Dissertation research in collaboration with one member of the faculty is begun during the third year (or during the second year in some cases). A second faculty member is added to the thesis committee during or before the preparation of the dissertation prospectus, a short document that outlines plans for the research and demonstrates familiarity with relevant literature.
A preliminary version of the prospectus should be submitted no later than the first week of March in the third year. The prospectus must be accepted by the department before the end of the third year.
Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination and the prospectus (as well as meeting the Graduate School Honors requirements), the student is admitted to candidacy. Most students complete the dissertation in the fifth year.
See our Alumni page for a sampling of recent Dissertation topics.