Library:Finding Theses and Dissertations

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Note on terminology: we normally refer to master's theses and doctoral dissertations. All are graduate theses. The generic term thesis is used here, unless it is necessary to distinguish between master's and doctoral theses.

If you need additional assistance searching for theses or dissertations, please contact your subject librarian or visit a Research Help desk at UBC Library.


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Contents

University of British Columbia

UBC Theses Online

cIRcle: UBC's Digital Repository

UBC theses and dissertations from 1919 to the present are available in full text in cIRcle: UBC's Digital Repository. All theses and dissertations completed at UBC's Okanagan campus are available in cIRcle (2005-present). Note that creative arts theses are generally not available in cIRcle (Creative Writing, Theatre, Music).

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses - Full Text

International searchable index of dissertations and theses. The full text of UBC doctoral dissertations from 1997 to 2007 (including many pre-1997 titles) are available to UBC users. To search for UBC doctoral dissertations type "University of British Columbia" (with quotations) and select University/Institution - SCH from the drop down search field menu.

UBC's First 100 Theses

This archival collection contains digitized copies of the first 100 UBC theses. Although UBC opened its doors in 1915 it was not until 1919 that the University awarded the first graduate degrees. In that year two women, Ruth Fulton and Isobel Harvey, received masters degrees. In fact, six of the first ten masters degrees granted by the University went to women. The University awarded its first doctorates in 1950 when four students earned PhDs.

Finding Theses by Department

Search for UBC Theses in cIRcle

In cIRcle you can search UBC theses and dissertations by program using the advanced search. Under Search Scope, select Graduate Theses and Dissertations and then under Search Type select Thesis Program. Enter keyword(s) from the name of the department or school (e.g. geography) in the search box. Use quotation marks if the program name is more than one word (e.g. "social work").

You can also search for theses by date. Under Search Type, select Thesis Copyright Date and add the year in the search box. Multiple years should be added individually (e.g. 2009 2010 2011 2012). You can combine this search with a search by Thesis Program or other search type.

Search the Library Catalogue

UBC theses from 1983 to Spring of 2007 are listed by department/school/faculty, degree, and date in the UBC Library online catalogue. On the UBC Library home page, click on the Books & Media tab, then on Advanced Search to get to the Guided Keyword Search screen (or use this link).

Enter British Columbia in the first search box, then enter keyword(s) from the name of the department or school (e.g geography) in the second search box, then enter thesis in the third search box. Set the parameters for each box to search in Series, using the dropdown menus.


HowToFindTheses 1.png

Warning: the names of departments, schools, etc. may have changed over the years.
You can also browse a list of completed theses by degree and year in each department in the Library Catalogue. For example, to see all the theses that have been completed in the Dept. of Geography from 1983 to early 2007, in the Catalogue's Browse Tab enter university of british columbia dept of geography thesis and click on the search button Author/Composer sorted by title.


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Search the card index (pre-1983)

A card index of UBC theses written prior to 1983 (arranged by department) is available in Rare Books & Special Collections, located on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. For more information, please send an email to rare.books@ubc.ca or visit Rare Books & Special Collections.

UBC Theses and Dissertations in Print

Printed Format (available to 1991 only)

Printed copies of UBC theses from 1919 to 1991 are available in the appropriate branch library. For most theses, a second printed copy is held in Rare Books & Special Collections, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. These are library use only.

Microfiche Format

Doctoral Dissertations
  • From 1978 to 1997, there are two microfiche copies of UBC doctoral dissertations: one in Rare Books & Special Collections, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and one in the appropriate branch library. From 1998 to 2007, one microfiche copy only is held in the appropriate branch library.
Master's Theses
  • From 1974 to 2007, there are two microfiche copies of UBC master's theses: one in Rare Books & Special Collections and one in the appropriate branch library.

UBC Graduate Students: Thesis Submission Information

Submission instructions for current UBC graduate students are available from the Faculty of Graduate Studies (Vancouver Campus) and the College of Graduate Studies (Okanagan Campus).


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British Columbia

Theses and Dissertations from BC Universities

Theses Canada Portal

Indexes more than 300,000 Canadian theses and dissertations from 1965. This database also provides free access to over 50,000 full text electronic Canadian theses and dissertation.

BC University Listings

Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Royal Roads University
Simon Fraser University
Trinity Western University
University of Northern British Columbia

All projects, theses, and dissertations can be found in the UNBC Library catalogue using the following title searches: "Thesis University of Northern British Columbia"; "Dissertation University of Northern British Columbia"

University of Victoria

British Columbia Theses Bibliography (1913-1997)

Lists theses about B.C. history and related subjects. Subjects include B.C. History, Geography, Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, etc.


