PhD

Proposal Defense

Purpose

The purpose of the dissertation proposal defense is to assure that your plan of researching your proposed research question is complete and holds academic merit. Students work closely with their supervisory committees in determining the composition of the dissertation proposal and in writing the proposal.

Process

Before scheduling the dissertation proposal defense, the candidate, with the agreement of the supervisory committee, must determine which quality assurance process will be used. Details of the pre-approved options are outlined in the supervisory committee policy.

At least six weeks prior to the dissertation proposal defense, the candidate contacts Student Services to confirm the members of their supervisory committee. This would include the addition of a non-University of Washington external faculty member if previously agreed upon.

The candidate schedules a date, a time, and a room for the dissertation proposal defense. The candidate also submits details regarding the dissertation proposal defense to the iSchool web calendar, the Ph.D. program chair and Student Services.

At least two weeks before the scheduled proposal defense date, the final written proposal must be submitted to all members of the supervisory committee. The voting members of the committee, in consultation with the student, determine the length and outline the structure of the defense.

The proposal defense is a public event. However, the deliberations of the supervisory committee are private. The supervisory committee records an official decision using the Dissertation Proposal Defense Form.

Once the proposal has been defended and accepted, the candidate is cleared to finish writing the dissertation. The candidate submits one paper copy and one PDF version of the dissertation proposal to Student Services.

More Information

Dissertation Proposal Defense Policy
Dissertation Proposal Defense Form
Learn more about supervisory committee policies