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Free Dissertation Topic Ideas: 10 Great Suggestions

When it comes to choosing a topic for your dissertation, it can be a very stressful process. Not only are you deciding what you’ll spend the next couple years working on, but you’re probably making a decision without full knowledge of what sources and data you’ll have available for your project. There are several factors that will probably influence your choice of topic, such as what your university program specializes in, what your research advisor’s topic of research is in, and what funding is available.

But even before you apply for a program, you’ll likely need to have an idea of what you want to your topic to be in order to match yourself with an advisor and locate funding. Of course that topic can change and evolve as you start your research, but it is helpful to have an idea. Keep in mind when choosing a topic that for most programs, a dissertation will be required to be primary research, rather than a literature review. This is the biggest difference between a doctoral paper and most of the papers you’ve written in your academic career.

Use these free dissertation topic suggestions to get started:

  1. What languages have gone extinct in the last 10 years, and how is technology being used to try to save threatened languages?
  2. What led to the downfall of the Shakers in America, and what can be done to preserve the religion and culture past the three serving Shakers?
  3. What evidence is there for interspecies emotional dependency, such as between dogs and humans?
  4. How is the success of conservation biology projects, such as nature preserves and national parks, linked to political instability and colonial legacies in Africa?
  5. Why has the western portrayal of conflict in Burma focused so heavily on ethnic Burmese and largely disregarded ethnic minority communities?
  6. What legacy has the use of geographic features such as mountain ranges to separate territories during colonialism left on Southeast Asia?
  7. How has the rise of the internet influenced family planning trends in predominantly Catholic Latin American countries?
  8. How does long term political conflict influence national trends in mental health: compare Vietnam and Sudan.
  9. What evidence is that that incorporation of gardening programs in jails has been successful in training inmates for work after release?
  10. What correlation is there between trends of disciplinary action in elementary and middle school, such as suspension, to trends of incarceration?