Grad Guide – Academics – Committee

Doctoral Supervisory Committee

Th doctoral supervisory committee is the one that evaluates your readiness for dissertation work in the oral part of the qualifying exam and is the group of faculty to whom you defend your dissertation. When you start your job search, the people on your committee are the ones you will turn to in asking for letters of reference.

A doctoral supervisory committee typically consists of five members of the graduate faculty, including your advisor, designated as chair, and including an external member who is not allowed to have a joint appointment in mathematics. At least three members, including the chair, must have appointments in the Department of Mathematics. For each declared minor, the committee must have a representative in that discipline. A representative for a minor may serve as the external member.

You may form a committee with only four members, but the oral qualifying exam and the thesis defense must be attended by five appropriate graduate faculty members, including all committee members. If you add or change committee members later, as the direction of your research is more well-defined, a change of committee form is required, which should be filed before the term in which you graduate.

When you have secured an advisor for your PhD program, you should consult with your advisor on the composition of your advisory committee. If you and your advisor participate in an on-going seminar, then choosing one or more regular attenders of the seminar will make it easy for you to share mathematical ideas. If you are in an interdisciplinary field or plan to take a minor in a related area, the person you took a course from or encountered in interdisciplinary seminars may be a good candidate for your outside member.

Ask the Graduate Secretary for the Doctoral Supervisory Committee form so you can collect the signatures and information about your external committee member necessary for the Graduate Secretary to arrange to have the committee officially nominated by the Department of Mathematics, approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and appointed by the Graduate School.

Supervisory Committees for the Master of Science (exam option)

A supervisory committee is not required for the Master of Science in Mathematics (exam option) or for the Master of Science in Applied Mathematics (exam option).

If you have completed your written masters exams more than six months prior to your intended date of graduation, you will need to take a final oral exam and should form a committee to handle the job no later than the term prior to graduation.

Supervisory Committees for the Master of Science (thesis option), Master of Arts in Teaching, and Master of Science in Teaching degrees

A supervisory committee for the Master of Science in Mathematics (thesis option), the MAT and MST degrees typically consists of three members of the graduate faculty, at least two from the Department of Mathematics, with your advisor as the chair. For each declared minor, a representative of the minor discipline is required to be on the committee. It must be in place the term before you graduate. See the Graduate Secretary for the form appropriate to your degree to secure signatures of your committee members attesting to their willingness to serve. The Graduate Secretary will use this form to have the committee officially nominated.