Prospectus & Defense Meetings
Prospectus and defense meetings, for both Master's theses and Doctoral dissertations, are governed by Departmental policy as well as Graduate School regulations.
Check back soon for upcoming prospectus and defense schedules.
A thesis committee consists of three members and a dissertation committee consists of five members (additional members are allowed). The committee is chaired (or co-chaired) by a faculty member who is tenured or tenurable in Psychology, a majority of members who are tenured or tenurable in Psychology, and a member who is outside of the student's major program area. Dissertation committees must also include a member who is from a department other than Psychology. The dissertation committee chair must hold Direct Dissertation status as awarded by the Graduate School; this status is granted to faculty upon tenure and is sometimes granted to senior-level assistant professors.
Committee composition must be approved by the Department Chair, and students should request approval as soon as possible and after consultation with the committee chair. To request approval, please see the Psychology Graduate Office (Life Science II 281A).
Responsibility for scheduling prospectus and defense meetings rests with the candidate. The candidate, in consultation with committee members, will arrange a time that is suitable for all parties. Meetings are not scheduled during the recess period between semesters.
The expectation is that all members of a committee will attend the meeting. In the event that all timely attempts to schedule a meeting fail because one member is unavailable (e.g., on sabbatical leave), prior departmental approval to meet is required. Students seeking such approval should submit a written request to the Department Chair after obtaining concurrence from the chair of the dissertation committee and the member of the committee who cannot be present.
A complete copy of the prospectus document must be submitted to committee members at least one week prior to the scheduled prospectus meeting; likewise, the final document must be submitted at least one week prior to the final oral defense meeting.
Prospectus and defense meetings may not occur in the same semester.