Advisory Committee

An Advisory Committee is required for each graduate student.

  • The PhD Advisory Committee consists of a chair and at least four Committee members.
  • The Masters Advisory Committee consists of a chair and at least two Committee members.

The advisor (and committee chair) should be a member of the Physics and Astronomy Department. Exceptions may be made but only with the approval of the graduate coordinator. Committee members are usually from the Physics and Astronomy Department. However, members from outside the department can be, and often are, added as well.

The purpose of the the Advisory Committee is to:

  • Assist in defining a suitable research topic
  • Provide counseling on appropriate courses to take and their sequence
  • Provide guidance and mentoring during the research. This is principally the role of the committee chair
  • Monitor research progress. Some duties here include
    • approving the prospectus
    • participating in the two annual progress evaluations
    • ensuring active participation in a research group
    • conduct the thesis/dissertation oral defense

An advisory committee is officially established when a student submits a Program of Study for Graduate Students form to the graduate secretary. This is typically done at the start of a student's second semester. The advisor or committee members may be changed by submitting a Request for Program of Study Change form with all appropriate signatures again to the graduate secretary. All changes should be made as early as possible in the program and with the consent of the faculty members being dropped and/or added.