Each PhD student is required to submit to the department a research proposal that has been accepted by his/her supervisor and Supervisory Committee prior to scheduling the comprehensive exam. The comprehensive examination is separate and distinct from the evaluation of the thesis proposal.
Contents and Format
The candidate is expected to review the literature and develop the questions and methodologies to be used in the research carried out for the dissertation requirement of the PhD degree.
- The proposal should not exceed 25 double-spaced pages in length, using a 12 point font size.
- The proposal might spend 5-10 pages on background and 3-4 pages on each of 3-4 projects, discussing research questions and methods.
To allow time for preparation for the Comprehensive Exam, the committee meeting to discuss the research proposal should be held no less than two weeks in advance of the Comprehensive Exam. Thus, the Supervisory committee should be given the proposal no less than four weeks prior to the expected date of the Comprehensive Exam. Many proposals require some re-writing before approval, so allowing even more time before the expected Comprehensive Exam date is recommended.
Procedure – see Graduate Student Handbook