The Thesis Proposal Committee

The Thesis Proposal Committee is composed of the Thesis Advisory Committee with the possible addition of an MTA co-director or another senior MTA faculty member designated by the MTA-Director(s) who will serve as chair of the committee for the Thesis Proposal exam. If an MTA co-director or other senior MTA faculty member are already a member of the Thesis Advisory Committee, no additional members are needed for the Thesis Proposal Committee. If the chair of the Thesis Advisory Committee does not have extensive experience with Thesis Proposal Exams, an MTA co-Director or a senior MTA faculty member (delegated by the MTA co-Directors in consultation with the trainee and their Thesis Advisor) will be added to the committee to serve in this role. The chair of the Proposal Committee must meet the same criteria as the chair of the advisory committee. Participation of nonvoting members of the advisory committee in the Thesis Proposal exam is optional; if they are present, they must remain silent.

The Chair of the Committee must enforce all rules of the Examination, including those pertaining to the role of the dissertation advisor, as outlined below. In addition, each student is strongly encouraged to discuss the expectations of the Thesis Proposal Committee Chair as they develop their Thesis Proposal.

The meeting should be structured as detailed in the Thesis Proposal webpage

If the Committee determines further work necessary, the Chair will provide this information, in writing, to the student. A copy of this memo, detailing conditions and deadline, must accompany the Voting Form, which should be submitted electronically within two days of the proposal presentation. The Chair of the Committee will report the discussion to the dissertation advisor.

It is possible for a Committee to consider a student’s performance satisfactory for the oral presentation of the work achieved and work planned, but still consider the written proposal to be inadequate (in detail, style, citation quality, figure/table/legend presentation, etc.). The student may only be permitted one re-take the oral presentation, but the Committee may ask for as many revisions of the written proposal as are necessary to achieve a satisfactory proposal. This process can occur under the supervision of a subcommittee and must be completed before the student can be advanced to Candidacy.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students will automatically be advanced to candidacy after all the General Program Requirements, the Advanced Coursework for the MTA, and the Thesis Proposal Exam have been successfully completed.

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