Doctoral Research Proposal

In consultation with the research advisor, doctoral students will present a research proposal, which identifies a specific problem to investigate, to a three-person faculty committee.

Doctoral students will write a research proposal document, which is limited to 30 pages (with 12 point font, single spacing, 1 inch margins all around) and should contain sections describing

  • the problem and its background,
  • the innovative claims of the proposed work and its relation to existing work,
  • a description of at least one initial result that is mature enough to be able to be written up for peer-reviewed submission, and
  • a plan for completion of the research.

The committee will consider whether the proposed problem is suitable for doctoral research, whether the plan of attack is well formulated and appropriate to the problem, and whether the student is adequately prepared.

The proposal must be submitted no later than six semesters after passing the Qualifying Exam.

After the proposal defense, the completed Dissertation Prospectus Committee Report, signed and approved by the committee members, must be turned in to the Student Affairs Manager for submission to the Dissertation Office.