After coursework and Qualifying Year work, students formally begin work on their dissertations. To aid in this transition, the Dissertation Prospectus Requirement requires students to produce a dissertation prospectus or outline to present at the September meeting of the student and their dissertation committee (the September immediately following satisfaction of the Qualifying Year Requirement).
The prospectus can take many forms — for example, by indicating chapters, problems, and literature, and/or theses that will organize, be discussed, or be argued for in the dissertation. Committees will then give feedback on the overall plan. The length of the prospectus will vary depending on the committee, but as a rough guideline, the prospectus may comprise a document of three to five pages. The Dissertation Prospectus Requirement is satisfied at the end of the September meeting.