Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

History: A Guide to McFarlin Library Resources: Theses & Dissertations

A guide to online and print sources available through McFarlin Library

What are Theses & Dissertations?

Graduation-cap-239875

Graduate academic degrees frequently require the completion of a large, often book length, research paper.  This paper is called a thesis (when written for a masters degree) or a dissertation (for a PhD).  It usually involves extensive research in both primary and secondary sources and is geared toward an academic audience. A committee of faculty members oversees the research and writing of the paper and the graduate student must follow proper research methodology.  The faculty committee must give their formal approval of the work before the student may receive their degree.  As a result of all this, theses and dissertations are considered to be scholarly works and a really valuable resource when you're working on your own papers, especially since they tend to be original research focusing on areas of current interest in the discipline.

Theses and dissertations written by TU students are readily available from McFarlin Library.  (See the box at the bottom of the page.)  Dissertations written by students at other colleges and universities since 1997 may usually be obtained online using ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global (see the two boxes below this one).  If the thesis or dissertation is not available through ProQuest, you may try requesting it through Interlibrary Loan.  Some university libraries may not be willing to loan these materials since their copy may be the only one in existence.  Contact the Interlibrary Loan Dept. if you have questions or concerns about this.

Search for Theses & Dissertations

About ProQuest's Theses & Dissertations Global

"ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: Global (PQDTGlobal) is the world's most comprehensive collection of full-text dissertations and theses. As the official digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress and as the database of record for graduate research, PQDTGlobal includes millions of searchable citations to dissertations and theses from 1861 to the present day together with over a million full-text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. Over 2.1 million titles are available for purchase as printed copies. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full-text coverage for older graduate works. It also includes PQDT UK & Ireland content." -- ProQuest

Finding TU graduate theses and dissertations

Drawing of McFarlin Library from the 1950 Kendallabrum.The quickest way to find theses or dissertations written at The University of Tulsa is by doing a subject search in the Classic Catalog and adding the term "thesis" or "dissertation". For example:  Chemical engineering thesis or Chemical engineering dissertation

In the past the Library kept two bound copies of each dissertation and thesis written at The University of Tulsa. One is housed in the University Archives.  The other copy, with some exceptions, is now located in Temporary Shelving, Intermediate Level North.  If you want to see a print copy of a thesis or dissertation, you are welcome to retrieve it from the stacks yourself, or you may fill out and submit the online book request form.  However, many TU theses and dissertations have been scanned and made available online through Proquest. There is still an archival bound copy of each available in Special Collections.

If you're looking for information regarding The University of Tulsa Graduate School's policies and requirements, please see Thesis and Dissertation Information on the University portal (requires login with your TUnet ID).