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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

How to Find Dissertations and Theses

This guide will help you find dissertations and theses.

Finding Dissertations

This guide will help you find dissertations both from the University of Illinois and beyond. Dissertations can be hard to find, because they are not published like books. This guide will explore the resources that can help you find and request dissertations.

In this guide you will find:

  • Obtaining Dissertations-how to request dissertations and theses (in the box below)
  • University of Illinois Dissertations-how to find University of Illinois dissertations and theses in our online catalog, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, and in IDEALS
  • Non-Illinois Dissertations-resources for finding dissertations and theses from all over the country and the world
  • Dissertation Tracking-how to keep track of the dissertations and theses that are being completed in your field


Obtaining Dissertations

Dissertation Express

If a dissertation or theses is not available through our Library or available online, you can file a request with our Interlibrary loan department. If they are unable to find a circulating copy, they will provide the option of using Dissertation Express, a fee-based service that obtains dissertations in 4-5 business days. The library pays for the dissertation, and retains it after you are finished with it. You, in turn, pay the $25 Dissertation Express shipping fee. For more information about this service, see the Interlibrary Loan Office's Dissertation Express FAQ entry.

Works in IDEALS

For U of I authors whose dissertations or theses are in IDEALS, the Library can provide you with a PDF file of your work. Contact us at