Discovering theses and dissertations in the field of public administration can be challenging, but there are better tools than ever to assist the busy researcher.
The largest paid database is Dissertations &Theses from ProQuest (formerly the print publication Dissertation Abstracts International.) This database includes some international dissertations as early as 1637 and U.S. dissertations beginning in 1861. Although not every university in the U.S. contributes to Dissertations & Theses, most do. For recent items a 24-page full text preview is available as part of the database. Full text dissertations are available for purchase through ProQuest.
Institutional repositories at major research institutions can make their recent theses and dissertations available electronically, often for free. Internet search engines serve as a meta-index to many of these repositories. Others can be searched by going to the website of the institution and using a local search engine.
Some individuals publish their own dissertations online for free. Use an exact title search in quotation marks in your favorite search engine.
Academic libraries house older, print dissertations and sometimes make these available via interlibrary loan. Visit the library site for the institution that published the dissertation and see what kinds of help and finding aids are available.