Students who elect the thesis option (all students planning doctoral study should prepare a thesis) should prepare and submit a thesis topic proposal for departmental approval. This involves (1) selecting a suitable topic and preparing a thesis proposal in accordance with the departmental template; (2) securing the formal cooperation of three graduate faculty members to serve as Thesis Committee for the selected topic, two of whom must be from the Department of Religious Studies (one of these two will serve as principal reader/advisor for chapters in progress, whereas the other members of the Committee will serve as readers of the final drafts of the ‘finished’ thesis); and (3) communicating the results of these deliberations to the director of graduate studies. Upon the director’s approval, the student then files a Petition for Topic Approval with the Graduate School. Once the Petition has been accepted, students are required to maintain continuous registration (fall and spring) until the thesis is completed.
Article 56 (deadlines of thesis topic proposal)
The thesis topic proposal should include at least the following: 1) A research question and, where appropriate, a testable hypothesis; 2) a review of literature; 3) the identification of relevant data, documentation, bibliography, computational specifications or other content as appropriate; 4) a methodology including any analytical techniques, the discussion of standards of evidence and principles of interpretation, and an experimental test of hypotheses as appropriate; 5) a description of expected outcomes; 6) a discussion of the relevance of expected outcomes. These should be described in a document of about 3000 words, with appendices (for example papers reporting pilot studies, or relevant previous studies by the student), as appropriate. In addition the student should prepare an oral presentation using appropriate supporting media. In some cases, the thesis topic will be defended after a significant amount of work towards the thesis has been completed. The oral examination of the thesis topic proposal will only be scheduled with advisors’ approval. One purpose of the oral examination is to allow anyone with an interest in the subject to suggest refinements of the question or methodology as well as to make appropriate comments for the student, and the committee, to take into account.
Write up a formal thesis topic proposal
If a member of the advisory committee other than the advisor is unable to continue in this role, for any reason, the advisor will work with the student to identify a new member for the committee. In accepting to serve in this role, the new member of the committee will often sign on the thesis topic and thesis proposal documents as they were previously approved. However, they may also request that the proposal be modified in some of its details. If modifications are acceptable to the other members of the committee, no formal new defense of the proposal will be necessary. In the event that a change in the constitution of the advisory committee leads to a significant change in the thesis topic proposal, the proposal will be defended anew.
Thesis Proposal - How to Write a Thesis Proposal