Advising & the Committee

Provisional Advisor and Committee

Before registering for the first semester, the DGS will assign to each beginning graduate student a supervisory committee tailored to the student’s interests. This will include the DGS, the intended supervisor, and one additional faculty member in the student’s area of interest. Incoming students should discuss with this committee the courses needed in their field of specialty and to complete the course requirements for the program. The supervisory committee will remain available to students until they form their Dissertation Committee by the end of their 3rd semester.

In cases where a student wishes to use previous coursework to count toward departmental course requirements, a Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC) will review the student’s past coursework and determine areas in need of satisfactory preparation in the department’s core areas. The standing committee is distinct from the student’s temporary committee. It consists of the DGS (ex officio) and has broad representation by specialists in the core areas.

Dissertation Advisor and Committee

By the end of the third semester, the student must choose an advisor and the advisor must convene an initial meeting of the dissertation committee. Dissertation committees will consist of five faculty members, at least one of which will represent the student’s minor field.

The goals of the initial meeting are to assess the novelty and feasibility of the proposed dissertation topic, to ascertain whether the student needs to take any additional courses to demonstrate preparedness for the preliminary exam, and to decide the format of the written dissertation proposal.

Students are expected to meet with their committee yearly, and are advised to organize that well before the end of the Fall Semester to accommodate faculty schedules.

If a student fails to meet with the committee before the end of the third semester, the DGS will notify the student of this fact in writing, and will discuss with the student’s temporary advisor ways to resolve any difficulties.