Final Project Proposal
Developing a final project proposal involves:
- identifying a topic or area of interest;
- narrowing that interest; and
- assessing the resources that you will need to complete the form of final project you have selected.
You need to have your proposal approved by your first reader, the chair/coordinator of your program and the dean of the School for Graduate Studies. You usually write your Final Project Proposal at the following time:
- Policy studies – as part of the Modes of Inquiry/Directed Research course.
- Liberal studies – before you enroll in final project and in consultation with your academic advisor and/or first reader.
In consultation with your academic advisor or first reader, you will be expected to develop a formal written proposal for your final project. In the proposal, you must include the following information:
- Working title
- Question/argument – What question(s) do you want to ask? What are the general and the subsidiary questions involved in investigating or examining the topic that you have chosen? What argument do you intend to make in your final project?
- Methods – How will you demonstrate proof to support your argument? What sources will you consult in your research? What research methods are appropriate to answer the research questions posed? How can you arrange to use the statistical tools necessary for your proposed topic (if this is applicable)?
- Human subjects research issues – In what ways will your research involve obtaining information from human subjects? Have you thought about and prepared for the issues of confidentiality, protection from harm, etc.? You should consult the research on human subjects information in this catalog and address those questions.
- Type – Consider which type of project you want to do and why that particular type might be suitable to your question and methods.
- Hypothesis – In your opinion, what do you think that you will learn from your investigation or work? What do you think the results of all this work will be when you are finally finished?
- Readers – Who do you want to have as your first reader – the person with whom you will do most of the work – and your second reader? The decision about who will be your first and second reader is not yours alone, but your desires and reasons for wanting to work with a certain faculty member will be seriously considered. The actual appointment of the first and second reader is made by the dean of the School for Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the program chair/coordinator.
- Culminating experience – Finally, explain why this is an appropriate culminating experience for the program in which you are enrolled. How is this project connected to the rest of your program and the policy or liberal studies curricula as a whole?
After you have developed your final project proposal with your first reader, and it is approved, you need to submit it attached to the cover form available from the Graduate Form Center on www.esc.edu/GradStudents. Then you should sign the form and send it, with the proposal, to student services in the School for Graduate Studies at:
School for Graduate Studies
Attention Student Services
SUNY Empire State College
111 West Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-6069
Once your proposal is complete (including practicum and/or IRB Human Subjects requirements if needed), it will be electronically uploaded by student services and your first reader will sign it. It will then be forward to the chair/coordinator of your program who will review it and either approve it or send it back for revisions. Once approved, it is forwarded to the dean of the School for Graduate Studies for final approval. After final approval is given, the School for Graduate Studies will send you, your academic advisor, and your first reader a copy of the approved proposal. This approved proposal serves as the learning contract for Final Project.
It is important to note that you cannot enroll for Final Project unless your degree program and final project proposal have been approved.