Thesis Committee

Students working toward a thesis degree will have the benefit of a committee of members of the graduate faculty. The committee will approve the course of study for the student and plan for research, supervise the research and any comprehensive qualifying exams, and read and approve the thesis for content and format.

The committee will consist of the major professor and at least two other members or co-major professors and at least one other member of the department or area of interest in which the degree is sought. (Colleges and Programs may require additional committee members and specify characteristics.)

Member Definition

All graduate faculty, as defined by the University and the College, and approved by their college, as qualified to be a member of and/or supervise a committee. Persons desiring to serve on a Graduate committee who are not defined as Graduate Faculty (i.e. visiting faculty, professionals, etc.) by the University and the College must submit a curriculum vitae and be approved by the College, and, as needed, the Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for each committee.

Committee members must meet the following requirements:

  • Be graduate or affiliate graduate faculty, as defined by the University
  • Have the background and expertise that contributes to the success of the student.

In addition to the requirements specified in the Graduate Faculty definition, committee membership will be based upon criteria developed within the appropriate program or department and approved at the college level.  These criteria must be forwarded to the Dean of the College.

Once a committee has been determined, a Supervisory Committee Form needs to be completed by the student and submitted to the Committee Members for original signatures. Check with the College for instructions and forms.  The original appointment form and two (2) copies should be submitted to the College Dean’s office for approval. A copy of the approved form should be kept in the student’s file. An approved and current Committee Form must be on file in the college before graduation may be certified. Committee forms need to be processed as early in the program as possible, but no later than the semester prior to graduation. (May institute additional requirements for membership on Supervisory Committees.)

Changes to Committee

Changes to a Supervisory Committee must be submitted on a Change of Committee Form.   Check with the College for instructions and forms.  Original signatures of faculty being added to the Committee, along with the approval signature of the (Co-) Major Professor(s), must be on the form. Faxed signatures are acceptable.  Faculty who are removed from the Committee are not required to sign the form, provided that the (Co-) Major Professor(s) has signed.  In such instances the signature of the (Co-)Major Professor(s) indicate(s) approval of the change, as well as acknowledgement and approval of the change by the removed member.  Any non-faculty being added to a committee must submit a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for college approval. Change of Committee Forms should be submitted for approval as soon as the change takes place. Changes to a Committee are official only once approved and filed by the program and college.