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Dissertations & DMin Projects: Step #3: Proposal

A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to researching, writing, and digitally submitting PhD dissertations at Claremont School of Theology.

IRB Approval & Dissertation Proposals

If your PhD or DMin dissertation research involves collecting any information from or about any living human being(s) through surveys, interviews, or direct observations, then you need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Click here for more information about the IRB proposal and process.

For dissertations that require IRB approval, such approval MUST be obtained prior to submitting a PhD dissertation proposal or having a DMin research consultation.

Dissertation Proposal & Approval Process

The CST Catalog is the authoritative source for all information regarding proposals. The following handout excerpts the relevant material from the Catalog about the proposal.

Proposal / Methodology Consultation Process & Forms

The Ph.D. proposal approval process is:

  1. Students consult with their respective advisors and write a proposal that meets the requirements described in the Catalog.
  2. Upon completion of the proposal, students send it to the entire committee for their approval and ensure that all necessary signatures on the relevant proposal approval form are obtained. Please find below a link to the form pertinent to your program.
  3. Once all committee members have signed off on the proposal, students email the proposal and the scanned and signed approval form to the Thesis Secretary. Within a week of receipt, the Thesis Secretary will respond and let students know what steps are needed for Thesis Secretary approval (e.g., a consultation, editorial corrections, etc.). When these steps are completed, the Thesis Secretary will sign the proposal approval form. Essentially, the Thesis Secretary requires a proposal that meets the requirements described in the Catalog and one that is free of any kind of plagiarism, is accurate in form and style, and has a relatively small number of obvious errors. The Thesis Secretary does not edit or proofread dissertations (students are ultimately responsible for that) but does provide evaluations.

Note that D.Min. students are not required to submit a proposal, but they are required to have a Methodology Consultation with their advisor(s), committee member(s), and the Thesis Secretary. See the linked form below.


Degree Proposal Due Date Form
PhD Practical Theology not specified Dissertation Proposal Approval
PhD Religion not specified Dissertation Proposal Approval
DMin September 15 Methodology Consultation