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Finding Dissertations & Theses


Boston College Dissertations & Theses

Find Dissertations and Theses

About Boston College Dissertations and Theses

Boston College began offering graduate programs in the 1920s. Since then the format of masters theses and doctoral dissertations has changed with the times: from the early technology of print books to microforms (both microfilm and microfiche) and now to PDFs. The information in this guide can help optimize your search for full text of a BC dissertation or masters thesis.

Access to BC Dissertations and Theses

Full text of BC dissertations and masters theses is available in a variety of formats and locations, depending on the publication date. Though there are outliers and exceptions, the following table shows likely availability, including format, location, and years.

pre-1966 1966-1996 1996-2008 post-2008
Print (Burns Library*) Microforms (O'Neill Library) PDFs (eScholarship@BC)
  PDFs (ProQuest Dissertations and Theses)

* Stored offsite; requires retrieval. Must be used at Burns Library.

Additional information on accessibility:

  • A PDF in eScholarship@BC is freely available to all; a PDF in ProQuest requires access to that database. Note: We provide all current BC students, faculty, and staff with access to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.
  • The full text of an electronic thesis or dissertation may not be available in eScholarship@BC by the request of the author. If you are unable to retrieve the full text from the eScholarship@BC record, it may be available in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.
  • Microforms can be either microfilm (up to about 1980) or microfiche (from 1980 through 2008). Machine readers for both formats are available at O'Neill Library.
  • The print versions available at Burns Library are stored offsite. Contact Burns Library, by submitting a question or calling 617-552-4861 to request retrieval (takes 1-2 days). These volumes must be used within the library.

Embargoes: The author may have requested an embargo, delaying the online availability of the dissertation or thesis. If a dissertation is embargoed in ProQuest and/or eScholarship@BC, you will be able to see the author, title, and abstract, but not the full text. Embargoes are typically requested when a dissertation is being submitted to a publisher that proscribes prior publication; a patent application is going to be filed; there is a need to protect proprietary information; or there is a need to respect confidentiality.

Ask for help

If you are sure the dissertation/thesis you are looking for was written before 1966, contact Burns Library by submitting a question or by phone 617-552-4861.

For all other assistance with searching, ask a librarian.

Searching for a BC dissertation or thesis

Library Catalog

The catalog includes records for the following formats/locations:

  • eScholarship@BC (post-2008)
  • Microforms in O'Neill Library (1966-2008)
  • Print volumes in Burns Library (pre-1966)

We recommend that you first search for a dissertation or thesis here. Use the advanced search option to do a title and/or author search. You can also search for the Local Collection Name "BC THESES."

See our search tips for additional help.


ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

The ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database includes not only Boston College graduate dissertations and theses but also full-text dissertations and abstracts from institutions worldwide. BC dissertations and theses from 1996 on can be found in this database.



eScholarship@BC is the institutional repository of Boston College, managed by the Boston College University Libraries. Both graduate and undergraduate students have the option to provide free access to the full text of a thesis or dissertation through eScholarship@BC, though it is not required. BC dissertations and theses from 2008 on can be found in eScholarship@BC.

Submitting a BC Dissertation or Thesis

If you are submitting a graduate thesis or dissertation to Boston College, see our eTD@BC website for instructions and support.

If you would like to submit an undergraduate honors thesis, see our Undergraduate Theses Submission guidelines.