Home Page > Thesis Proposals


An Undergraduate Thesis Proposal submitted to the School of Engineering Science can be an individual or joint endeavour. Two students who plan to work on the same project will generally co-write a thesis proposal. They may submit separate thesis proposals only if they are involved in different aspects of a project and can, therefore, propose substantially different sub-projects.

To meet the requirements of ENSC 498, you must write a thesis proposal and have it reviewed and approved by the three members of your supervisory committee. The members of your committee will ensure that the proposal provides a clear indication of the goals of the project, details of the method of approach, and a schedule for completion. They will judge whether or not the schedule is reasonable and if there is a good likelihood of completion. They will also verify that the project is suitable for an undergraduate thesis and that it conforms to School norms.

As such, the thesis proposal is a mini contract. Once your committee members sign it off, they have agreed that the proposed work is sufficient to form an acceptable thesis. This contract is not written in stone, however, and if unforeseen circumstances arise, you may change the thrust of your work midstream -- but only after consulting with your supervisors.

When you write a thesis proposal, you are providing your committee members with the information they require to determine if your project is appropriate and if you are prepared to undertake it successfully. You would, therefore, be unwise to progress too far with your thesis work before getting formal approval. If you were attempting to solve the problems of the world in a few months, wouldn’t you want to be brought back to reality as soon as possible? Also keep in mind that an oral indication of agreement from your committee members is not always a reliable indicator of their ultimate approval as informal discussions of a project may not provide them with sufficient information or give them sufficient time to reflect on the matter.

Another reason for writing the proposal as early as possible is that if you wait too long, you may find the proposal extremely difficult to write. Typically, students who delay writing their proposals find that they know too much about the subject and have a tendency to write far more than is required (in general, the proposal should be less than ten pages).

The following outline some issues to consider before writing your thesis proposal.

Authors: Steve Whitmore & Mike Sjoerdsma                         Website Design: Claret Ramos & Jeff Priest                         Photos: Simon Fraser University                         Last Updated: February 11, 2016