Proposal/ Prospectus Process

Proposal/ Prospectus Process

In order to write the proposal/prospectus, the student needs to be registered for GRD 7989. To register for GRD 7989 contact the Program Associate (Audrey Jones;, they will send you the CRN. The student will need to register for GRD 7989 for each semester that they are writing the proposal/prospectus.

Continuous enrollment is required to stay in the program. If enrollment is dropped, a student is not guaranteed to be readmitted to the program.

Please look at the Thesis and Dissertation Preparation page on the Graduate School website; it outlines all the steps for the Dissertation that the Graduate School requires.

Upon completion of the final draft of the proposal/prospectus, the student will defend the proposal/prospectus to their dissertation committee. Once the defense is complete and the proposal/prospectus is accepted by the committee, the Chair will fill out the Committee Membership Form. If any edits need to be made, the student will make the edits before turning the paper into the Doctoral Program.

Upon completion of the proposal/prospectus defense, the student will turn in:

  • The Committee Membership Form
    • The Committee Membership Form must have the IRB number included or it will not be accepted. The IRB should be applied for at the beginning of the proposal/prospectus process.
  • A hard copy of the final proposal/prospectus
    • If the student is part of the off campus cohort, they will need to reach out to the Program Associate in order to make arrangements for printing the proposal.
  • An electronic version of the proposal/prospectus 

 The student or designee will turn in the Committee Membership Form and the hard copy of the proposal/prospectus to the Program Associate (Audrey Jones; RCOE 414A). The electronic version of the proposal/prospectus will be turned in via email to the Program Director with the Program Associate copied.  All materials must be turned in no later than 3 weeks before the end of the semester (the University’s last day of classes).

The Graduate School

The Program Associate will obtain the necessary signature from the Doctoral Program and send the proposal/prospectus and the Committee Membership Form to the Graduate School. As soon as the Committee Membership Form and a copy of the successfully defended proposal/prospectus has been received by the Graduate School, the student will be admitted to Candidacy and will be allowed to enroll in EDL 7999: Dissertation Research.

The Graduate School will check the graduate faculty status of each member of the committee. If a member of the committee does not have graduate faculty status, the candidate will not be able to move on to their dissertation until graduate faculty status is obtained. The Graduate School also checks the status of the IRB. If the IRB is not approved by the time the Graduate School receives the Committee Membership form, the candidate will have to wait until it is approved to begin work on their dissertation.

The Next Steps

Once the form and proposal/prospectus has been submitted to the Graduate School, the Program Associate will email the candidate and the Chair instructions for registration of EDL 7999: Dissertation Research. The candidate will need to follow the emailed instructions in order to register via an online Special Course Approval Form. Registration will not take effect until the candidate’s proposal/prospectus has been approved. This process generally takes around 1-2 weeks depending on the time of the year. Reach out to the Program Associate (Audrey Jones; if it takes longer than 2 weeks for registration to take effect after submission of the Special Course Approval Form.

In order for registration to take place in time for the appropriate semester, the student will need to submit the materials no later than 3 weeks before the end of the semester that precedes the semester in which they would like to begin coursework. For example, if a student wants to register for Summer of 2024 they will need to submit the materials no later than 3 weeks before the end of the Spring 2024 semester. Any materials submitted after the 3 week deadline will not be processed in time for the following semester.

Regardless of submitting a proposal or prospectus, a student must have an approved IRB and all members of their committee must have active graduate faculty status. Please refer to earlier in the proposal/prospectus section for a full explanation of the IRB and graduate faculty status. Any further questions can be sent to the Program Associate (Audrey Jones;