The dissertation proposal, accompanied by a working bibliography, is prepared following the completion of the qualifying exams. It is worked out 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. After approval by the teaching group, a two-page, single-spaced summary of the proposal 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. Students must be admitted to candidacy by the beginning of the fourth year of study.