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PhD | Thesis Proposal

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The student must present an oral thesis proposal and submit the form to their full reading committee by Spring quarter of their fourth year. The thesis proposal form must be filled out, signed, and approved by all committee members. Submit the PDF form to CS PhD Student Services ( 

The thesis proposal allows students to obtain formative feedback from their reading committee that'll guide them into a successful and high-quality dissertation. The thesis proposal (a private session only with the student's advisor/co-advisor and reading committee members) should allow time for discussion with the reading committee about the direction of the thesis research. The suggested format should include:

  • A description of the research problem and its significance;
  • A description of previous work in the area and the "state of the art" prior to the student's work; 
  • A description of preliminary work the student has done on the problem, and any research results of that work; 
  • An outline of remaining work to be done and a timeline for accomplishing it.