[See thesis calendar for exact deadlines.]

Your thesis prospectus should be more detailed and complete than the proposal you submitted with your thesis application, and you should go into as much detail as possible about your planned methods, including information about planned participants. It will be up to your committee to evaluate your prospectus; there are no departmental guidelines for what your prospectus must include or how it should be formatted. Most prospectuses will be about 10-15 pages long and will follow the format of a standard research paper. The prospectus will form the basis of your prospectus meeting and will ultimately serve as a guide for your entire project. As such, it should be very clear and specific about your plans. We cannot exaggerate the importance of a carefully written prospectus. A sloppily written or superficial prospectus makes a poor impression upon a thesis committee and only delays the concrete thinking and planning you will have to engage in to produce a successful thesis.

You will likely go through multiple iterations of your prospectus. A hard copy draft is due to the UGO at the end of your junior year (usually on the last day of classes; if you are enrolled in 985, it will serve as your final paper, and must be turned in alongside the 985 Grade Recommendation Form). In many cases, this will not be the final version, so you will need to re-submit your final prospectus when it is finished (again, both a hard copy and an electronic).

You should submit early drafts of your prospectus to your supervisor(s) for their feedback and approval. Once you and your supervisor(s) agree it is ready, you will submit this document to your full committee and to the UGO. You should submit the complete prospectus to your committee at least two weeks before your prospectus meeting to give sufficient time to read it before the meeting. (With permission from your committee, you may submit it to them on shorter notice.)

If your prospectus undergoes further changes after your meeting, you should submit the updated version to your full committee and the UGO.

It is understood that most projects will diverge somewhat from the plans laid out in the final prospectus in response to unexpected developments in the research process. If you think that your project is undergoing very significant changes, please consult with your supervisor(s) and the UGO about whether it would be appropriate to update your prospectus.