Department of Public Health Sciences

Department of

Public Health Sciences


Public Health Sciences

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Students are required to submit a written proposal no later than the end of June of first year for Full-Time Students; as per plan of study for Part-Time Students. They are also required to present it to the Department; see The Proposal Presentation section below for submission of Thesis Proposal Scheduling Form.

The proposal should mirror what is expected by most granting agencies and as such should be 12 to 15 pages excluding references and appendices.  It should be in 11 or 12 size font and 1.5 or double-spaced.

Anatomy of a Thesis Proposal

  • Title Page with Document Date and Name(s) and Signature(s) of Supervisor/Committee Members (1 page not included in count)
  • Purpose (~1/4 page)
  • Background and Rationale (~6 to 8 pages)
    • Literature Review           
  • Empirical Objectives (~1/4 page)
  • Study Design and Methods (~5 to 6 pages)
    • List of data sources and variables
    • Data management and analysis strategy
    • Strengths and Limitations
  • Ethical Considerations (~1/4 page)
  • Feasibility Issues (e.g. access to the required data) (~1/4 page)
  • Timeline for Project Completion including key dates (1 page)
  • References (as needed; not included in count)
  • Appendices (as needed; not included in count)

Submitting the Proposal 

The submitted proposal must be approved by the Primary Supervisor and all committee members (if applicable). Approval can be demonstrated by having the document signed before submission or submitting the document electronically with a statement indicating approval which is copied to the Primary Supervisor and all committee members.  The submission is to be via email to

The Thesis Proposal Presentation

A week or two BEFORE submitting your proposal students should complete with your supervisor the attached Thesis Proposal Scheduling Form and submit it in hard copy or electronically to the Graduate Assistant ( Scheduling of the proposal presentation will be finalized once the proposal document is submitted. The proposal date cannot be sooner than 10 full working days from the date of the proposal submission.     

Students will present their submitted proposals to faculty and students during a 15-20 minute formal presentation. The purpose of the presentation is to allow faculty members the opportunity to determine whether the thesis project, if successfully completed, would satisfy Departmental requirements, or whether modifications are necessary. Secondly, the presentation provides students with a formal opportunity to communicate their thesis to a wide audience and receive constructive feedback and questions.

The Head of the Department/the Program Director or a designate will chair the session and at one faculty member will serve as the designated reviewer. These chair and designated reviewer will receive the proposal 10 working days in advance of the presentation date. They will review the proposals in detail and prepare comments and questions.