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Advisory and Dissertation Committee

The major advisor/dissertation committee chair must come from the host department, where the host department is defined as the department of the student’s concentration area.

  •  Only faculty members with Level II graduate faculty standing within the College of Engineering may serve as committee chair.
  • Level II faculty members from departments in engineering other than the host department, or CACs graduate faculty members, may serve as the major advisor to a student in another department providing that they have standing as an adjunct graduate faculty member in the host department. Permission for an adjunct graduate faculty member in the host department to serve as committee chair will be considered and granted by the chair of the host department on a case by case basis.

Where appropriate, a Ph.D. student may have two co-major professors. One of the co-major professors must hold Level II graduate faculty standing in the host department. The other co-major professor must hold Level II graduate faculty standing in: the host department, another engineering department, CACs, or a department in the Authement College of Science. This provision enables Level II graduate faculty from biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, or renewable resources to participate in the Systems Engineering PhD. Program.

The dissertation committee must have a minimum of five voting members with a maximum of seven voting members. At least one of the voting members must be from outside of the host department.

  • If the host department has fewer than four graduate faculty, the minimum of five voting committee members may be composed of three graduate faculty members from the host department and two graduate faculty members from other departments in the college of engineering or CACs.
  • Regardless of the number of voting committee members (between 5 and 7), no more than two can be from outside of the host department.

A simple majority vote of the Ph.D. committee, including a positive vote from the major advisor, will determine a student’s successful completion of their exams, proposal defense, and dissertation defense.

  • Every committee member must cast a vote.
  • If a committee member is unable to attend a meeting, their vote may be submitted in writing.
  • No vote is considered official unless at least three voting members are physically present at the meeting.

Every committee will also have at least one industry mentor who is a non-voting member. Industry mentors may come from industry or government laboratories/agencies. The industry mentor must participate in the Ph.D. committee meetings and meeting one-on-one with the student at least once (preferably on a regular basis) during her/his program of study.