Prospectus (updated 7/1/2015)

A dissertation prospectus must be submitted to the department  on October 15 of the fall term of the fourth year. The prospectus should contain a summary (in approximately ten pages) of the goals and methodology of the dissertation research, a bibliography of relevant literature, and a schedule for progress toward completion.

Please click here for the prospectus application coversheet


As part of the prospectus submission procedure, students nominate a three-person committee to serve as readers of the completed dissertation. Two of the three committee members must be regular faculty members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Final membership of the dissertation committee is subject to departmental approval. The head of the committee, if not already the major advisor, assumes this role as soon as the prospectus is approved. Students are expected to maintain regular communication with all three members of their committee during the dissertation-writing process.


Acceptance of a PhD dissertation requires a successful public defense. The defense must be scheduled sufficiently in advance of the Registrar’s deadline to allow time for corrections and revisions and to have the dissertation bound.