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Dissertations and Theses

Searching for Dissertations and Theses

The catalog at the Center for Research Libraries includes over 800,000 records for dissertations from 90 different countries.

WMU Full Text Dissertations and Theses

Dissertations and theses produced at WMU can be found in Scholarworks.  You can browse by department, or use the search box on the left to search by author, advisor, etc. Most dissertations produced since 1968 can be found here.

Locating WMU Dissertations and Theses in print in the Libraries

Dissertations produced prior to about 2013 may also be available in print through the Libraries.  Normally these are bound paper copies and can be checked out like regular books. Use LibrarySearch to find the location and the call number of the title you need. Dissertations in print are housed in the Zhang storage facility. Use the storage request form to request theses or dissertations which are shelved there.

There are several different ways to access dissertations and theses produced by WMU students:

If you do an  advanced search in the LibrarySearch system, you may also find print copies of both WMU master's and doctoral dissertations that are available for checkout. 

To search for dissertations produced by a particular WMU academic department try the following search:

1st box type      [department name], i.e. sociology, history, physics, etc.
2nd box type     western michigan university
3rd box type      [thesis or dissertation]

European Theses and Dissertations

Borrowing Materials from Other Libraries

If the dissertation or thesis you need is not available in any full text source you may request a paper or microform copy through the interlibrary loan service.

Before using WMU's interlibrary loan service, you must first register and set up an account.  Click here and select Interlibrary Loan to begin the process.  You will be asked to login with your BroncoNetID and password.  If you have never used the service before, follow the prompts for First Time Users.   You only have to register once during your tenure at WMU.

There are several issues to be aware of when requesting dissertations through interlibrary loan:

  • Many institutions do not lend their dissertations and theses through interlibrary loan. Because dissertations are unique some institutions choose not to send them off campus.
  • Some institutions that do lend their dissertations specify that they are "in library use only". This means that you will not be allowed to take the material out of the library.
  • The copy of the dissertation you get through interlibrary loan may be in microfilm or microfiche format. You will have to locate a microfilm reader in the library to use the material.
  • Interlibrary loan takes time. It can take two to three weeks for the lending library to process the request and send it out. Please plan ahead.

Scholarly Communications Librarian

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Michele Behr
WMU Libraries