Advising and the Committee
When students matriculate to the graduate program, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will assign a member of the graduate faculty as a temporary advisor and two other faculty to form a temporary committee to advise the student on course work during the first year. Only members of the department's graduate faculty can serve as advisors.
By the end of the second semester, the students will form a permanent committee.
A student's course selections for the first year must be approved by the temporary advisor before the DGS will issue the permission number needed to register for spring semester courses.
Plan of Study Form
Dissertation Advisor and the Ph.D. Committee
At the beginning of the third semester, in consultation with the temporary advisor and committee, the student will suggest to the DGS a dissertation advisor and the Ph.D. committee. Note - In the eyes of the graduate school and the department there is a single committee that administers all exams. This committee is called at various times the Ph.D. committee, the dissertation committee, the preliminary exam committee, etc. There is no formal distinction, although the specific committee composition may change through a students career, as interests evolve, and faculty join and leave the university.
The student must submit a completed Commitee Approval form to the DGS. The DGS must approve this committee and forward the form to the Graduate School for final approval. The DGS must receive the committee request form at least two months before the preliminary exam. If the committee has not been approved two months before the exam, the Graduate School may not consider the exam legal.
This committee will advise the student on the proper background and course work, evaluate the student's performance on writing requirements as needed, administer the preliminary exam and proposal defense, and oversee the student's dissertation research and defense. The committee must consist of at least four members, including the Ph.D. advisor.
In recommending the committee, the student should consider the following:
- At least 3 members of the committee must hold primary appointments as members of the graduate faculty in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology. The DGS will provide a list of eligible faculty.
- At least one committee member must represent the minor area. Ordinarily this person will be a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology. The minor area is normally contained within a different department at Duke, but may be an internal minor (behavior and ecology or morphology and paleontology) with the approval of the DGS. In such cases, the internal major and minor areas will each be one of the following: 1) behavior and ecology, 2) morphology and paleontology. Students must Evolutionary Anthropology Guide to Graduate Studies complete 2 courses in the minor area.
- A student may request an outside committee member who must travel a substantial distance, but this should be for the dissertation defense only. The department cannot guarantee travel expenses.
- If the student requests a committee member who is not a member of the Duke University Graduate Faculty the student must provide the DGS with a written request that summarizes why this member is appropriate. A CV of this person must be obtained by the student so the department can submit it to the Graduate School.
- The composition of the committee is subject to the approval of the DGS and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School. The committee request must be submitted to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School at least two months before the preliminary exam.
Committee composition may be changed at any time except between the failure of an exam (either preliminary exam or final defense) and the re-taking of that exam. Any changes to the committee composition must also follow these guidelines and the requisite stages of approval. If a student wishes to change the committee, the student should submit a new Committee Approval form to the DGS.
Students must meet with their committee annually. If a student does not meet with their committee annually that student will receive an evaluation of “concern” at the annual meeting unless the advisor and committee provide an explanation (i.e. the student is in the field) for the absence of a committee meeting.