Dissertation Outlines Johns Hopkins

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Thesis and Dissertation Proposals

Master's Thesis Proposals

The participation in a thesis (essay) project is an option for the MA, MS, and MSE degrees. For any degree activity involving research, it is important to set research objectives that are well defined and attainable. The writing of a thesis proposal helps to plan and organize the research. The proposal aids to connect ideas and discover inconsistencies in thinking. Relatively short proposals (15-20 pages) are encouraged. All proposals should contain a clear and succinct statement of the proposed work, including the following:

  • Title of the proposed thesis
  • Specific aims or objectives
  • Supporting information (work by others, literature review)
  • Research methods
  • A proposed time or progress schedule

Discussion of thesis topics may begin as soon as the candidate wishes. It is recommended that this proposal be submitted at the earliest possible date. Completion of the proposal by December 1 is recommended for candidates intending to finish their master's degree in April. Completion of the proposal by May 1 is recommended for candidates intending to complete their degree in October. Candidates for the MA, MS, or MSE must submit copies of a thesis proposal to the research adviser before research is started. Students who are doing research or an independent study for credit must have a culminating paper or project (deliverable) and must submit a copy of their project/paper to their supervising faculty advisor in order to graduate.

PhD Dissertation Proposals

The preparation of an acceptable dissertation represents a significant portion of the PhD degree. For any degree activity involving research, it is important to set research objectives that are well defined and attainable. The writing of a thesis proposal helps to plan and organize the research. The proposal aids to connect ideas and discover inconsistencies in thinking. Relatively short proposals (15-20 pages) are encouraged. All proposals should contain a clear and succinct statement of the proposed work, including the following:

  • Title of the proposed thesis
  • Specific aims or objectives
  • Supporting information (work by others, literature review)
  • Research methods
  • A proposed time or progress schedule

The PhD is a research degree, in which the student learns how to initiate and carry out original research. The current state of knowledge in the chosen field will be explored first. Information and ideas developed by others are critically examined and placed in proper context. The student then proposes new research to improve understanding in this key area. A research proposal is written that outlines how key questions will be addressed in an orderly and logical manner. Candidates for the PhD must submit a formal thesis proposal prior to their Graduate Board Oral Examination. For more information about the process leading up to the Formal Dissertation Proposal, visit our Preliminary Dissertation Proposal Page. 

ETD Basics

What is an ETD?

An electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) is digital version of a dissertation that is available to the public via the internet. Universities and colleges in the United States and abroad have been moving toward this type of publication for the past decade. Johns Hopkins started its own ETD program beginning in the fall semester of 2013.

Who is affected?

  • All PhD Students
  • Masters students with a required thesis may submit; contact your program office for information
  • Other graduate degrees: Consult with your graduate office

How and when do I submit my ETD?

  • Submit after you have defended your thesis or dissertation and made all edits required by your committee
  • Login with your JHED ID to the JHU ETD submission system, fill in the required metadata, and upload a PDF/a file of your thesis or dissertation
  • The required PDF/a file format is different from a standard PDF. Please see the formatting page for further instructions

Fee Payment

The ETD submission fee is $60 and may be paid by credit card or by funds transfer from your department. The fee is due at the time of submission; payment verification is required for approval.

Pay by Credit Card – $60

IMPORTANT: If the card you are using is not your own (e.g., spouse or parent’s card), proceed with the payment at the site, but then email your name, your JHED ID, and the name of the credit card owner to etd-support@jhu.edu so we can link your submission with the payment.

Pay by Department Funds Transfer

NOTE: This option is available at departmental discretion. Request that the department administrator fill out the PDF form and submit it to the ETD Coordinator.

  • In-Person or Mail: Digitization Unit, A-level, Milton S. Eisenhower Library (M-F, 9 am to 5 pm)
  • Email: etd-support@jhu.edu

Workshops

We will be offering a series of one-hour ETD workshops throughout the semester. Please join us to learn more about the submission process, how to format your ETD, and copyright concerns. Keep watching this space for more times and locations. We will broadcast each workshop via Adobe Connect.

We currently have no live workshops scheduled, but a recorded version is available. Future workshops will be posted to the Library Trainings & Workshops page.

Required Submission Information

There are several descriptive fields that you must fill out during the submission process. Some of these fields will help other researchers find your ETD and others will control when your ETD will be made visible to the public. Each of the required fields is denoted with an asterisk (*), and you will not be able to continue further in the process without filling them in. Please see the Formatting Guidelines and Checklist for more information. Please contact us at dissertations@jhu.edu if you have any questions.

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