.) are for masters level work. Items not already in PDF format can be requested to be converted to PDF and will be converted and made available within 24 hours. 
  3. You can do a general search for dissertations in the UMI Dissertation Express If you find one you like, search for it in the sources below for the possibility of a free copy (see below) or request a copy via our Document Delivery Service before purchasing it from UMI.  

3a. Open Access Thesis and Dissertations All items here are free of charge

screen shot from Open Access Thesis and Dissertaions

3b. NDLDT (the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations) will include both free and pay items.

screenshot from NDLTD
3c. You can also try looking for them in Google and Google Scholar.



For full text copies of items you cannot get via the above sources, you can request copies to be borrowed from another library by using our Document Delivery Service (request these as books). If Document Delivery cannot borrow it, you can purchase (with your own money) a personal copy from Dissertation vendors such as UMI Dissertation Express.

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