SPPH Current StudentsCandidacy (MA/PhD)

Applying for Candidacy

To be admitted into candidacy your dissertation/thesis proposal must be submitted to your committee chair and circulated to the remaining members of your committee for approval. Once you have done this, you should complete the application for candidacy and follow the steps listed below.

  • Complete the application for candidacy. You may request one from the SPPH Education Program Manager.
  • Once completed, submit the application and a copy of the proposal to the SPPH Education Program Manager. The proposal must be submitted electronically via email as a separate document in Word format.
  • The Education Office will check the document for plagiarism using iThenticate software. If there are no plagiarism issues, the application and proposal will be submitted to the School of Public and Population Health for approval.
  • Once approved, the student will be admitted to candidacy. Candidacy status means that the MS students should register for SPPH 6098 Thesis in the next registration cycle, and the PhD student should register for SPPH 6099 Dissertation.

Research Proposal

Research proposal must follow certain guidelines, provided below. Attach your committee’s approved version of your research proposal to the completed forms requested within this application to the School of Public and Population Health.

General Suggestions

The proposal should be organized to answer the following questions:

  1. What do you intend to do?
  2. Why is the work important?
  3. What has been done already?
  4. How are you going to do the work?


This research proposal should be typed single-spaced.

Title Sheet

Title of the research project followed by your name and a 200-word summary of the proposed thesis/dissertation research. One page

Research Plan

  • Specific Aims or Problem Statement: State concisely and realistically what the research described in the proposal is intended to accomplish. What hypothesis is to be tested or what question is to be addressed? Do not exceed one page.
  • Significance: Briefly sketch the background (or literature review) to your thesis/dissertation proposal, critically evaluate existing knowledge, and specifically identify the gaps which the proposal is intending to fill. State concisely the importance of the research described in the proposal by relating the specific aims to longer term objectives.  Do not exceed three pages.
  • Research Accomplishments to Date: If you have conducted any research pertinent to your thesis/dissertation proposal, briefly describe your results. Also, list relevant courses or other experiences which enhance your competence to perform the proposed research. Do not exceed four pages of written text. (Additional pages may be used for figures, graphs, tables, etc.)
  • Methods: Briefly discuss the research design and procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the proposal. If any new methodology is being used, describe its advantage over existing methodology. Include the kinds of data to be gathered (when applicable) and the means by which the data will be analyzed and interpreted.  The discussion should provide sufficient evidence that the specific aims are attainable. It is not necessary to include detailed methodological/technical protocols.  Do not exceed ten pages.
  • Literature Cited: Cite the pertinent literature in the text and provide the complete reference list in the Literature Cited section. Each citation must include the names of all authors, the name of the book or journal, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. Although no page limitation is specified for this part of the proposal, make every attempt to be judicious in compiling the biography. It should be relevant and current. It need not be exhaustive.
  • Supervision and Facilities: Name the person(s) proposed to be immediately responsible for supervising your thesis/dissertation research and laboratory (or other facilities) where most of your proposed research will take place. If the proposed project involves collaboration with another institution, give evidence that the collaborator(s) agrees to participate.
  • Human Subjects: Include all human research-related instruments to be used in this study, sample of subject consent form(s), and instructions to subjects as appropriate.
  • GANTT: All research proposals submitted as part of the candidacy packet must include a section giving the expected timeline of the proposed project. That section must include a GANTT chart giving duration and completion targets for all major aspects of the research, including all aims and sub-aims.

Application for Candidacy | Committee Member Change | Dissertations get loaded here