Proposal Defense (PD)

The Proposal Defense (PD) consists of the written and oral presentation of the work that the student proposes to complete for their thesis. At a minimum, both the written and oral presentations must include:

  1. Problems from previous work (Literature Survey).
  2. Objective of Work.
  3. Outline of the research to be performed: methodology, data treatment, and expected impact to the field

It is recommended that the written thesis proposal follow the format of proposals submitted to NSF, NIH, NASA or other funding agencies.

The Defense seminar structure will be an oral presentation. Two weeks prior to the presentation, a draft of the written thesis proposal must be provided to the student’s Thesis/Dissertation Committee. In addition, an abstract must be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator for posting along with submission of form M-2 (MS) or form D-3 (PhD).

After the Seminar, the Thesis/Dissertion Committee will meet and give suggestions and recommendations. The passing of the PD requires a unanimous vote by the Thesis/Dissertation Committee.

Timeline: Students must declare their proposal subject shortly after taking the Qualifying Exam (QE).

If there is a significant change in the student’s research plan, a new PD must be given.