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Dissertation Committee

The primary function of the committee is to advise the student in all aspects of the educational program and to monitor and evaluate progress toward and completion of the degree. It is the students’ responsibility, in consultation with their graduate advisors, to select graduate advisory committees. The graduate advisor(s) serves as chair or co-chair of the committee. The Director of Graduate Programs approves and electronically submits the advisory committee names to the Graduate School for final approval as part of the Plan of Work. Faculty research expertise can be found in the NC State Catalog

Requirements and Composition

  • Every committee shall have a chair or co-chairs. The co-chair designation implies equally shared responsibilities in guiding the student through to degree completion.
  • Doctoral committees require a minimum of four graduate faculty members.
  • If a doctoral graduate committee has no outside representation beyond the student’s graduate program by a member of the graduate faculty, a Graduate School Representative is required. This representative is not a voting committee member.
  • If the student has declared a minor, one of the committee members must be from the minor field.
  • The committee membership is submitted for approval as part of the Plan of Work.
  • At the time that the committee is approved, the Graduate School appoints the Graduate School Representative to serve on the doctoral committee, if required.


If you want to make changes to your committee after a Plan of Work is approved or to select committee members from other institutions, here are the required forms:

More information concerning advisory committees can be found at NC State Graduate Handbook 3.2 Advisory Committee.