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PhD Dissertation Committees

As codified in the Graduate Studies Bulletin:

The committee for the final examination for the PhD degree is appointed by the University dean of graduate studies on the advice of the appropriate associate dean of graduate studies. The committee shall consist of:

  • At least two current full-time tenure-track members with the rank of assistant professor or higher who hold their primary appointments in the department offering the degree program, or are among the core faculty defined for an interdisciplinary PhD program, in the role of “inside members.” The dissertation advisor or supervisor may or may not hold a primary appointment in the department offering the candidate’s degree program but is considered to be inside that department or program for the purpose of committee membership. The advisor must be present for the examination.
  • At least one current full-time faculty member at assistant professor rank or higher from outside the department offering the degree program or not a core member of the interdisciplinary degree program faculty, in the role of “outside reader.” The holder of a secondary appointment in the department offering the candidate’s degree program may serve as the outside member, provided that his or her primary appointment is in another department. A committee made up of faculty members whose primary appointments are all in the same department will not be permitted.

Exceptions to the above must be approved in writing.

The University dean of graduate studies may appoint no more than one guest member, with vote, to any PhD final examination when requested by the program director or chair of the department concerned. The guest member may either replace or be in addition to the usual outside reader.

Such guest members shall be recognized experts in the field of the dissertation, but not necessarily members of a university faculty. A guest member who is not a current or former faculty member of the University must be approved by the University dean of graduate studies prior to the dissertation being registered. A request to the University dean of graduate studies must include a curriculum vitae and must have been approved by the associate dean of graduate studies in the relevant school.

Interdisciplinary Programs
For interdisciplinary programs, “inside” and “outside” committee members are specifically defined as follows:

  • Materials Science: all faculty listed on this page are considered “inside” committee members, as defined above: https://www.rochester.edu/college/matsci/faculty.html  For “outside” committee members, any full-time faculty member at assistant professor rank or higher from outside the student’s advisor’s primary department may assume the role of an “outside” committee member and/or chair of the committee.
  • Visual and Cultural Studies: all faculty listed on these pages are considered “inside” committee members, as defined above:
    http://www.rochester.edu/college/vcs/people/faculty/index.html
    Any full-time faculty member at assistant professor rank or higher who is not on this list may assume the role of an “outside” committee member and/or chair of the committee.
  • Biomedical Engineering: this page defines the roles of faculty members associated with the Biomedical Engineering program: http://www.rochester.edu/college/gradstudies/current/bme-faculty.html.  Students must have two members from the list of approved “inside” faculty on their committees, and the “outside” committee member can either come from those specified on this list as “outside” or any full-time faculty member at assistant professor rank or higher who is not on this list.

Faculty Approved to Serve on Committees (Senior Scientists)
The following faculty have also been approved to serve on PhD committees as an "inside" member in the specified department:

NameInside Department Designation
Julie BentleyOptics
Thomas BoehlyMechanical Engineering
Howard BuddPhysics and Astronomy
R. Stephen CraxtonPhysics and Astronomy
Jianming DaiOptics
Pawel de BarbaroPhysics and Astronomy
William DonaldsonElectrical Engineering
Bill ForrestPhysics and Astronomy
Dustin FroulaPhysics and Astronomy
George GintherPhysics and Astronomy
Valeri GoncharovMechanical Engineering
Daniel HaberbergerPhysics and Astronomy
David HardingChemical Engineering
Stephen JacobsOptics
Stu JordanPolitical Science
John MarcianteOptics
Andrei MaximovMechanical Engineering
Jason MyattMechanical Engineering
Philip NilsonPhysics and Astronomy
Judy PipherPhysics and Astronomy
Fred RogoschClinical and Social Sciences in Psychology
Willis SakumotoPhysics and Astronomy
Thomas SangsterPhysics and Astronomy
Ansgar SchmidMechanical Engineering
Wolf SekaOptics
Tolga SoyataElectrical Engineering
Marek ZielinskiPhysics and Astronomy