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Dissertations: USC Dissertations Digitization Project

This guide provides information on locating, borrowing, and purchasing doctoral dissertations. If you are unable to locate dissertations using these instructions, ask a librarian in any USC library for assistance.

Message from the Dean of the USC Libraries

April 22, 2014 (Digitization was completed in August 2015)

Dear Colleagues,

The USC Libraries have begun a project that will dramatically increase the visibility of and access to the intellectual output of the USC community. We have contracted with ProQuest to digitize 50,000 print theses and dissertations currently in the Grand Library collection. The majority—more than 70%—of the materials are more than 50 years old, dating from 1900-1964.

When complete, the digitized dissertations and theses will be much more easily and quickly accessible through Quick Search, the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database, and the USC Digital Library.

The conversion process requires us to ship the hardcopy theses and dissertations to ProQuest, and as a result, the print versions will not be accessible. However, electronic versions of each dissertation and thesis will become available immediately upon digitization. More and more materials will come online as the project progresses.

We will work with ProQuest to make certain the project proceeds as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we estimate that all 50,000 items will be available online within 18 months.

Many previously digitized and born-digital USC theses and dissertations remain accessible as before:

§  Dissertations and theses submitted since fall 2006 are currently available through the USC Digital Library 

§  More than 12,000 USC dissertations, dating from 1959 to 1974 and from 1994 to the present, also are accessible via ProQuest

John McDonald, Associate Dean for Collections, will provide updates as the digitization work progresses. Please feel free to get in touch with John or me if you or researchers in your areas have questions about the project or accessibility of materials.

I look forward to completing this conversion process and providing much improved access to our collections of theses and dissertations by the USC community.



Catherine Quinlan
Dean of the USC Libraries
Inaugural Holder of the Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair of the USC Libraries
Doheny Memorial Library, Ste. 100
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA  90089-0182
Tel:    (213) 740-1754
Fax:   (213) 740-9962

Searching the catalog for a specific dissertation

To locate a citation for a specific dissertation:

  • Search USC Libraries Catalog HOMER for the dissertation by Author or Title
  • Click on the Full Record button to access more detailed information

Search USC Dissertations by School

To view in the USC Library Catalog HOMER a chronological list of all USC dissertations written at a single school:

  • Select Call No. Search Tab.
  • Enter the call number as Ph.D. followed school abbreviation (see below)
  • Select Grand Depository as Library
  • Select DISSACCSN as shelving scheme

Example: Ph.D. Com

Note: You must have the period after Ph and the period after D. There must be a space between the D and the beginning of the school abbreviation. There is no space between Ph. and D. If there are internal periods in the school abbreviation, such as Occupational Therapy (which is O.TH), these must also be included.

USC Dissertations: School Abbreviations

Call numbers assigned to USC Disserations and Theses correspond to departments in which they were created. In other words, in the Grand Avenue Library, theses and dissertations are shelved and cataloged according to the (USC) Dissertation Accession Number scheme, rather the Library of Congress cataloging system. The table provided in this guide will help you browse USC theses and dissertations in HOMER.

If you need additional guidance using these codes, please contact Lorraine Allerhand in the cataloging department at

