Concordia University

Thesis proposal and defense

A thesis proposal is submitted and defended in the term following the writing of the comprehensive field examinations. Students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. upon acceptance by their advisory committee of the written thesis proposal and its successful oral defence.

The thesis proposal is approximately 25 pages long (double-spaced), and contains:

  • a substantive presentation of the thesis question
  • a brief review of the literature
  • a bibliography
  • an overview of the proposed structure (chapter by chapter) of the thesis. It should be a substantial reworking of the initial research proposal.

See a sample thesis proposal

The Thesis Proposal defence is especially important in cases where non-paper thesis components are being considered. The student's supervisory committee, in collaboration with the Humanities Director, must assess and approve the nature of the relationship between the thesis components and the pertinence of the chosen medium. The committee must establish the student's competence to work with the chosen medium.

If a student fails the thesis proposal defence, he or she may request a second (and last) attempt, the repeated defense to take place after a period of at least three months from the date of the original defence, and no later than one year after the date of the original defence.

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