University Theses and Dissertations Collection, 1894 -- 2013


Title: University Theses and Dissertations Collection
Dates: 1894 -- 2013
Creator: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Call Number: UA098
Size: 661.75 Cubic Feet, 553 boxes, 8 Volumes, 3 Audiovisual Object(s), 11 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): English  
Permanent URL:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


This collection contains master's theses and Ph.D. dissertations from multiple graduate schools at Tufts University. Additional Fletcher masters theses can also be found in the Fletcher School Collection. Most series contain only a container inventory. Titles to theses can be found only through the Tufts University Library catalog.

As of February 2016, theses and qualifying papers are collected and managed by Tisch Library and are searchable in the Tufts University Library Catalog. DCA remains the permanent steward, but this finding aid is no longer updated with new accessions.


This collection is organized into seven series: Fletcher School dissertations; University theses and dissertations; Oversize University theses and dissertations; School of Nutrition theses; Theses containing a/v or electronic media; Deaccessioned theses; and Feinstein International Center theses.


Biographical / Historical

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was officially founded in 1909, more than thirty years after the first graduate degree was awarded at Tufts College.

In 1875, members of the Tufts faculty and administration approved a graduate program leading to a Master of Arts degree. The program required either one year of supervised study at Tufts, or the equivalent done away from the campus over a period of two years or more. Tufts graduates were eligible for the program, as were graduates from other schools with similar courses of study. The first MA was awarded the next spring, to a student working with the Departments of Chemistry and Physics.

Over the next few decades, interest in graduate education skyrocketed, and Tufts saw more and more students entering the program each year. In 1897, in order to meet increased demand, a Master of Sciences program was added to the graduate curriculum. Five years earlier, Tufts had established a preliminary Ph.D. program as well. The program was specifically for work in Biology and Chemistry, with other departments to be added as the faculty saw fit.

In 1892, in order to have some control over who was admitted to graduate programs, Tufts established a committee of seven faculty, led by the president. The committee picked a board of three to examine each graduate candidate and decide on their admission to the school. By the year's end, the committee was already being referred to as the graduate department.

The department finally was made official in 1903, and the office of the dean of the graduate faculty became a full time position. After the official establishment of the department, the requirements for degrees were finalized. Students were to complete thirty credit hours to receive a master's degree, and the work was to be done in one main department with related work in another.

By 1906, the size of the graduate program began to worry some members of the faculty. They were not being paid extra to teach graduate classes, which amounted to an extra course load of work for a faculty member working with as graduate student. The graduate department established a faculty committee to look into feasibility of continuing graduate education, and almost immediately the committee returned with a decision. Most of the faculty felt that graduate education was very important to make Tufts a competitive school, and also felt that the presence of graduate students increased the level of academics on campus. A year later, however, the faculty did decide to vote out the Ph.D. program. It was not reestablished until almost fifty years later.

In 1909, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was made official, with the administrators from the graduate department continuing in their positions. As of 2001, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences continues to operate in numerous departments at Tufts University.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection is processed.

Separated Material

Thesis 5897 was a non-archival duplicate copy of thesis 5776 (Vitamin B6 Status by En-Pei Isabel Chiang, 2000) and was transferred to Tisch's custody at their request on 2019-02-12 by Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt.

Subjects and Genre Terms

Series Description

  1. Fletcher School Dissertations, 1941 -- 2002

    This series contains Fletcher School dissertations from 1941 to 2002. Titles to theses can be found only through the Tufts University Library catalog.

  2. University Theses and Dissertations, 1894 -- 2013

    This series contains masters and doctoral theses from circa 1894 to 2008 for all schools except Fletcher School and School of Nutrition. Titles to theses can be found only through the Tufts University Library catalog. Last digits of call number following "LD5391.7 .A2 NO." in Tufts University Library catalog correspond to thesis number in archival record.

  3. Oversize University Theses and Dissertations, 1932 -- 1988

    This series contains oversize University Theses from schools except Fletcher and Engineering.

  4. School of Nutrition Theses, 1966 -- 1980

    These theses do not appear to have been bound and submitted to the Tufts libraries. They are not assigned numbers and are listed at the item level. They reflect work towards a Masters in Education in Nutrition in the Frances Stern Nutrition Center.

  5. Theses containing A/V or electronic media

    This series contains either A/V and electronic media material of a particular bound theses or theses consisting solely of A/V or electronic media. The bound volumes are still listed under series 2. To facilitate finding these kinds of theses, a separate series was created.

  6. Deaccessioned theses, 1997 -- 2000

    This series contains forms submitted by students for the appoval of their thesis or dissertation. Between 1997 and 2000 the physical works were destroyed after being microfilmed or having a digital copy created.

  7. Feinstein International Center theses, 2005 -- 2012

    This series contains theses submitted by students for the approval of their thesis for the Masters in Humanitarian Assistance from the Feinstein International Center.