Ph.D. Thesis Proposal

The thesis proposal may not be submitted until after language examinations and comprehensive examinations have been completed.

The student, in consultation with the thesis adviser, prepares a thesis proposal including:

  1. a working title
  2. a brief discussion of existing scholarship on the topic
  3. a statement of the problem addressed by the thesis and the approach taken in addressing it
  4. a statement of methodological considerations involved in the research and writing of the thesis
  5. a provisional outline describing the content of each chapter
  6. a preliminary bibliography
  7. a schedule for writing and completing the thesis

In consultation with the adviser the student will nominate two or more readers who, upon appointment by the associate dean, will serve with the adviser as the thesis committee.  Students choosing a reader not associated with Luther Seminary are required to pay the honorarium and any additional expenses.

During the time of consultation with the thesis adviser, the student is encouraged to meet with the reference librarian to review research tools and strategies pertaining to the proposal and to refine the working bibliography.

Having secured approval of the thesis adviser and readers on the appropriate form available from the Office of Graduate Theological Education or online at, the student submits it along with the completed thesis proposal to the chair of the thesis adviser's division for the division's approval. The division's review of the proposal may include an oral discussion with the candidate.

After the division has approved the thesis proposal, the student submits both a hard copy and an electronic copy of the proposal and the signed approval form to the Office of Graduate Theological Education for approval by the Graduate Committee.