Ph.D. advisory committee

As soon as you pass the qualifying exam, you select an initial Ph.D. advisory committee of two faculty members whose responsibility is to supervise progress toward the degree. Usually one of these two faculty members will become your thesis adviser.

Selecting and expanding the Ph.D. committee

An expanded Ph.D. committee typically includes the members of the advisory committee. It is formed after your official admission to candidacy. The full committee consists of at least four faculty members from your major and minor fields.

It is your responsibility to choose a member of the faculty of the Physics department as the chairperson of your Ph.D. committee, and to obtain the faculty member’s acceptance. All final decisions concerning the adequacy of the candidate’s training and the satisfaction of applicable regulations rest with the Ph.D. committee. The Graduate School requires that the committee be nominated and approved at least six months prior to the final oral Ph.D. dissertation examination. Forms for the appointment of the student’s committee are available in the Physics Academic Administration Office.

Dissertation proposal

A proposal for your dissertation topic must be submitted at the time the committee is nominated. This should contain a clear statement of the proposed research, an outline of the methods and resources to be used, an indication of the questions which will be answered by the study, and a statement concerning the contribution which the study will make to the discipline. The proposal should be one or two pages in length.

Final oral dissertation exam

The final oral dissertation examination will be conducted by the candidate’s Ph.D. committee. It consists of a presentation by the candidate followed by questions on the candidate's major and minor fields of work, as well as his/her thesis. The candidate should check in the Physics Academic Administration Office regarding the procedures of this examination. More information can be found on the graduate school site. (Upcoming PhD Dissertation Defense Announcements)

Thesis requirements

There are detailed procedures and requirements for the submission of a thesis to the Graduate School. An updated version of these may be obtained from the Physics Academic Administration Office. Further information may be obtained from the Graduate School, Kirkwood Hall 111, 855-9343.

For general rules concerning advanced degrees, the student should consult the Univeristy Graduate School Bulletin.

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