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Canada

Theses Canada Portal

Indexes more than 300,000 Canadian theses and dissertations from 1965. This database also provides free access to over 50,000 full text electronic Canadian theses and dissertations covering 1998-2002 and post-Fall 2007 UBC theses.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses - Full Text

Good source for U.S. and Canadian theses. International searchable index of dissertations and theses. The full text of dissertations and theses added to the database since 1997 are available to UBC users.

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)

NDLTD is an international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic analogues to the traditional paper-based theses and dissertations. To make it easier to search across institutional repositories, NDLTD has initiated a project to harvest metadata from university electronic theses and dissertations. Electronic theses and dissertations are harvested monthly from Canadian universities.

OAIster

OAIster is a union catalog of millions of records representing open access digital resources. OAIster is useful for searching multiple online archives for theses and dissertations simultaneously.


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International

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)

NDLTD is an international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic analogues to the traditional paper-based theses and dissertations. To make it easier to search across institutional repositories, NDLTD has initiated a project to harvest metadata from university electronic theses and dissertations. Electronic theses and dissertations are harvested monthly from Canadian universities.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses - Full Text

Good source for U.S. and Canadian theses. International searchable index of dissertations and theses. The full text of dissertations and theses added to the database since 1997 are available to UBC users.

DART-Europe E-theses Portal

DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses.

OAIster

OAIster is a union catalog of millions of records representing open access digital resources. OAIster is useful for searching multiple online archives for theses and dissertations simultaneously.

British Library Ethos: Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOSnet)

The database contains 300,000+ records for theses from over 100 participating institutions in the UK. It allows download of an increasing number of electronic and digitized theses direct to the desktop.

Index to Theses of Great Britain and Ireland

Coverage dates from today right back to 1716, providing total bibliographic control of all theses ever produced by British and Irish Universities. Many free, online, full-text theses and dissertations are linked from within this index.

Center for Research Libraries (CRL) Foreign Dissertation Database

Search 800,000 doctoral dissertations (including those of Albert Einstein, Dag Hammarskjold, and other Nobel laureates) from universities outside the U.S. and Canada. CRL acquired the majority of the collection through deposit from member libraries. CRL continues to acquire about 5,000 titles per year from major universities through demand purchase and deposit.

University of London Guide to Theses Listings

Provides links to international listings for theses.

Open Access Theses & Dissertations (OATD)

This is an index of over 1.5 million electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). To the extent possible, the index is limited to records of graduate-level theses that are freely available online. The full text of all papers lives on the original hosting site, usually the repository of the university that granted the degree.


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How to Cite

Citation Examples

APA Citation Style (6th Ed.)

See pages 40-41 in the manual for more detail.

  • Sample citation for a dissertation retrieved from ProQuest database:

Aguiar, L. (2001). The ‘dirt' on the contract cleaning industry in Toronto: Cleanliness and work reorganization (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations & Theses. (Publication number AAT NQ67931)


  • Sample citation for a thesis retrieved from an online database:

Gibson, L. S. (2007). Considering critical thinking and History 12: One teacher's story (Master's thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/

MLA Citation Style (7th Ed.)

See p. 180 #5.5.26 & p. 187 #5.6.2c & p. 192 #5.6.4 in the manual for more detail. Note: To cite a master's thesis, substitute the appropriate label (e.g. MA thesis, MS thesis) for Diss.

  • Sample citation for a dissertation retrieved from ProQuest database:

Blum, Martin Albert. "Body Politics: Otherness and the Representation of Bodies in Late Medieval Writings." Diss. U of British Columbia, 1997. ProQuest Digital Dissertations Web. 22 Dec. 2010.


  • Sample citation for a thesis retrieved from an online database:

Wilson, Freeda Catherine. "A Model for Translating Metaphors in Proverbs (French to English): A Cognitive Descriptive Approach." MA thesis. U of British Columbia, 2009. cIRcle: UBC's Information Repository. Web. 4 Apr. 2011.

Chicago Citation Style (16th Ed.)

See pages 746-747 (#14.224) in the manual for more detail. Note: The examples below are for a bibliographic entry. For footnotes/endnotes rearrange the pieces of the citation below following the basic format of a book citation.

  • Sample citation for a dissertation retrieved from ProQuest database:

Rose, John Stanley. "Charting Citizenship: The Political Participation of Immigrants in Richmond and Surrey, British Columbia." PhD diss., University of British Columbia, 2007. ProQuest (AAT NR31918).


  • Sample citation for a thesis retrieved from an online database:

Brillinger, Marc A. "Silence Descends: The Effects of Rising Authoritarianism and Fear on Citizen Engagement." Master's thesis, University of British Columbia, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2429/17437

Additional Citation Help

For additional assistance visit the library website or contact a librarian.