Call No. Spine Code Department
A APPL.MATH Applied Mathematics
Ac ACCOUNTING Accounting
AeE AE.ENG Aerospace Engineering, Engineer in Aerospace Engineering Included
AeG AE.G.M. Aeronautics and Guided Missles
AeM AE.MAN Aerospace Operations Management
Am AM American Studies
An ANTHROP Anthropology; Visual Anthropology;Social Anthropology
Ana ANA Anatomy
Ar ARCH Architecture; Landscape Architecture
Arc ARCHAEOL Archaeology
As ASIA.ST Asiatic Studies; East Asian Languages and Cultures
B BIOL Biology; Cellular Biology; Molecular Biology;Applied Biometry; Neurobiology; Biometry
B.Sc. BIOL.SCI Biological Sciences
Ba BACT Bacteriology
Bi Biblical Literature
Bio BIOC Biochemistry and Nutrition
BioC BIOM.CH Biomedicinal Chemistry
Biom.En BIOM.ENGIN Biomedical Engineering
Bkn BIOKIN Biokinesiology
Bo BOT Botany
Bu.S. BUI.SC Building Science
C CHEM Chemistry; Physical Chemistry; Computational Chemistry;Biophysical Chemistry
Ch CH.E Chemical Engineering
Che C.PHYS Chemical Physics
Ci C.E. Civil Engineering; Engineer in Civil Engineering;Structural Mechanics;Structural Engineering
Cin CIN Cinematography; Communication-Cinema; Cinema-Production; Critical Studies
CL CL Classics
CM COMM Communications; Communication Arts and Sciences; Communication Theory and Research
Cmd COMMUN.DISORDERS Communicative Disorders
Co CO.LIT Comparative Literature
Com COM Commerce; Master of Business Administration; Organizational Behavior; Marketing MBA
CpS COMP.SCI Computer Science, Computer Engineering
D DRAMA Drama; Communication-Drama (Go By Chairman)
DaEd. DEAF E. Deaf Education
De DENT. Dentistry; Dental Surgery; Orthodontia; Pedodontics;(Send to Dental Library),Cranio Facial Biology
E ENG English; Film and Literature
Ea.Sc EARTH SCI Earth Sciences (was Geological Sciences before 1995/1996)
Ec ECON Economics; Political Economy and Public Policy
Ed EDUC Education; Educational Psychology; Instructional Technology;Counselor Education; Advanced Masters of Education;Higher Education; Administration & Supervision;Special Education; International Education; International Education; Policy Analysis; Counseling Psychology
EL ELEC.ENGIN Electrical Engineering
EnE ENV.ENGIN Environmental Engineering
Engin ENGIN Engineering (General); Engineer Degree
Epid EPIDEM Epidemiology; Molecular Epidemiology
Fi FI Fine Arts. M.F.A. (Art History; Sculpture; Painting; Museum Studies; Public Art Studies; Etc.)
Fo FOR.SER Foreign Service; M.F.S.
G GER German
G.S. GEN.SCI General Science
Ge GEOL Geology (Geological Sciences); Geophysics
Geo GEOGR Geography
Geron GERON Gerontology
Gr GREEK Greek
H HIST History
I INT.REL International Relations
In IND.DES Industrial Design
Ind IND.E Industrial Engineering & Systems
Ind.C IND.CHEM Industrial Chemistry
J JOUR Journalism; Broadcast Journalism
L LAT Latin (Classical Languages)
La LAT.AM Latin American Studies
Law LAW (Juris Doctor)
Law LAW Law(Master of Laws)ML
Li LIB.SCI Library Science
Lib.A LIB.ARTS Liberal Arts
Lin LIN Linguistics
M MATH Mathematics; Statistics
M.Sc MAT.SCI Materials Science Ph.D.; Materials Engineering M.S.
Me MED Medicine also Preventive; Medical Education
Mec MECH.ENG Mechanical Engineering; Engineer in M.E.
Med MED.BAC Medical Bacteriology
Med.M MED.MICRO Medical Microbiology
Med.P MED.PHYS Medical Physiology
Mi MI Microbiology; Molecular Microbiology
Mu MU Musicology; Music; M. Music; Music History & Literature; Composition; Music Theory; Music Education
Neuro NEURO Neuroscience
O O Oriental Studies
O.En. OCEAN ENG. Ocean Engineering
O.Th. OCC. THER Occupational Therapy; Occupationpational Science
Ot. OTOL Otology
P PHIL Philosophy
P.Ed. PHYS.EDUC Physical Education; Exercise Science
P.Th. PHYS. THER Physical Therapy
Pa PATH Pathology (Experimental); Pathobiology; Molecular Pathology
Pe PET.ENG Petroleum Engineering
Ph PHYS Physics
Pha PHA Pharmacy; Pharmaceutical Sciences
PhaC PHA.CHEM Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Phar PHAR Pharmacology (in School of Medicine), includingPharmacology and Nutrition; Molecular Pharmocology
Phy PHY Physiology; Biophysics
Po POL.SCI Political Science
Ps PSYCH Psychology; Behavioral Neuroscience; Social Psychology; Quantative Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Pu GOV Public Administration; M.S. City & Regional Planning; MPA Master of Public Administration
Pu.R PUB.REL Public Relations
R REL Religious Education; Religion; Theology; Religion-Social Ethics
R REL Religion:Bachelor of Divinity, BD
Ra RADIO Radio
Re R.E. Real Estate
S S Spanish; Hispanic Languages and Literatures
Sa SAFETY Safety; Human Factors; Industrial
Sc SCI Science
Slav Slavic Studies; Slavic Languages and Literatures
So SOCIOL Sociology; Applied Demography; Criminology
SoE SOC.E Social Ethics
Soc SOC.STU Social Studies
Sp SP Speech; Communication 1971-
SW SO.WK Social Work; M.S.W.; Ph.D. SW 1998
SyM SYS.MAN Systems Management
T TELECOM Telecommunications; Also for COM.TELE.
Te TEC.PL Technology Planning
Tox TOXIC Toxicology
Ur UR.ST Urban Studies; Planning
Urb URB.RP Urban and Regional Planning (earlier under Pu);Urban Planning and Development
Z ZOOL Zoology
Com COM Doctor of Business Adminstration DBA
DBS BUI.SC Doctor of Business Science (Use symbol Bu.S.)DBS Bu.S. 1979
DLA LIB.SCI Doctor of Library Administration (Include Department Symbol: Li)
DMA MU Doctor of Musical Arts (Include Department Symbol: Mu Includes Church Music; Compostion; Music Education;Perfomance Practices; Choral Music)
DPA GOV Doctor of Public Administration (Include Department Symbol: Pu)
DSW SO.WK Doctor of Social Work (Include Department Symbol: Sw)
Ed.D. EDUC Doctor of Education (Do Not Include Department Symbol: Ed)
Law Doctor of the Science of Law
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy (Include Department Symbol: PHIL)
Th.D. REL Doctor of Theology (Include Department Symbol: R)
A.M. Master of Arts
M.S. Master of Science