Best Political Science Dissertations

The prospectus course (POLS 2050 and POLS2051) is designed to further explain the components of a prospectus and guide students through the creation of a prospectus.

Students should be prepared to read and provide constructive feedback on each other's work in the class. Defense of the Prospectus Formal approval of the prospectus follows after a successful oral defense of the proposal, which shall be advertised in advance and open to Political Science Department faculty and graduate students.

NOTE: Close and frequent consultations between you and your committee prior to the scheduling of the defense will go a long way toward eliminating the chances of an outright fail.

Once the committee has reached a decision in executive session, you will be called back into the room and informed immediately.

The goal of the prospectus is not to demonstrate that you know all the answers in advance.

Rather, it is to establish that the question you intend to address is worth asking, and that your proposed course of action is feasible and potentially valuable in terms of its contribution to knowledge. " The prospectus should begin by stating the central question or puzzle that is to be addressed in the dissertation.Immediately following the question session, the dissertation committee shall meet in executive session to determine whether the prospectus should be approved.There are three options available to the committee: Pass: the committee decides that the prospectus is acceptable as is, and that you may commence work on the dissertation.The format of a typical oral defense is as follows: (1) introductory remarks by the principal advisor; (2) a brief overview of the proposed thesis project by you; (3) questions from the dissertation committee members; (4) questions from the general public, time permitting.The student will make a 10-15 minute presentation of the prospectus and then will be asked questions by any faculty members first and, time permitting, fellow graduate students in the room.Admission to Candidacy Once coursework and both preliminary examinations are passed, the student is considered to have Advanced to Candidacy and is officially a Ph. The prospectus is written and defended during the third year in the Ph. Students are required to pass at least one preliminary exam before registering for the prospectus course. Oftentimes, students begin lining up their principal advisors during their second year in the program; in any event, you should wait no longer than the middle of your fifth semester to have yours in place. 3 below), you must select two additional advisors to serve on your dissertation committee, for a minimum of three committee members.The principal advisor must be tenured and a second committee member must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the Department of Political Science at Brown unless you obtain an exception from the DGS.In extraordinary circumstances, the defense may proceed with two examination committee members.If fewer than two committee members are able to attend, the defense must be rescheduled.Conditional pass: the committee decides that your prospectus requires additional work prior to final approval.Your principal advisor will provide you with a list of concrete suggestions for improvement and a firm deadline by which you must complete those revisions.


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