Dissertation committee composition

Ph.D. dissertation committees have the following characteristics (departments/programs may have additional requirements):

  • The committee consists minimally of four members. If there are co-chairs, the committee consists of five members.
  • At least two committee members must be from the student's home department/program.
  • The committee chair must hold a graduate faculty appointment in the home unit. If there are co-chairs, at least the one from the home unit holds a graduate faculty appointment.
  • At least one member, in addition to the chair, must hold a graduate faculty appointment. (For additional information see Graduate Faculty appointment criteria.)
  • The committee must have an external member who:
    • Broadens the dissertation committee beyond the home program to represent a different perspective by virtue of their field, location or knowledge application
    • Does not hold any salaried or contractual appointment, tenure line or retreat rights in the home program
    • Is familiar with the standards for doctoral research