Timing of the Dissertation Proposal
Basically, a dissertation proposal describes such things as:
· When the Research Advisory Committee receives the written dissertation proposal, the Committee and the student must agree on a date for the Oral Proposal. Once they have agreed, this information should be communicated to the Graduate Secretary.
Below we suggest you a structure of the dissertation proposal.
Students are expected to finish their coursework at the beginning of the graduate program. The dissertation proposal should be presented soon after the comprehensive exam. For most students, the comprehensive exam will occur in semester four and the dissertation proposal should be completed by the end of semester five; students entering with a MS degree will undertake each step sooner. Students may choose to do the exams earlier if desired. Ideally, students should complete the proposal after starting their research projects, but prior to making considerable progress (significantly before graduation is planned/desired). The latest permissible date for the proposal defense is the end of the summer following the third year of graduate work; after this date the student will be placed on academic probation for the fall term of their fourth year. If the proposal is not completed by the end of the fall term, the student will be dismissed from the program.
Most disciplines require that students write and defend a dissertation or thesis proposal before they begin research and writing. The dissertation proposal is a document that presents the main questions or ideas your project will investigate, reviews relevant literature on the topic, explains the necessity of further research, and, finally, discusses expected hypotheses and their significance to the topic and in the larger discipline. As you see, while everything starts with a custom dissertation proposal, it still moves on to cover a much broader scope of degree paper issues you might face during the writing process. But where others will slip and slide, you’ll be moving steadily towards the end goal – peerless viva voce.