Dissertation Proposal

Before preparation of the dissertation is well underway, the student should file an approved prospectus of the proposed research (i.e., dissertation proposal) with the Graduate School. Dissertation proposals are typically developed by the student in close consultation with the major advisor and other members of the advisory committee. The student is expected to orally present the proposed dissertation research in a departmental seminar and should check with the departmental Ph.D. coordinator regarding the timing and specific requirements of the presentation. All members of the advisory committee need to approve the proposal by signing the form mandated by the Graduate School.

Note: Any research conducted involving human participants must have prior approval by the University Institutional Review Board.

External Review
Approval of the dissertation prospectus also must incorporate an external review (not to be confused with the external member of the dissertation committee itself). The Chair of the Dissertation committee, in conjunction with the School of Business Ph.D. Director, selects at least two reviewers from outside the advisory committee (one of which may be external) who will attend with the members of the advisory committee an oral presentation of the Proposal by the student. Following the presentation, the advisory committee members and reviewers will discuss the proposal and provide feedback to the student. The reviewers then recommend to the program Director that the prospectus be approved, returned for revision, or disapproved. If this is not feasible for them to attend the oral presentation, then the external reviewers will read the written version of the prospectus and submit written feedback and their evaluation of it to the dissertation committee. This second option should only be exercised in unusual circumstances. The approved proposal normally should be submitted to the Graduate School no fewer than six months before the expected date of degree completion.

Dissertation Proposal
Dissertation Proposal form

Paper flow: Signed approval form and proposal to Graduate School – Copy to Ph.D. program office