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Dissertation Prospectus Guidelines

Guidelines For Preparing A Dissertation Prospectus

The main purpose of the prospectus is to provide a document around which planning for the dissertation can be centered, and in response to which the dissertation committee can frame its questions and formulate its advice. In light of this purpose, the director, in consultation with the writer, will determine the exact form of the prospectus. Thus the guidelines below are not strict rules. The prospectus should:

  • State the main theses and outline the main arguments of the dissertation
  • Indicate the potential contribution of the dissertation to currently available literature on the topic
  • Indicate the content of the individual chapters of the work
  • Constitute evidence that the student is ready to begin, or to finalize, work on the dissertation
  • Be not more than 15 pages in length (plus bibliography), and probably not less than 10
  • Indicate some of the most important literature on the topic


For further advice and sample prospectuses, click here.