Dissertations & Theses

UC Davis theses and dissertations are cataloged in the Library’s online catalog. The online catalog record will indicate the location of each thesis and dissertation.

UC Davis Theses and Dissertations are available in a variety of formats

Electronic Copies
As of September 2010 all doctoral dissertations and masters theses are submitted to the Proquest Dissertations & Theses [Restricted] 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 bookstacks.
Microfiche Copies
UC Davis theses and dissertation 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 aeon.library.ucdavis.edu Turnaround time is 48-72 hours.

Note: Duplicate copies of selected UC Davis dissertations may also be found in the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library or the Carlson Health Sciences Library. Check the Library Search for locations.

Locating Theses and Dissertations in the Library Catalog

Locate theses and dissertations completed at UC Davis through the Library Search.

Searching by Subject

Theses and dissertations 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 the 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

Dissertations & Theses Database

The Dissertations & Theses Database [Restricted] 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, Keyword of title or abstract, Abstract, Subject, School (“Davis,” for example), Degree, Advisor name, and 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 Harvest or Melvyl 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.

Instructions for obtaining PDF Files from ProQuest: 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.