When a student is accepted to a master’s degree program, the department head typically appoints a temporary advisor. In most master’s degree programs, a supervisory committee will be established for each student. During the first semester following matriculation, the student should meet with the temporary advisor to discuss the appointment of a supervisory committee. Supervisory Committee members must be part of the graduate faculty or be approved by the vice provost of graduate studies. A completed Supervisory Committee Approval form should be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies by the end of the student’s second semester. Changes to a supervisory committee must be approved by submitting a Supervisory Committee Revision form, and are not to be made during the six weeks prior to the final defense.
A master’s degree supervisory committee must include at least three faculty members who are approved by the department head and the vice provost of graduate studies. At least one member must represent the student’s area of specialization, and at least one must be from outside the specialization area. Adjunct faculty can be members with the approval of the vice provost of graduate studies. Upon recommendation of the department head, emeritus faculty may serve on supervisory committees, but may not chair new committees.
Within School of Graduate Studies and departmental requirements, the supervisory committee determines the courses for the student’s Program of Study; conducts departmental qualifying examinations (if required); supervises the student’s thesis research, Plan B paper, or project; and conducts the defense or final examination. The defense or final examination must be scheduled through the School of Graduate Studies. The major professor, who serves as the chairperson of the committee, usually directs the thesis, paper, or other degree project.
A Program of Study form should be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies before the end of the second semester in the program. Changes to the Program of Study may be made by submitting a Program of Study Revision form to the School of Graduate Studies.
When a doctoral student is admitted, the department head may appoint a temporary advisor to work with the student until a supervisory committee is established. A Supervisory Committee Approval form (SCAF) must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for approval by the end of the student’s third semester in the program. Committee changes must be documented by submitting a SCAF revision form, and are not to be made during the six weeks prior to the final defense.
A doctoral supervisory committee must include at least five faculty members with doctoral degrees who are members of the Graduate Faculty. Three members must be from within and at least one must be from outside the department or interdepartmental degree-granting program in which the student is enrolled. Upon recommendation of the department head, emeritus faculty may serve on supervisory committees, but may not chair new committees.
The supervisory committee specifies the student’s Program of Study; supervises the student’s qualifying examination (if there is one) and comprehensive examination, unless some other departmental or program procedure is in place; approves the dissertation proposal; supervises the student’s research and preparation of the dissertation; and conducts the final oral examination. The major professor is the chairperson of the committee and usually directs the student’s research. Continuation in a doctoral program is contingent upon the availability of a major professor.
By the end of the third semester, the student should have submitted a Program of Study to the School of Graduate Studies. Amendments to the Program of Study form may be made by submitting to the School of Graduate Studies a completed Program of Study Revision form. Submission of a new Program of Study is not necessary.
The student and all committee members are required to sign a Data and Copyright form and an Authorship form. The forms are available on the School of Graduate Studies website, and must be approved and submitted prior to School of Graduate Studies review of the student’s dissertation and degree completion.