Current Students

Proposal Hearing Checklist

At least three weeks before proposal hearing date:

Once you have cleared the date with your committee, write a letter requesting your proposal hearing to Diana Bowser, PhD Program Director. Please send the letter as an attachment via email to Diana Bowser ( and copy Cheryl Sweeney ( Use the template in the Dissertation Standards and Procedures, Appendix 4, page 15. Please be sure to modify the heading and first line of the document to specify proposal.

In this same email you should send your proposal abstract, approved by your chair. The abstract should be 350– 500 words, if possible. Up to 1½ pages is acceptable. Use this model for your abstract (Dissertation Standards and Procedures, Appendix 3 on page 14).

In this same email also send Cheryl Sweeney ( and Rosella Carrelli ( the Zoom link to your hearing. The program recommends that the Chair is the host but that is your decision. If you need assistance with Zoom please contact Media and Technology Services (MTS) at 781-736-4632. Zoom is the web-based communications system available at Brandeis.

A minimum of two weeks before proposal hearing:

Provide an electronic copy of your proposal to the members of your committee and the PhD Program Office two weeks prior to the hearing. This is a minimum expectation. Proposal hearings may not proceed if the proposal is not submitted at least two weeks in advance. 

Inform Cheryl Sweeney if you do not wish to have your proposal added to the online (password protected) Proposal Library.

Day of hearing:

The signed Action on Dissertation Proposal form will be sent to your chair prior to your hearing. At the end of your hearing your Committee will make one of these recommendations: 1) approved; 2) action deferred pending minor revisions and chair approval; 3) rejected. Your chair will complete and sign the form and  electronically return it to Cheryl Sweeney, Program Manager.  (