Carbon fiber polymer composites have attracted worldwide interest in sporting goods and aerospace industries due to their excellent specific strength, stiffness and lightweight. The replacement of solution-spinning process by melt-spinning process is one of the major approaches to make cost effective carbon fiber. In recent years, researchers have explored the possibilities to synthesize melt processable carbon fiber precursors, but their thermal stabilization is still a challenge. The goal for this research project is to prepare melt processable carbon fiber precursors which have the capability of thermal stabilization. Acrylonitrile/1-vinylimidazole (AN/VIM) copolymers containing various mol% of VIM were synthesized by free radical polymerization. 82/18 mol percent of AN/VIM copolymer based carbon fiber precursor was processed by melt spinning at 192 °C and thermal stabilization of the melt-spun fiber was achieved by heating in air at 250 °C. A novel dispersion polymerization of poly (acrylonitrile – co -1-vinylimidazole) by using small amount of protonated copolymer itself as a stabilizer was also introduced in this study.