Thesis Proposal

Thesis-based MA students and PhD students are required to submit a thesis proposal by the end of their first year. Watch your email for communications about this year's deadline.

Note: for PhD students, this requirement differs from the proposal associated with candidacy and is much shorter and less comprehensive. Please see here for details of a candidacy research proposal.


The goal of this exercise is to assist the student and supervisor in visualizing the overall program, to assist the Department in guiding the student and identifying award opportunities, and the help provide support for the shared goal of timely and successful program completion. The supervisor should assist the student in preparation of the document.

The proposal should outline the subject matter and analytical approach you plan to use. In 1000 words plus bibliography, the proposal should provide enough information to allow a fair and full assessment of the proposal project. The proposal should clearly state the problem, analytical approach and methodology of the research, describe the subject matter and corpus, and include a brief literature review. The planned time schedule for completion should also be included.


Proposed Topic

  • Briefly summarize your proposed topic, subject matter, corpus.
  • How does your topic build on the past and on ongoing research in this area?
  • Why should your project be done?
  • Why is it important?

Review of the Literature

  • Specify the problems presented in the research area in question. Please note this is just a preliminary review.

Proposed Outline

  • Provide a brief chapter outline of the thesis.


  • Provide a list of well-chosen seminal articles and central books pertinent to your research area.


  • Include a realistic schedule for completion.