The prospectus is normally completed during the sixth term of study following the M.A. It should define the scope of the dissertation and demonstrate the originality of the project. The student submits an eight- to ten-page prospectus and a substantial research bibliography of primary and secondary material to the faculty members on his or her dissertation committee. Students are responsible for putting together a dissertation committee, which normally consists of four members: one director and two readers from the Department of Romance Languages, and one reader from another department. A student may also choose to have two co-directors in the Department of Romance Languages (plus two further members of the department).
When the student has a solid draft of the prospectus, she or he will schedule a meeting with the dissertation committee members for a presentation and discussion of the prospectus. Following this conversation, the student will make final revisions to the prospectus. Once the committee has given its final approval, the student will submit the prospectus to the department for filing.
Students are reminded that they must have a dissertation committee in place and proper documents filed with the Graduate School six months before the dissertation defense. Any student making significant changes to the dissertation project after the final approval of the prospectus must schedule a meeting with the dissertation committee before proceeding.