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Dissertations and Theses

Available Formats

Electronic Copies

As of September 2010 all doctoral dissertations and masters theses are submitted to the Proquest Dissertations & Theses database. Electronic copies of doctoral dissertations began to be available in 1997 while masters theses began to be available in September 2010. After a dissertation or thesis is submitted to Graduate Studies, it can take up to several months for it to appear in the database.

Paper Copies

Masters theses from mid-2003 to September 2010 are located in the Shields Library book stacks.

Microfiche Copies

UC Davis theses and dissertations issued between 1978 and mid-2003 are available for use in the Microcopy Collection, Lower Level, Shields Library. Microfiche copies are available for inter-library loan and for reading, copying, or scanning within the library.

Archival Copies

UC Davis theses and dissertations issued before 1978 are typically only available in Special Collections. These are stored offsite and are for use only in the Blanchard Special Collections Reading Room. They can be requested at Turnaround time is 48-72 hours.

Locating Dissertations and Theses

Via UC Library Search

UC Davis dissertations and theses can be located via the library’s online catalog, UC Library Search. The item record will indicate the location of each thesis and dissertation.

Search Tips

Dissertations and theses do not receive standard “subject” headings. Dissertation titles are required to be descriptive, so title word searches are often effective. Another strategy, applicable for dissertations only, is to search in Proquest’s Dissertations & Theses Database (limiting to UC Davis if desired), where one can search titles, abstracts, and subject descriptors.

Note: with our new catalog options, searching by dissertation subject heading is less used, but in case you need to know, UC Davis catalogs its theses and dissertations with a limited subject heading, constructed of the phrase Dissertations, Academic — University of California, Davis plus the name of the department in which the degree is granted, for example:

  • Dissertations, Academic — University of California, Davis — Genetics

For 1989 and earlier, use the heading Dissertations, Academic — California plus the name of the department in which the degree is granted, for example:

  • Dissertations, Academic — California — Soil science

Via the Dissertations & Theses Database

The Dissertations & Theses Database via Proquest includes citations for theses and dissertations from 1861 to the current year. Entries for dissertations from 1980 forward include 350-word abstracts, written by the author. Citations for master’s theses from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. UC Davis submits only doctoral dissertations for inclusion in Dissertations & Theses via Proquest.

Search Dissertations & Theses by:

  • Author
  • The keyword of the title or abstract
  • Abstract
  • Subject
  • School (“Davis,” for example)
  • Degree
  • Advisor name
  • Other fields

Some UC Davis dissertations are not sent to ProQuest at the request of the author. In such cases, locate the bibliographic record in the UC Library Search online catalog. There may be a microform or print copy available for use, or you may request retrieval of the archival copy via Special Collections.

The Dissertations & Theses database provides access to the complete full-text of all University of California dissertations in addition to UC Davis doctoral dissertations from the year 1997 forward. Free 24-page previews are available for most other university theses and dissertations listed in the database from 1997 forward. Access to the ProQuest database and full-text is limited to UC computer addresses.

How to Obtain PDFs from the Dissertations & Theses Database

When displaying a citation for a dissertation, the Digital Dissertations database will indicate via a “Full text -PDF” button that the dissertation is available for full-text download. Nearly all of the UC dissertations since 1997 are available in full-text format.