Dissertation Examining Committee

The dissertation must be approved by a dissertation examining committee that includes at least three faculty members of the program and one outside member, appointed by the dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the graduate program director. The dissertation examining committee should be constituted such that it can provide both independent evaluation and expert advice on the dissertation.

  • Included in the makeup of the dissertation examining committee is a dissertation advisor, defense chairperson, a third member from the program, and at least one person outside the program or University.
  • The outside member should have expertise in the student’s research field so as to be able to understand, criticize, and contribute to the dissertation, as well as to judge the quality and significance of the research.
  • The dissertation advisor cannot serve as chairperson of the examining committee.
  • In order to provide an objective evaluation of the dissertation, no member of the dissertation committee may have a personal relationship with the student, such as a family or romantic relationship.
  • Requests for the committee approval must be sent to the Graduate School by the 15th day of classes during the semester that the dissertation defense scheduled, or four weeks prior to the date of the defense, whichever comes first.