Skip to main content

Current Students

PhD Dissertation Committees

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 can have a primary or secondary appointment in the candidate’s program department and must be present for the examination.
  • At least one current full-time faculty member at assistant professor rank or higher from outside or holding a secondary appointment in the student’s department can act as an “outside reader.”
  • 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 the material science faculty page are considered “inside” committee members, as defined above. 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, even if listed on the Materials Science faculty page.
  • Visual and cultural studies: All faculty listed on the faculty page are considered “inside” committee members, as defined above. 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: The biomedical engineering faculty page defines the roles of faculty members associated with the department. 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:

Name

Inside Department Designation

Julie Bentley

Optics

Thomas Boehly

Mechanical engineering

Howard Budd

Physics and astronomy

R. Stephen Craxton

Physics and astronomy

Jianming Dai

Optics

Jonathan Davies

Mechanical Engineering

Pawel de Barbaro

Physics and astronomy

William Donaldson

Electrical engineering

Bill Forrest

Physics and astronomy

Dustin Froula

Physics and astronomy

George Ginther

Physics and astronomy

Valeri Goncharov

Mechanical engineering

Daniel Haberberger

Physics and astronomy

David Harding

Chemical engineering

Stephen Jacobs

Optics

Stu Jordan

Political science

John Marciante

Optics

Andrei Maximov

Mechanical engineering

Jason Myatt

Mechanical engineering

Philip Nilson

Physics and astronomy

Judy Pipher

Physics and astronomy

Fred Rogosch

Clinical and social sciences in psychology

Ryan Rygg

Mechanical Engineering

Willis Sakumoto

Physics and astronomy

Thomas Sangster

Physics and astronomy

Ansgar Schmid

Mechanical engineering

Wolf Seka

Optics

Tolga Soyata

Electrical engineering

Marek Zielinski

Physics and astronomy