How to cite a dissertation in APA Style
The format for citing someone else’s dissertation or thesis in APA Style depends on whether the thesis is available from a database, published somewhere else (e.g. on a university archive or personal website), or unpublished (only available in print form directly from the author or university).
To cite a dissertation or thesis from a database, use the following format. In the square brackets, specify the type of dissertation or thesis and the university. As with other database sources, no URL or DOI is included.
|Format||Author last name, Initials. (Year). Dissertation title (Publication No. Number) [Type of dissertation/thesis, University Name]. Database Name.|
|Reference entry||Ford, L. (2015). The use of experiential acceptance in psychotherapy with emerging adults (Publication No. 3731118) [Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.|
|In-text citation||(Ford, 2015)|
Citing a dissertation published elsewhere
To cite a dissertation or thesis published in a university archive (often in PDF form) or on a personal website, the format differs in that no publication number is included, and you do list a URL.
|Format||Author last name, Initials. (Year). Dissertation title [Type of dissertation/thesis, University Name]. Archive Name. URL|
|Reference entry||Behrens, B. (2020). Linguistic markers of maternal focus within emotional conversations: The role of depressive symptoms and maltreatment [Master’s thesis, University of Notre Dame]. CurateND. https://curate.nd.edu/show/9k41zc80w8w|
|In-text citation||(Behrens, 2020)|
Citing an unpublished dissertation in APA Style
To cite an unpublished dissertation (one you got directly from the author or university in print form), add “Unpublished” to the bracketed description, and list the university at the end of the reference, outside the square brackets.
|Format||Author last name, Initials. (Year). Dissertation title [Unpublished type of dissertation/thesis]. University Name.|
|Reference entry||Smith, J. (2020). Effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on agoraphobic patients [Unpublished master’s thesis]. University of Amsterdam.|
|In-text citation||(Smith, 2020)|