Dissertation Prospectus Draft, Preparation, and Defense

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Code: 
ENVS 6016 in Winter, ENVS 6017 in Spring, ENVS 7108 in Fall
Course Description: 

DEFENSE DUE OCTOBER 15 in the 2nd year 

Students should work with their Supervisor throughout the first year to develop their Dissertation Prospectus. During the first term, students work on writing a problem statement, preliminary literature review, and research questions. Based on feedback received, students revise these components. While completing the theory and methods study courses in the second term, students add a draft theoretical framework and methodology section, completing the first full draft of the dissertation prospectus by April 1. Students revise over the summer based on feedback after the comprehensive exams, for a fall submission and defense.  

The Dissertation Prospectus must contain a plan of the dissertation research, covering the aims and goals, the scope, and the proposed research methods.  The prospectus should be no longer than 10,000 words, excluding references. CEU Research Ethics Policy and Guidelines should be adequately considered by the student, and approved by the supervisor as part of the Prospectus. The student must complete the CEU Research Ethics Checklist (https://documents.ceu.edu/documents/p-1012-1v1202) and include it as an appendix to the prospectus, outlining what measures will be taken to minimize any risks to researchers and research subjects during fieldwork.

ENVS 6016 in Winter Prospectus Draft – 6 ECTS
ENVS 6017 in Spring Prospectus Preparation/Finalization - 6 ECTS
ENVS 7108 in Fall Prospectus Defense - 10 ECTS

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Write a problem statement, literature review, and research questions for a research proposal; 

  • Integrate and compile learning and insights from across the first year of the program into first comprehensive draft of research proposal, including proposed theoretical framework and methodology; 

  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate research plans, as well as potential uncertainties, for the dissertation research. 


Students should be ready to share a draft of the prospectus in September of the second year in a prospects writing workshop. 
Students are expected to defend their dissertation prospectus till October 15 of the second year.