Thesis Proposal Exam

The thesis proposal examination takes place 1-2 years after passing the Preliminary Oral Examination. This examination is organized around a presentation of thesis proposal material. The examination may also test the full range of a student's expertise in a given subject area to evaluate his or her preparation for thesis research and the suitability of a thesis research plan.The thesis proposal should be a self-contained document providing an overview of the student’s research topic and its objective(s), prior related work, the work that the student has already completed, and the work that is being planned for the remainder of the studies. The suggested length of the thesis proposal is 25-50 pages in a format meeting the university's thesis formatting guidelines.


Committee members for the thesis proposal exam may be the same as the Preliminary  Oral Examination Committee or a student may change the Thesis Proposal Committee. The student, in consultation with her/his advisor, should review their committee and notify the Graduate Program Administrator of any changes prior to the Thesis Proposal Examination. Changes to a student's committee should be recorded with the Thesis Proposal Examination Reporting Form. The Thesis Proposal Examination is internally administered; students should obtain a Thesis Proposal Examination Report Form from the Graduate Program Administrator prior to the exam and must return the form with all signatures within 24 hours of the examination.

Outcome of the Examination

Committee members may vote to pass, pass with reservations, or fail  a student taking the Thesis Proposal Examination. At least three passing votes are required to pass the exam. Students who fail the examination may be terminated, or may be allowed, upon unanimous recommendation of the committee, to retake the examination. No more than one reexamination is allowed and the reexamination committee must consist of the same committee members. For more information about the Thesis Proposal Examination please speak with your advisor or the Graduate Program Administrator.