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Dissertations and theses

Dissertations from most universities are indexed in Dissertations and Theses from ProQuest.  See our guide to finding theses and dissertations for more details on locating items in our collection.

  • You can search the full text of all Virginia Tech theses and dissertations submitted online since 1997 or browse by author or department
  • Note: Many ETDs are restricted to VT-only access. 
  • Some older dissertations and theses that were submitted in paper copy have been scanned and added to this database. 

For non-VT items, many universities will lend a paper copy of a masters thesis or Ph.D. dissertation if a paper copy is available. However, some universities will not lend paper copies at all, and access to an electronic copy varies according to the policies of the individual university. 

Other sources

When a library is unwilling or unable to lend a dissertation or thesis through interlibrary loan, you can try to obtain a copy through other sources.


  • You may be able to purchase a copy from UMI Dissertation Publishing.
  • If the dissertation was published at a university outside of the U.S. or Canada, the Center for Research Libraries will attempt to purchase a copy.
    • Submit the request through ILLiad with a note that you would like CRL to purchase the dissertation. 
    • ILL staff will monitor your request and let you know if CRL is able to obtain a copy.
  • Some universities do not make their dissertations available through ProQuest. In these cases, you may be able to purchase a photocopy directly through the photocopy office at that particular university.

Web sources

  • Many universities are posting recent dissertations and theses on the web.  
    • Most can be previewed online without charge in a non-printable PDF format. 
  • Virginia Tech's ETD collection provides fully downloadable copies without charge for the majority of Virginia Tech dissertations and theses completed from 1997 to the present. 
    • However, 35% of the Virginia Tech theses and dissertations are restricted to use only on the Virginia Tech network.
  • In Canada, access to dissertations and theses is centralized through the Theses Canada Portal
    • Full text electronic versions of more than 220,000 Canadian theses and dissertations submitted to the program from 1998 through 2002 are available in PDF format.