Graduate Committees

Graduate Student Committees

 Revised 4/16/07
 
Faculty committees approve programs of study, conduct preliminary oral and final examinations,  and provide continuing oversight of students' progress during the course of their graduate studies.  Graduate committees are usually formed when the program of study is formally approved (Program Meeting).  As shown in the summary below, the deadlines for program approval and the composition of committees varies depending on the degree sought and the particular committee responsibility.  For Master's degrees, the "committee" may consist of only the major professor up to the time of the final examination.

Annual Meeting Requirement: It is Physics Department policy that all students meet annually with their committees.  A program meeting, an oral examination, or annual progress report meeting will satisfy this requirement. Forms for scheduling these events and reporting their occurrence must be submitted to the Graduate Secretary in the Physics Department Office.  Certain events must also be scheduled formally with the Graduate School (see below).  First-year students who have not yet formed a committee may meet with the Graduate Advisor in lieu of a committee meeting.

More detail on these requirements and various necessary forms may be found on the Graduate School webpages.

 

COMMITTEE COMPOSITION,  RESPONSIBILITIES,  AND DEADLINES FOR FORMATION

 

MS DEGREE  (NON-THESIS)

Program approval: Major and minor professors (if a minor is included) with sign-off by the Department Chair.  DEADLINE: Approved program must be filed before completing 18 graduate credits.

Final examination: Conducted by 3 members of the graduate faculty -- 2 in the major field and 1 in the minor field if a minor is included.  If no minor is included, the third member may be from the graduate faculty at large.  The final examination must be scheduled with the Graduate School.

 

MS DEGREE WITH THESIS

Program approval: Major and minor professors (if a minor is included) with sign-off by the Department Chair. DEADLINE: Approved program must be filed before completing 18 graduate credits.

Final examination (Thesis Defense): Conducted by 4 members of the graduate faculty -- 2 in the major field and 1 in the minor field if a minor is included, and a Graduate Council Representative (GCR).  If no minor is included, the fourth member may be from the graduate faculty at large. The examining committee must formally approve the thesis document. The final examination must be scheduled with the Graduate School.

 

PhD DEGREE

Program approval: 5 members of the graduate faculty, including two from the major department and a representative of the Graduate Council (GCR). This group constitutes the "doctoral committee."  DEADLINE: For students holding a master's degree, approved program must be filed by end of one calendar year of enrollment as a doctoral student; for students not holding a master's degree, approved program must be filed by end of the fifth quarter of enrollment as a doctoral student.  

Preliminary Oral ExamConducted by the doctoral committee, including the Graduate Council Representative.  DEADLINE: There is no official deadline, but it is Physics Department policy that the oral exam should be completed by the end of the third year of graduate study. The Preliminary Oral Exam must be scheduled with the Graduate School.

Annual Progress Report Meeting: An annual report by the student to the doctoral committee on the progress of the Ph.D. thesis research. The annual progress report meeting does not have to be scheduled with the Graduate School, and the participation of the Graduate Council Representative is optional.

Final Examination (Thesis Defense):  Conducted by the doctoral committee, including the Graduate Council Representative.  The Final Examination must be scheduled with the Graduate School.  The doctoral committee must formally approve the thesis document.