How to cite a master's thesis in Chicago

Chicago style master's thesis citation

To cite a master's thesis in a reference entry in Chicago style 17th edition include the following elements:

  1. Author(s) of the thesis: Give first the last name, then the name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For more than seven authors, list the first seven names followed by et al.
  2. Title of the thesis: Give the title in quotation marks.
  3. Degree: Type of degree.
  4. University: Give the name of the institution.
  5. Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a master's thesis in Chicago style 17th edition:

Author(s) of the thesis. "Title of the thesis." Degree, University, Year of publication.

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the Chicago style guidelines in action:


A psychology master's thesis with one author

Bauger, Lars. "Personality, Passion, Self-esteem and Psychological Well-being among Junior Elite Athletes in Norway." Master's Thesis, University of Tromsø, 2011.

A master's thesis with one author

Aube, Kyle Eric. "A Comparison of Water Main Failure Prediction Models in San Luis Obispo, CA." Master's Thesis, Cal Poly, 2019.

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