Master's Theses and Dissertations
Master's theses and PhD dissertations are works written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a graduate degrees at academic institutions. Unlike books, dissertations and Master's theses are limited-quantity publications often available only from the institution which awarded the degree. Some are available through interlibrary lending services (Document Delivery), although many universities do not loan them.
SF State Master's Theses
The Library receives copies of Master's theses from students who opt to take thesis courses (893 or 898). SF State Masters' theses have call numbers beginning with AS36, and call numbers include the degree year and a code for the department. An example is: AS36 1998 SOCS .W34. This thesis was submitted for a degree in Social Science in 1998. The Library does not receive copies of project reports, essays, field studies or dissertations written for joint doctorates. For information on thesis submission procedures, connect to the Graduate Studies' Thesis Guideline Information at http://www.sfsu.edu/~gradstdy/thesis.htm.
Searching for SF State Master's theses in InvestiGator:
In the online catalog, select the MASTERS THESES tab to search. If you do not know the title or author of a thesis, you may search by keyword. To find all of the theses from a particular degree, search the name of the degree ("degree in business administration," "degree in geography," "degree in psychology," etc.) You may also use the ADVANCED Search tab and limit the search to the Master's Theses Collection.
Here are some of our degree codes with links to lists of masters' theses in the catalog:
- ANTH: Anthropology
- ART: Art
- BIOL: Biology
- HIST: History
- IR: International Relations
- PSYCH: Psychology
- GEOG: Geography
- SPCH: Speech and Communication
- Womst: Women and Gender Studies
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some Masters' theses written before 1975 are shelved off-site at the Sonoma State University Library. In the online catalog InvestiGator, these items will have a status of "Search Link+" and the location "Available by Request." Members of the SF State community may request a title by using the Link+ system and the thesis will be available within 2-4 days at the Circulation Desk. You will need to establish a library PIN to use Link+. If you are not eligible for an SF State library PIN, you may request the thesis directly from Sonoma State University Library by using your public library's interlibrary loan system.
Search for PhD Dissertations and Non-SFSU Master's Theses
The best resource for doing a comprehensive search for dissertations and theses is the following database:
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 1861 to current
This database is a central, authoritative resource for information about doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Dissertations published from 1980 forward include 350-word abstracts written by the author. Master's theses published from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. Most dissertations and theses added after 1997 are available as full text, PDF (Portable Document Format) documents.
The fulltext dissertations and theses can be down-loaded as PDF files from the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print these. CAUTION: many documents will run 300 pages or more; your printer may not be able to manage such a large file.
You may notice citations to dissertations and theses in the bibliographies of journal articles or in library catalog searches, including the WorldCat catalog showing the holdings of thousands of libraries. NOTE: When a database search results in a citation to Dissertations Abstracts International (DAI), be aware that the notation "SFSU subscribes to this journal" refers to the dissertation index only. If the entire dissertation is wanted, it must be ordered as described below.
Requesting Copies of Dissertations and Theses
Dissertations and theses may be requested by using the Document Delivery Services for requesting books. Search LINK+ or make a request using the ILLiad system.