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University Theses and Dissertations Collection

Call Number: UA098

Scope and Contents

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 cataloged 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 DCA remains the permanent steward, but this finding aid is no longer updated with new accessions.


  • Creation: 1894 -- 2013


Language of Materials



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

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.


661.75 Linear Feet (553 boxes)

8 Volumes

3 Audiovisual Object(s)

11 Digital Object(s)


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.

Separated Materials

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.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States