How can I find a Harvard thesis or dissertation?

Start with HOLLIS (HarvardKey login required for some full text, including theses & dissertations)

  • Dissertations, theses and some prizewinning papers held by the Harvard Library appear in HOLLIS. These include
    • Those presented for graduate degrees 
    • Bowdoin prize essays 
    • Undergraduate honors theses

How do you know if it's available online? 

  • Within the HOLLIS entry:
    • “View Online” button links out to full text.
    • If there's no "View Online" button, the work probably has not been digitized.

What Harvard theses and dissertations can you expect to find online in full text? How do you get to them?

  • Follow the links in HOLLIS.
  • Most graduate dissertations & theses 1997-present (a few earlier) will be found in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global (HarvardKey login required) ​
  • Works 2012-present are found in DASH, Harvard's open access digital repository
    • ​Exceptions:
      • undergraduates are not required to submit theses or prizewinning papers to DASH
      • Harvard Extension School ALM theses 2012-2016 were not entered into DASH. 
      • Under certain circumstances dissertations may be embargoed by the author; DASH may be the only place this information is given.

If the work hasn't been digitized:

You can order PDFs or photocopies of most Harvard theses and dissertations (unless they're available through the Proquest database linked above) from 1873 through November 2011 (and ALM theses to 2016) 

  • See our Reproduction Requests page to register
  • When you submit the online order form, Imaging Services staff will reply with cost and delivery information.
  • Questions about the online ordering process or pricing? Contact Imaging Services staff directly for additional information at 617/495-3995  or (M-F, 9-5 Eastern)

For Extension School ALM theses check out our Library Guide for Harvard Extension School theses page

Want to view a dissertation or thesis at the library? Check with the archival collection location listed in HOLLIS.

Wondering what dissertations and theses have been submitted in the recent past? Use DASH.

For more on undergraduate theses and dissertations, see our "How can I locate a Harvard undergraduate thesis?" FAQ.

Looking for non-Harvard theses & dissertations? See our "How can I find theses and dissertations?" FAQ.


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