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MFA Visual Art Research

A research guide created for students in the MFA program at Lesley University College of Art and Design.

Library & Research Help

Finding Dissertations & Theses

MFA and Doctoral students write theses and dissertations as part of their graduate programs.  They are usually published by the institution immediately, so you're able to find scholarly discourse about artists and styles that are too new to have books published on them yet.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

This database searches millions of dissertations and theses and lets you limit your search results to specific date, subject, university, etc.

If you're getting too many non-art-related results, try limiting the Subject to just Fine Arts:


Digital Commons @ Lesley

You can do 3 different things in Digital Commons @ Lesley:

1) Search for a topic, like feminism and art
You can search just the Lesley repository, or you can widen your search to all public institutional repositories (over 500 institutions use Digital Commons!).  Once you search for your terms, you can narrow your results in the left-hand menu (try limiting to just dissertations & theses as the publication type).



2) Browse by collection, discipline, or author
Click the link above, then look in the right-hand menu for Browse.  You can browse by collection to find the LA+D MFA theses, or the expressive therapies PhD dissertations.  You can browse by discipline to read just the arts theses. You can even browse by authors to find your professors and classmates!


3) Submit your own thesis!

 You can submit your Master's thesis, at the end of your MFA program! It will be available for others to read and cite in their own work, and you'll get a report telling you how many people read it, and from where around the world!