The Thesis Director and Advisory Committee (M.A. and Ph.D.)
Student-thesis director relationships are established in one of two ways. Either the student becomes interested in a topic then selects a thesis director on the basis of his/her interest and competency in the area, or the student first becomes interested in the work of a particular faculty member, and then decides to write his/her thesis in that area. Either approach is acceptable. The important thing is that the student feel free to approach any member of the graduate faculty concerning the question of thesis advising. He/she should also feel free to change thesis advisors, although if this is done after the research is under way, it is likely to result in some delay I the completion of the thesis.
- Master of Arts
After their graduate program is launched, students should confer with their academic advisor or the Director of Graduate Study about a thesis. The present advisor may, or may not, serve as the director of the thesis, depending upon his/her academic interest, and availability, and the student's wishes. If someone other than the academic advisor is selected as the thesis director, the student may either retain his present academic advisor or request the thesis director to assume the entire advisory responsibility.
The two other members of the thesis advisory committee are appointed by the Director of Graduate Study, in consultation with the student and his/her advisor. The student will ask these members to serve on the committee. These members should be appointed early in the development of the thesis to assist in its preparation. However, the thesis director is chiefly responsible for supervising the preparation of the M.S. thesis, and will normally chair the student's M.A.: oral examination.
- Doctor of Philosophy
As soon as students have decided on what topic or in what general area they wish to write their dissertation, they should confer with their advisors and the Director of Graduate Study about the membership of their dissertation committee. This will consist of four departmental members and member from another department. (In some cases the committee may consist of three departmental members and may include two members from other departments and, with the approval of the University's Graduate Council, members from outside the University). The candidate's preference as to the membership of his/her dissertation committee members must be submitted to the Graduate School by the Director of Graduate Study at the same time that he/she certifies the passing of the comprehensive examination. This committee will constitute the nucleus of the final oral examining committee, will counsel with the student in the writing of his/her dissertation, and will pass on its merits.