After joining a Thesis Lab, students are required to form a Thesis Committee. The completed Thesis Committee Approval Form must be filled out and returned to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) Office by mid-March of the student’s first year.
I. Purpose of a Thesis Committee
- Guides the student through the process of earning their PhD degree
- Determines the requirements the student must meet in order to complete the PhD
- Assists the student in developing a program of advanced study in the student’s area of specialty
- Provides the student with an array of expertise, ideas and opportunities regarding the direction of their coursework and thesis
- Attends, evaluates and provides consultation for the student’s Preliminary Exam, annual Progress Report Meetings and final PhD Thesis Defense
- All members of the committee are considered “readers”; readers are committee members who commit themselves to closely reading and reviewing the entire dissertation.
II. Formation of a Thesis Committee
- The student must consult their Thesis Advisor to determine members of the Thesis Committee
- The following are requirements regarding Thesis Committee composition:
- A Doctoral Thesis Committee consists of at least 4 faculty members, including the Thesis Advisor, who serves as the committee chair.
- 3 Committee members must be internal (i.e., members of the PSD Program faculty or affiliate faculty), including the student’s Thesis Advisor
- At least 1 Committee member must be external (not a member of the primary PSD faculty). An affiliate faculty member who is not the Thesis Advisor may fill this role.
- By Graduate School rules, three of the four Thesis Committee members must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members, including graduate faculty up to one year after retirement or resignation.
- Master’s thesis committees must have at least three members. A MS Thesis Committee in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division consists of at least three graduate faculty members of the PSD (one of whom is the student’s Thesis Advisor). Former graduate faculty (up to one year after resignation or retirement) may serve.
- The required fourth member of a doctoral committee may be a member of UW–Madison’s academic staff with faculty appointment (e.g., clinical or CHS professors), or a visiting tenured/tenure-track faculty member from another institution (as approved by the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division faculty, 8-19-08).
- Download the Thesis Committee Approval Form.
- Obtain signatures of all Thesis Committee members on the form and submit to GPC office by mid-March of the student’s first year.
- If a member of the student’s Thesis Committee changes, submit a revised Thesis Committee Approval Form to the GPC office with the signature of the new member and the Thesis Advisor.
- If a student changes labs or Thesis Advisors, they must form a new Thesis Committee within 3 months and turn in a new Thesis Committee Approval Form to the GPC Office.