In addition to the major professor, the student is required to have a graduate advisory committee consisting of approved faculty members. The student’s advisory committee serves:
- to guide, inform, and counsel the student;
- to discuss and approve a plan of study;
- to discuss and approve a thesis, or dissertation, topic and research project proposal;
- to review process and provide advice during the student’s research;
- to conduct the requisite oral and written examinations.
To avoid serious problems at later stages in their programs of study, students are strongly encouraged to develop close working relationships with their advisory committee members. To foster this, students are strongly encouraged to give regular progress reports (written or verbal) to all committee members. Because of the critical role of the advisory committee, M.S. students should establish their committees by the end of the first semester of study, while Ph.D. students should establish theirs by the end of the first year of study.