The first step in establishing an area of research is the Statement of Intent. This document should describe the basic research question or problem the student wishes to investigate for his or her doctoral research. It should establish
- the perspective the student wishes to take in answering that question through their inquiry, and
- identify key literature that will serve as a point of departure for their work.
The Statement of Intent should be no longer than 3-5 pages plus supporting references, and will be used as an introduction of the student to prospective committee members for the advisory committee to support the pursuit of the doctoral degree.
Students may begin work on the statement of intent at any time, but it should be completed during the first semester of residency in order to recruit the committee and meet deadlines for submitting a Plan of Study to the Graduate School. The specific format of the Statement of Intent should be discussed and finalized in conjunction with the advisor to be appropriate to the student’s specific situation.