Dissertation Proposal

Steps for Preparing a Dissertation Proposal

1. Form a dissertation committee

A committee must have three members (a chair and two readers); A committee may be larger.

Students have five years after completion of the comprehensive exams to complete their dissertations. To stay on schedule, it is important to follow the five steps for completing a dissertation proposal in a timely fashion.

One member must be drawn from the LPP core faculty. One member may be from outside of Northeastern University. The chair of the committee must have a Ph.D. degree and normally is a member of the NU faculty. The committee should be chosen within six months of passing the comprehensive exam.

A committee must have three members (a chair and two readers); A committee may be larger.

2. Petition the program director for executive committee approval of your dissertation committee.

The petition should be sent to the program director. It should contain a paragraph description of your intended research and the names and affiliations of committee members. Include a CV for individuals who are not associated with Northeastern University.

3. Attend the LPS research seminar

Students are required to attend the LPP Research Seminar for the academic year after completing the comprehensive examination. Students discuss research ideas and appropriate methodologies in the seminar and present their preliminary ideas. During this year students also choose a committee and working with their committee complete their research proposals (see link for more information).

4. Conduct a proposal seminar

Once the committee has approved the research proposal, the student requests to hold a seminar. A request for a proposal is submitted to the Research Seminar director, Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna (contact: Kathie Simmons, k.simmons@neu.edu) at least two weeks prior to the proposed date. The request must be accompanied by statements from committee members that they have signed off on the proposal. All LPS students must present their dissertation proposals to the research seminar.

5. Respond to seminar report

The Seminar Host provides a written report that summarizes the discussion of the dissertation proposal in the LPS Seminar, with an emphasis on the methodological viability of the research design. The Report constitutes the Program’s recommendations to candidate’s committee concerning the dissertation proposal. The Report is forwarded to the candidate, the candidate’s committee, the Program Director, and the Program files. It is up to the student and committee to decide if any changes need to be made.

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