Theses & Dissertations

Theses and dissertations are extended scholarly essays that incorporate original research on a specific topic. They are usually written as part of the requirements for a graduate degree (e.g. MA or PhD).

Finding a York University thesis or dissertation
Most doctoral dissertations and Master’s theses completed at York University are available through the Libraries. Law dissertations are held in the Law Library; most others are held in Scott Library. Please note that the library does not normally hold copies of Major Research Papers (MRPs); for these, please check with the appropriate York University department or faculty.

For York dissertations and theses written from 1967 to 2012:
Start by searching the Dissertations and Theses @ York University database. You can search by keyword, title, adviser or school. The full-text of most York theses and dissertations submitted between 1967 and 2012 can be downloaded for free.

This service is only available to registered York students and faculty.
For York dissertations and theses written between 1967 and the present that were never microfilmed or have some form of embargo restricting access:

  • Search the library catalogue. You can search by title, author, or keyword. When you find the entry, note the call number and location. A quick location guide is provided below.
If you see… It means…
SCOTT-MICR A microform copy is available in the microtext area on the 1st floor of Scott Library.
HNES-STOR Status “In Storage” or “In Process” — can be requested via the ‘Request’ button in the catalogue record.
INTERNET An electronic version is available. Click on the URL provided in the catalogue record.

For dissertations and theses written from 2013 to the present, search the library catalogue (NOT the classic catalogue) by title, author, or keyword.

Finding theses from other universities

  • Proquest Digital Dissertations and Theses
    This database contains citations and abstracts of doctoral dissertations and some masters theses from colleges and universities in North America and Europe. Citations are available from 1861 to the present. Abstracts are available for dissertations from 1980 to the present and for masters theses from 1988 to the present. From 1997, sometimes earlier, the full-text of some dissertations and theses may be downloaded for free in PDF format. Please note that this service is only available to registered York students and faculty.
  • Theses Canada Portal
    The Theses Canada Portal provides free access to the full text electronic versions of Canadian theses and dissertations that were published from the beginning of 1998 to the present.
  • Index to theses (Great Britain and Ireland)
    An index to theses accepted in the Universities of Great Britain and Ireland. Covers 1716 – present.
  • EThOS (Great Britain)
    Launched in 2008, the Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) offers free access to full text versions of British theses. New theses are digitized and added to the database in response to requests from researchers.

Many other periodical indexes and databases include references to dissertations.

Note: Theses and dissertations not available in the Libraries or online can be requested through the Resource Sharing Department.