RUL 02.25.07 – Graduate Student Advisory Committee

Authority: Dean of the Graduate School

History:  First Issued:  June 1, 2002.  Last Revised:  November 29, 2011.

Additional References:
Graduate Administrative Handbook 3.2
Schedule of Required Documents
Graduate Advisory Committee Appointment Form for Inter-institutional Member
Graduate Advisory Committee Appointment Form for External Member/Technical Consultant

Contact Info: Dean of the Graduate School (919-515-7956)


1.  INTRODUCTION

1.1  It is the student’s responsibility, with the assistance of his/her graduate advisor, to select a graduate advisory committee.  The graduate advisor serves as chair or co-chair of the committee, consisting of graduate faculty members.  The Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) approves and electronically submits the advisory committee names to the Graduate School for final approval.

2.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE REQUIREMENT AND COMPOSITION

2.1  Committee administrative structure

2.1.1  Every committee shall have a chair or two co-chairs or a chair and a vice-chair.

2.1.2  A vice-chair is a full member of the graduate faculty and is required on doctoral committees in which the chair is an associate member of the graduate faculty.  The vice-chair, who is subordinate to the chair, will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures are followed and that adequate mentoring of the student is taking place.  In no other situation will a vice-chair be allowed.

2.1.3  Co-chair means equally shared responsibilities.

2.2  For master’s students in all programs except Option B, the committee consists of a minimum of three graduate faculty members, including the graduate major advisor or committee chair.  If a minor has been declared, one member of the committee must be from the minor field.  The Graduate School verifies the committee when the DGP submits the Request for a Permit to Schedule the Master’s Oral Examination.

2.3  If a minor has not been declared, it is up to the individual program whether to require external representation on the committee.  In a master’s program of graduate study in which the minor is classified as interdisciplinary, one of the areas must be represented by a committee member from that area.

2.4  Option B master’s students do not require a committee.  However, the Graduate School will verify the appropriate major advisor when the DGP submits the student’s Request for Option B Graduation Checkout.

2.5  Doctoral programs require a minimum of four graduate faculty members, including the graduate advisor who serves as chair, co-chair, or vice-chair of the committee.  One of these faculty members must be from the minor field if the student has declared a minor.  At the time that the Plan of Graduate Work is approved, the Graduate School appoints the Graduate School Representative to serve on the doctoral committee.

2.6  If a doctoral graduate committee has no representation outside of the student’s graduate program, a Graduate School Representative is required.

2.7  When a minor is not required and has not been declared, it is up to individual programs whether to require external representation on the four-person committee (excluding the Graduate School Representative).  An associate member of the graduate faculty may co-chair the committee if the other co-chair is a full member, and may chair the committee as long as a full member serves as vice-chair.

2.8  The committee is indicated on the Plan of Graduate Work, which is submitted no later than when the student has completed 18 hours of graduate course work.  In this way, the committee is officially recommended by the DGP and must be approved by the Graduate School at the time of the approval of the Plan of Graduate Work.

2.9  At the time that the Plan of Graduate Work is approved, the Graduate School appoints the Graduate School Representative to serve on the doctoral committee.

3.  COMMITTEE MEMBERS FROM INSTITUTIONS OTHER THAN NC STATE

In addition to faculty members from NC State, there are three types of non-NC State faculty who may be appointed to a graduate committee: inter-institutional faculty, external (voting) members and technical consultants.

3.1  Inter-institutional Graduate Faculty

3.1.1  Graduate Faculty from UNC-CH, UNC-G, and Duke

3.1.1.1  A member of the graduate faculty from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro or Duke University may serve as one of the required committee members when appropriate.

3.1.1.2  Members of professional programs at these institutions, such as faculty at the School of Law or Medical School at UNC or Duke, cannot serve as automatic graduate faculty unless their appointment at their respective institution explicitly states that they are on the graduate faculty at their school.

3.1.1.3  A Graduate Advisory Committee Appointment Form for Inter-institutional Member must be completed for graduate faculty from these institutions.

3.1.2  Cooperative Doctoral Program Graduate Faculty from UNC-system Institutions

Faculty from UNC-C, UNC-W, and NC A&T participating in cooperative doctoral programs with NC State do not require a special form to be appointed to a student’s advisory committee.

3.2  External Members

A faculty member from another university (who is not an interinstitutional graduate faculty member) or a professional from industry or government with credentials comparable to those required for membership on the graduate faculty, may serve as an external member, in addition to the number of committee members normally required.  To appoint an external member, the DGP must submit a Graduate Advisory Committee Appointment Form for External Member/Technical Consultant, along with the proposed external member’s curriculum vitae.

3.2.1  Responsibilities:

3.2.1.1  External members will have full voting privileges and are expected to participate in the student’s preliminary and final examinations.  They will also be consulted in the development of the student’s Plan of Graduate Work and will sign the thesis or dissertation of students in thesis and dissertation programs.

3.3  Technical Consultants

A person from industry, a governmental agency, or a university, may, upon recommendation of the committee and the DGP, serve as a technical consultant, along with the required committee members.  To appoint a technical consultant, students must submit a Graduate Advisory Committee Appointment Form for External Member/Technical Consultant to the Graduate School, along with a statement describing the technical consultant’s potential contribution to the student’s research or project.

3.3.1  Responsibilities:

3.3.1.1  Technical consultants serve in an advisory capacity to students in the conduct of research for their dissertation, thesis or master’s project.  Technical consultants are expected to participate in the student’s preliminary and final examinations and may sign the thesis of students in thesis degree programs.  However, they will not vote on the outcome of the examinations.

4.  REPRESENTATION WHEN MINOR COURSE WORK IS TAKEN AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION

4.1  When all or most of the course work in the minor has been completed at another institution and the area involved is one in which NC State offers a graduate program, the Plan of Graduate Work must be approved by a faculty member of the appropriate NC State department who serves as a member of the student’s advisory committee.

4.2  In certain approved minors, all of the course work may occur at UNC-CH, Duke, or UNC-G.  A graduate faculty member from the appropriate institution must represent the minor.

5.  SUBSTITUTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS FOR EXAMS

5.1  Under extenuating circumstances, it may be necessary for a member of a graduate advisory committee to have a substitute at committee meetings or the exam.  The substitution of a committee member on an oral examination must be requested in writing by the DGP and be approved by the Graduate School in advance of the examination.

6.  PERMANENT CHANGES IN COMMITTEE MEMBERS

6.1  Changes before examinations

Should the student, in consultation with his or her advisor, wish to change any of the committee members, he or she must submit a revised Plan of Graduate Work with the new members, indicating that this change has been approved by the advisor and by the DGP. Original signatures of the student, the committee members, and the DGP must be included.  The DGP must submit the revised and signed Plan of Work to the Graduate School.

6.2  Changes after preliminary examinations

Changes in doctoral committee membership after preliminary exams requires signatures of both outgoing and incoming committee members and the student, as well as a justification for the committee change.  Approval by the Graduate School is required before holding any examinations.