Dissertation Prospectus & Candidacy

Dissertation Prospectus

The dissertation prospectus, which is developed by the student in collaboration with her/his advisor and other members of the prospectus committee, is a substantial written précis of the proposed dissertation research, its relevance, the sources and methods to be used, the relevant bibliography, and the plan of completion. The prospectus is defended orally before the members of the prospectus committee, which is composed of the advisor and at least two other members of the Graduate Faculty. The advisor chairs the defense.

Once approved, the prospectus must be posted to the student's electronic record.

Approval of the prospectus is typically the last step before application for advancement to candidacy.

Advancement to Candidacy

A doctoral student will seek advancement to candidacy when all degree requirements (i.e., course work, comprehensive examinations, demonstrated competence in languages or special skills, and the dissertation prospectus) have been satisfied, with the exception of the dissertation.

Formal admission to candidacy (sometimes known as "All But Dissertation" or "ABD" status) is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School. The application is routed through the Director of Graduate Studies.