The Doctoral Degree in Geography

Dissertation Committee

Your dissertation committee must be established no later than the completion of 18 credit hours of coursework related to your doctoral degree. At least four members of the graduate faculty comprise the dissertation committee including your advisor. The Chair of the Dissertation Committee is the student’s advisor or major professor with whom the student works most closely, and this person must be from the Geography Department with expertise in the area of the dissertation research. Others on the committee must be competent to judge the research. Students are not permitted to write dissertations in areas where there is no research expertise among members of the faculty. The committee must consist of three members from the geography faculty. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm the willingness of each committee member to serve. The committee must be approved by the Graduate School after receiving recommendation by the Director of Graduate Studies or the Department Head. This committee helps you prepare your plan of study and guides the development of your dissertation. Of the four members, two (including the Chair), must be members of the graduate faculty; no more than one may be an adjunct graduate faculty member. One member must be selected from a minor area of study.

Changes in the doctoral committee are made by the committee chair and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or the Department Head at the request of the student, and with approval of faculty members involved, when such changes can best serve the student’s programmatic and research needs. Committee changes during the final semester prior to the defense of the dissertation are NOT permitted, except in highly unusual cases.  Committee changes may be recommended to the Director of Graduate Studies or Department Head through the Committee Revision Form.