A dissertation is a book-length work prepared by a graduate student as a requirement for a doctoral degree (usually a Ph.D.)
A thesis is an in-depth essay prepared by a student as part of the requirements for a master's degree (usually M.A.) or for an undergraduate degree.
Students are often not required to make their dissertations or theses openly available to the public. Some choose to not have their works added to databases, or be printed, then added to a library. Those that are printed, bound, and added to a library are frequently added to non-circulating collections. This makes it sometimes challenging to obtain print copies through Interlibrary Loan. Cline's Document Delivery service will attempt to obtain print copies of dissertations from any library that owns a copy; just be aware it will take time and the request might be canceled.
International dissertations are often more challenging to obtain in print through Interlibrary Loan. Many libraries have their dissertations in a non-circulating collection, others are reluctant to mail internationally. Cline Library's Document Delivery service can attempt to order international titles, just be aware that the success rate is low. Whenever possible, try to locate a digitally-born copy through an online source like those within this guide.
This guide is designed to help users locate digitally-born dissertations.