Ph.D. Proposal Defense


Questions about the graduate program in materials science and engineering may be sent to Dr. Kathleen Hart

Upon passing the Qualifying Exam, it is expected that students will choose a Ph.D. thesis advisor, if they have not already done so, and begin their Ph.D. thesis research. Within 12 to 18 months of passing the QE, the student needs to select a Ph.D. Thesis Examination Committee and schedule his or her Ph.D. Proposal Defense.

The Ph.D. Proposal Defense consists of a written part and an oral presentation to the Ph.D. Thesis Examination Committee. The written part consists of an introduction to the field, a problem statement, the objectives of the research and the approach that will be taken, the expected results, and a timeline of the work. A concise review of the literature is expected, along with a bibliography of the most important literature. The length of the written Ph.D. Proposal is expected to be between 15 to 20 double space pages (12pt font) with 1 inch margins.  Members of the Committee should receive the proposal two weeks prior to the defense.

The Ph.D. Proposal will be presented to the Ph.D. Thesis Examination Committee during a one hour examination. The student should plan for a 30 minute presentation of the research plan and expected results.

One week prior to your proposal defense, please notify the Associate Director of Student Services, Dr. Kathleen Hart, at

See Also: Ph.D. Requirements and Ph.D. Qualifying Exam