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Boston College University Archives

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Dissertations and Theses

Image of three masters 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 print books to microfilm and microfiche and now to PDFs. Doctoral dissertations and master's theses are rich information resources. They generally provide original research, but they also offer:

  • A comprehensive literature review on the topic
  • An extensive bibliography for the topic
  • A biography section, which can provide hard-to-find biographical information on a researcher's early life and career
  • A snapshot of scholarship at a given time

Searching

The catalog includes records for the following formats/locations:

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

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.

See our search tips for additional help.

Access to BC Dissertations and Theses

BC dissertations and masters theses published before 1966 are stored offsite. Retrieval can take 2-3 days and these volumes must be used within the library.

For all BC dissertations and theses published after 1966, please see this helpful guide.

Requesting

Burns Library has an online request management system.  As you identify what you would like to see, click the "Schedule visit to use in Burns Library" link in the catalog record. 

Screenshot of catalog page showing where to click to request a visit.

When prompted to sign-in, either use the Boston College sign-in box to register as a researcher using your BC username and password or use the Guest Researcher box to create an account without a BC username.

Once you've reviewed our registration policies and filled out the registration form, you'll return to the request form.

To complete the form:

  • For published material: Review item information and add details on the specific volume or copy you wish to see (if needed)

  • Leave any notes on your request in the Special Requests/Questions field (optional)

  • Schedule the date you would like to visit the reading room (check our hours for more details) at the end of the request form, and press submit.

The reading room staff will have the materials ready for your visit. You'll simply need to show a school or government-issued ID and take a photograph to finish your registration process. 

For help navigating to Burns Library, see Planning Your Visit