Advising & the Committee

Provisional Advisor and Committee

Before registering for the first semester, The DGS will assign to each beginning graduate student a temporary advisor and a supervisory committee tailored to the student’s interests. New students should discuss with their temporary advisors and supervisory committee the courses they need to take in their field of specialty.

A department 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.

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.