Guidance Committee Formation
Information on thesis/practicum guidance committee formation
Thesis or Practicum Advisory Committee
In consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, the master's student will form a thesis or practicum advisory committee.
First, the student should select a committee chair. The selection should be made on the basis of a convergence of substantive/ professional interests between the student and the graduate faculty member, as well as exploratory discussions concerning the various options (thesis or practicum) for completing the degree. Once a chair has been selected and that faculty member has agreed to serve, the guidance committee should be developed jointly by the chair and the student in accordance with the following guidelines:
(1) For students choosing the thesis option: The committee shall consist of the major professor (the committee chair), another member of the department (the second reader), and an additional member from outside the department (the third reader), all of whom must be members of the graduate faculty. The extra-department member should be selected from a discipline that is closely related to sociology and/or a discipline with expertise relevant to the student's research topic. Once the prospective committee has been formed and its members have agreed to serve, the guidance committee form should be completed and submitted for approval to the graduate program coordinator, the department chair, and the dean of the graduate school. The committee is then officially appointed by the graduate dean.
(2) For students choosing the practicum option: The committee shall consist of the major professor (the committee chair) and another member of the department, both of whom must be members of the graduate faculty. Once the prospective committee has been formed and its members have agreed to serve, the guidance committee form should be completed and submitted for approval to the graduate program coordinator and the department chair.
In forming a guidance committee, it is the student's responsibility to complete the guidance committee form and secure all necessary signatures. If, for some reason, the student believes that it is necessary or desirable to have as a member of the guidance committee a faculty member who is not a member of the graduate faculty, that person may serve as an additional member. The appointment of a non-graduate faculty member to a guidance committee requires special approval by the dean of the graduate school. The student must submit a written petition, along with a letter of recommendation from his/her guidance committee chair justifying the appointment, to the graduate program coordinator and the department chair. If the graduate program coordinator and the department chair concur with the recommendation of the guidance committee chair, they will formally submit the petition, along with their endorsement, to the dean of the graduate school for final approval.