Do you need free access to the academic theses?

This post introduces the most reputable and valid search engines and websites for downloading academic theses and dissertations. About 30%-40% of the published theses at the world’s most accredited universities can be downloaded for free. Look at the following items in order to clarify the benefits of studying a good thesis in comparison with a book or an article for writing a university thesis.

  • A thesis that is written as a review article is much more detailed.
  • Sources of thesis (from which articles are often published) are much more updated than books.
  • Results of a research project for a thesis are in more detail than a paper.

Here, we are going to introduce free downloading websites for the thesis.

1. ProQuest

This website holds more than 150 databases. They include articles, books, newspapers, etc. One of the important bases is Theses & Dissertations. There are more than 6 million theses from different universities here, with around 4 million full texts. You can have free access to some of the thesis in this database. If you have access to ProQuest through your institution, you can search and download the listed theses here. Open access theses are searchable via Https:// If you don’t have institutional access, you can search in this portal via Https://

ProQuest has a good interface and a strong advanced search engine. For example, if you are looking for theses from the University of Illinois with the subject of “Education” between the years 2000 to 2004, you can do as follows.

By clicking on “Create alert” and “Create RSS feed”, you may notify and receive the most recent added theses in your searched topic on the results page.

2. Dart

You can search and download the European theses at for free. More than 680 European institutions and universities have uploaded more than 1,120,000 downloadable theses on this portal. The interface is easy, but you can use a very good filter for a better search on the results page.

On this website, it is possible to filter the results based on the country, year, author, the university, and available languages.

3. Ethos

It is possible to search and download theses from the United Kingdom’s institutions and universities on More than 500,000 Doctoral theses from the UK, Ireland, and Scotland are listed here and 40-50% of them can be downloaded for free. For the rest of the theses, you need to pay £ 50 for scanning and receiving the file. The preparation time for every thesis order is about 2-3 weeks. You need to register for downloading free theses.

4. Oath

Oath is a very useful platform for searching and downloading free theses. There are more than 6 million theses from around the world listed here. You can search theses by title, abstract, author’s name, and topic. Advanced search based on abstract, the department, topic, keywords, and the university is also available. You can filter the results by year, language, and country too.


Theses from Chinese universities are listed on CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) website. CNKI has created China’s information reference system, which includes publications, doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, newspapers, books of the year, annual statistics reports, electronic books, patents, standards, etc. You can search this website via Https:// The theses are accessible in Chinese and English, and you need institutional access for downloading the documents.

6. Theses Canada

Canada’s national library has provided the facility to search and download university theses. To search and receive the documents, you just need to write the thesis information in the search area and receive the full favorable thesis as a PDF file. There are no limitations for using the full texts, and full bibliographic information about every thesis and how to buy it are provided. You can go through  for accessing Canada’s theses.

Haven’t you found your required thesis?

If you can’t find what you were searching for or can’t download it, search the title of the thesis on Google. Many dissertations which require subscriptions for downloading, can be downloaded for free at universities’ cache.

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