Doctoral dissertation committee

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Doctoral dissertation committee

AccountabilityChairChecks and BalancesDissertation CommitteeExpertiseRoleSupport For some doctoral students, the dissertation process is more a lesson in frustration than a learning instrument that helps transform the individual from a student to an independent scholar.

Whereas the chair Doctoral dissertation committee often the center of the dissertation process, the dissertation committee usually occupies a position at the periphery. Nevertheless, the committee plays important roles that often benefit the university more than the student.

Although every program is different, the dissertation committee plays four roles in the dissertation process. Committee members run the gamut from highly involved players to figureheads simply occupying a seat.

Both have their advantages but understanding the role the committee is supposed to play can help the doctoral student understand what to expect from its members.

Checks and Balances Few universities allow a sole professor to confer a doctoral degree on a student.

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The remainder require that multiple people play a role in the development and eventual graduation of a doctoral student. The purposes for this are to ensure that certain standards and guidelines are adhered to and to protect the university from giving too much power to an individual professor.

The committee, therefore, provides a checks and balances service to the university. Of course, some committees do not get directly involved in the dissertation process.

Doctoral dissertation committee

Others are too involved, pulling the student in multiple directions simultaneously. This is why choosing a dissertation chair who is a good advocate is essential.

Multiple Sources of Support Those committee members who get actively involved in the dissertation process can be a source of support, preventing the dissertation chair from shouldering the entire responsibility.

Getting advice from multiple sources is invaluable to the student, provided committee members do not place conflicting demands on the student. In some cases, the student must find a way to simultaneously satisfy multiple bosses even when requirements are not congruent.

The result can be frustration, unnecessarily extended programs, or even failure to finish a program altogether. An individual does not conduct science and research; they are the result of multiple researchers contributing to a body of knowledge.

With multiple expertise from which to draw, the doctoral student is more likely to find the help that is needed when it is needed.

Accountability Mentioned above, the committee plays an important if not more important role for the university, in addition to the student. It is no secret that some professors are only interested in carving out their own territory within a university or department.

With multiple eyes watching what is going on, the university is less likely to suffer from the effects of a selfish chair.Guiding the candidate in the selection of Dissertation committee members. Guiding the candidate to set a realistic timeline for completion of the Dissertation.

is expected to engage in active preparation of the Dissertation process from the onset of the doctoral program. Candidates are responsible for choosing a topic, submitting proofread.

Doctoral Dissertation Committee Policy (effective August 28, ) Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, June 23, 2 faculty member on the committee and, in the case of a member who is not from the University of.

The Chair is responsible for guiding the candidate to produce doctoral level, original scholarship in the proposed topic area. Guiding the candidate in the selection of Dissertation committee members.

Guiding the candidate to set a realistic timeline for completion of the Dissertation. Nominations for dissertation committee service are made by means of the Dissertation Committee form found on the Rackham OARD website, which must be signed by the chair of .

The dissertation adviser must be a member of the doctoral committee. The dissertation adviser usually serves as chair, but this is not required. If the candidate is also pursuing a dual-title field of study, a co-chair representing the dual-title field must be appointed.

Doctoral Committee Student Advisement.


Upon entering the doctoral program, each student will be assigned an advisor. It is important that the doctoral student meet with his/her advisor to review program requirements before registering for any coursework. The advisor is separate from the dissertation committee chair (see next section), but may .

The Dissertation Committee: Responsibilities