Graduate Studies Committee:
The primary role and function of the Graduate Studies Committee is to oversee the
curriculum and policies of the department’s graduate program. As such, it sets policies
and procedures as described in the “Guide for Graduate Students” and functions as
a curriculum committee for graduate courses and requirements. On matters of change
to the program or its policies the Graduate Studies Committee makes recommendations
to the department as a whole. In cases of appeal it advises the department chair.
If you want to petition for an exception to the rules or policies, or for a non-standard
Ph.D. field or an extra Directed Readings class, or the like, you should submit a
written explanation of your request to the Graduate Coordinator, who will take it
to the committee for a decision. Whenever it is appropriate, which is most of the
time, you should ask a faculty member supporting your request either to sign your
statement with you or direct a separate statement to the Graduate Coordinator. None
of these petitions are pro forma, so you should always include a complete explanation and justification for your request.
The Graduate Studies Committee approves the membership of all thesis and dissertation
committees and sends its recommendation to the department chair, the College Director
of Graduate Studies, and the Dean of the Graduate School, who must also approve it
(although this is usually pro forma).
The Graduate Studies Committee does not perform the tasks of your Comps, Thesis, Advisory,
or Dissertation committees, which you should consult first about academic matters.
However, you should direct questions regarding department or university policy or
requirements for the degree to the Graduate Coordinator.