The R&STC program requires that you write a formal prospectus outlining your plans for your dissertation. This is a most important step in the dissertation process because it forces you to think through your whole project, offers you the opportunity to receive suggestions and help from your committee, and ensures that your committee members agree with you and each other on the scope of the project and the method you will use or approach you will take. You should work out the format of your prospectus with your adviser, since faculty may have different expectations. Generally, a prospectus should be about 5,000-6,000 words long. It should include a detailed statement of the problem or exigency your dissertation will address, provide the research question or questions the dissertation will address, and include brief chapter outlines. The prospectus also often includes a formal review of the literature (though this might mean in some cases that the prospectus would exceed the 6,000 word limit) and a bibliography. Generally a sample analysis of the type you expect to do throughout your dissertation should be offered in an appendix.
You should present your prospectus to your committee within a year after you have passed your preliminary oral exam. You should schedule a meeting with your committee members. Contact the Programs Administrator for help in scheduling a room once you and your committee agree on a time. No fewer than two weeks before the presentation, you must give your advisor and other committee members a copy of your prospectus.
The Graduate School files your title and formally approves (or not) your committee at this point.