Find a thesis or dissertation

If you are searching for a thesis or dissertation produced at SMC, searching in Albert, the Library’s online catalog, will help you locate it.

All SMC theses and dissertations are shelved in the circulating collection within a specific call number range and can be accessed on the second floor in the Library by call number.

The best way to find a thesis or dissertation is to search within Albert for those items specifically.  When you are in Albert, choose the drop down menu labeled "Entire Collection", and select Theses and Dissert's.  You can then search by keyword, title, author, or subject to find a list of theses.


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Using Dissertations and Theses (Proquest) database

The Library subscribes to the Dissertation and Theses (Proquest) database, which contains over 2 million citations and abstracts, ranging from the first U.S. dissertation accepted in 1861 to those accepted just this semester. Titles published since 1997 are available full text in PDF format. To access Dissertations and Theses.

  • Please note that both theses and dissertations are included in this collection.  You can limit your search to only doctoral dissertations or just those submitted in fulfillment of a masters level degree.  Instructions on how to do this are found in the help guide.


Other Dissertations

Students sometimes find citations to dissertations not available full text through Dissertations and Theses (Proquest) and ask how they might get these. Here are some suggestions:

  • First, try to request the dissertation through ILLiad, the Library’s Interlibrary Borrowing Service. To access ILLiad, go to the Library home page at and click the link for Interlibrary Loan. Although not all Libraries lend their theses, some do, and if they do, ILLiad can get that for you.
  • Frequently by searching for articles or books by the author that were published within a few years of the dissertation date, you find information that builds on the original dissertation research work, sometimes this can be as useful as the original dissertation.
  • Finally, if you have not been able to get your hands on a copy of a dissertation that you think is vital to your own research, you can try to find contact information for the author on the web and ask him/her for suggestions on how you might get your hands on a copy. I have students report back that authors have emailed a copy within minutes of their request. This is a great example of people, fellow researchers, as vital resources helping the future research in their field of interest.


Any questions, please contact a Reference Librarian at (925) 631-4624 during reference hours.