The dissertation prospectus is prepared following the completion of the qualifying exams. Students normally submit a dissertation prospectus and have a colloquium on the prospectus no later than the first semester of their fourth year. The prospectus is developed in consultation with the faculty, and submitted to the teaching group in the field, who meet with the student for a two-hour colloquium to assess the scope, significance, and feasibility of the topic and the student’s preparation to accomplish it in a reasonable time. The prospectus itself ordinarily should include a statement of the precise nature of the topic, its significance, its relationship to previous work, and the method and sources to be employed. After approval by the teaching group, a two-page summary of the prospectus is submitted to the entire graduate faculty in Religious Studies and thence, if none object, to the Dean of the Graduate School. Once accepted this prospectus becomes the basis for the eventual assessment of the completed dissertation. After acceptance of the prospectus, the student is admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D.