The Ph.D. dissertation is a major piece of independent research. The research is guided principally by the student and the major professor, with input from the remaining members of the dissertation committee. As soon as possible after the written comprehensive exam, students should complete a dissertation proposal (GSM 7.56). The proposal outlines the problem to be addressed and methods to be used in the thesis. See also GSM 7.58 for details about dissertation requirements and oral defense.