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Department of Psychology
Harvard University

Undergraduate Program

Requirements & Electives
Advising & Mentoring
Faculty & Research
Deadlines & Forms

Step One: TopicStep Two: Committee and ApplicationStep Three: ProspectusStep Four: Research ApprovalStep Five: Research and Data Analysis
Step Six: WritingStep Seven: SubmissionStep Eight: Poster and DefenseGradingCalendars of Thesis-Related Dates
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Step Three: Prospectus

Writing the prospectus

The prospectus is due by Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 4pm, WJH 218 for all students who apply for the thesis in the junior year. For the few students who qualify for the late application deadline in September of the senior year, the prospectus must be submitted with the thesis application no later than Friday, September 18, 2015 at 4pm, WJH 218. Edits may be made after submission if and when the student and committee agree that changes are warranted, and revised prospectuses should be submitted to WJH 218 whenever revisions occur.

The goal of your thesis prospectus is to communicate clearly the relevance and plausibility of your work. Most prospectuses range between four and twenty pages, and are usually between twelve and fifteen pages long, although there is no maximum or minimum length. And although the format of the prospectus also can vary, one standard format follows the "QALMRI" approach developed by Professor Stephen Kosslyn - Kosslyn & Rosenberg (2001), Appendix B.

We cannot exaggerate the importance of a carefully written prospectus. A sloppily written or superficial prospectus makes a poor impression upon a thesis committee and only delays the concrete thinking and planning you will have to engage in to produce a successful thesis.

NEXT - The Prospectus Meeting and Research Approval

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