Graduate Committee

After you have completed two courses you need to begin forming your graduate committee and complete the applicable form.

Contact your temporary adviser (listed in your letter of acceptance) to help you identify potential candidates for your major professor and graduate program of study (POS) committee (graduate committee).  Your major professor and graduate committee will help guide you in the development of a graduate program of study.  After the graduate POS committee has been selected, it guides and evaluates you during the remainder of graduate study.

Among the committee’s duties are:

  • Reviewing periodically the progress of the student
  • Advising a student during the development of the creative component/final oral exam materials
  • Considering and approving the student’s program of study as well as changes in the program of study
  • Reading the creative component/final oral exam
  • Conducting the final oral examination


Members of your graduate committee include the following:

  • Major professor: The major professor — who must be a member of the graduate faculty in the student’s declared major — serves as chair of the graduate POS committee.
  • Two Committee Members:
    • One term graduate faculty member. Any graduate faculty member or term graduate faculty member may serve as a member of a master’s or doctoral POS committee.
    • One member from outside the student’s field of emphasis. The outside graduate faculty member(s) of the POS committee provide relevant specialized knowledge or a different perspective helpful to the planning, execution, and reporting of research or they provide some aspect of intellectual diversity deemed important by the committee and/or major.  For GPIDEA programs, this outside person is usually a faculty member from another participating institution. 


You must complete your Graduate Committee Form and Program of Study Form within your first 9 credit hours in your program. It is your responsibility to contact your temporary adviser to start this process.

Follow the Graduate Committee form (Recommendation for Graduate Committee form) guidelines.

Working with your major professor and POS committee

Your POS committee could meet with you through a conference call or you may want to come to campus to meet your committee. Your major professor will likely provide advising by telephone and email.