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Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus

Once the student has successfully completed the qualifying exam, she or he will begin work on the dissertation prospectus, which is due, at the latest, six months after advancement to candidacy. Preferably, however, the candidate will submit the prospectus sooner than this deadline. The following is a suggested outline for the prospectus:

1. Title

2. Introduction (ca. 5 pages): Description of the project; originality; contribution to knowledge; overall contents of the dissertation, etc. This section may include the following elements:

  • Statement of Purpose (approx. 1 sentence)
  • Sub-problems (4-5 of them, approx. 1 sentence each)
  • Significance of study (how it fits within the discipline; 3–4 pages with footnotes)
  • Delimitations (boundaries of study; one paragraph)
  • Basic Assumptions (approx. 1 sentence each)
  • Hypothesis (trying to prove/discover what? 1 sentence)
  • Definitions (a few sentences for each pertinent term or concept)

3. Literature review (ca. 8-10 pages): Description of the most important available sources

4. Methodology and time line (several pages): Outline kinds of data, sources/locations of data, criteria for selection, examples of specific sources to be used [discussion of music under scrutiny], treatment of data. Describe your research plan and provide a timeline for completion.

5. Outline of chapters: Provide a tentative outline of the chapters you expect to be included in the dissertation

6. Comprehensive Bibliography

Once completed, the prospectus will be forwarded to the student's Dissertation Reading Committee for approval or revision. The reading committee will meet and decide on the acceptability of the dissertation proposal early in the quarter following submission of the proposal, so that the student will have the maximum time to devote to the dissertation project.

Once the prospectus is approved, the adviser should inform the Music Graduate Program Coordinator. The department does not need to have a copy of the prospectus on file.