Dissertation Proposal Review Procedure

When a doctoral student's dissertation committee has agreed that the proposal is ready for departmental review, the following procedures should be followed:

The committee chairperson and both committee members must sign the Dissertation Proposal Cover Sheet indicating their approval of the proposal for review by the departmental review panel. Their signatures also indicate the approval of the fulfillment of the student’s research requirement and the human subjects review statement.

The dissertation committee chairperson will ask two members of the department’s full-time faculty of professorial rank to serve as proposal reviewers and will establish a date, time (one hour), and place for the review that is agreed upon by the committee, the reviewers, and the student. All must be present at the proposal review meeting.

Seven copies of the proposal (with copies of the Dissertation Proposal Cover Sheet attached) are distributed by the student at least ten days prior to the scheduled proposal review meeting. The distribution is as follows:

1) Office of Graduate Studies: two copies (after the proposal is approved by the panel - see instructions below)

2) Dissertation committee chair and members: three copies (one copy each)

3) Proposal Reviewers: two copies (one copy each).

The dissertation committee chairperson will chair the meeting and will obtain the Dissertation Proposal Review form from departmental administrator prior to the meeting.

The reviewers offer critical feedback on the proposal and suggestions for any revisions they think necessary before the proposal is submitted to the Graduate Office as approved. The student and dissertation committee respond to these suggestions in an open discussion, and the student keeps notes on whatever the reviewers ask for in the way of revisions.

If the reviewers accept the proposal without revision, everyone signs the Dissertation Proposal Review Form where indicated, the chair makes the necessary copies of the form (page 1 only) and distributes them as indicated at the bottom, and the student submits two copies of the approved proposal to the Graduate Office.

If the reviewers, student, and dissertation committee all agree that certain revisions should be made in the proposal before approval, the student makes the revisions, shows them to the reviewers when done, and gives the completed form to the dissertation chair. The Chair makes required copies and distributes as indicated on form. Student submits revised/approved proposal (2 copies) to Graduate Office along with a completed Proposal Information Form.

Because the proposal review panel is an advisory committee, the candidate’s dissertation committee may choose not to incorporate some or all of the proposal review panel’s recommendations. In the event that the panel’s suggestions are not incorporated, the candidate will be expected to provide a written rationale explaining this decision. This rationale should bear the signature of the dissertation committee chairperson. As is the case with all correspondence regarding the proposal review, copies should be distributed to the committee members and to the Office of Graduate Studies.

It occasionally happens that during a proposal review, it becomes clear to all that the proposal is so flawed that it required major rethinking/reorganizing/rewriting. If this is the consensus, no form is filled out and no documents are submitted. The student is advised in writing to work with his committee further and reschedule the proposal review for a later time.

It should be made clear to the student that the Dissertation Proposal Review Form, including the page indicating suggestions for revision rejected by the student and chair, is given (along with the proposal itself and the dissertation) to all members of the final orals examinations commission.

Dissertation Procedures

Please see the school’s Handbook for Doctoral Study on dissertation and final oral exam procedures, and consult the staff in the Office of Graduate Studies for clarification on these procedures.