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Dissertations: FAQs 2022

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.


Q: Have all USC dissertations been digitized and are available in ProQuest and in USC Digital Library?

A: All USC dissertations are in the USC Digital Library. But all those dissertations are not publicly available in the Digital Library due primarily to embargos requested by their authors. ProQuest does not have all of the USC dissertations because deposit with ProQuest is not mandatory.

Q: Are all USC dissertations available in USC Digital Library discoverable in USC Libraries catalog?

A: No. This is because we haven’t set up a way to harvest the USC dissertations records from our new Digital Library software which is how we previously get things into the USC Libraries catalog. This means that the USC Libraries catalog is several years out of date.

Q: When did Graduate School start requiring digital submission of dissertations?  In other words, when did we stop collecting USC dissertations in print?

A: Fall 2006 was the first term the Graduate School began requiring digital submission. There were still some print dissertations being deposited after that, because, not all dissertations/theses are submitted via the Graduate School. There are significant numbers of dissertations/theses whose submission is managed through other departments or schools. The most notable exceptions are School of Music composition portfolios, School of Education on-line programs, and Social Work dissertations. While we (the Library) strongly encourage those non-Grad School entities to have their students submit their dissertations/theses to the Library, it is not required. The Library currently does not retain any USC print dissertations.


Q: Do all US American universities submit dissertations to ProQuest?

A: No.