Responsibilities of the Ph.D. Student

Ph.D. Student Responsibilities

  • Students are responsible for calling advisory meetings with their dissertation advisors and advisory committee members, as needed, and organizing the time and place for these meetings.
  • Ideally, progress will be such that at least one committee meeting per semester with the full committee will be held. Meetings with the dissertation advisor and individual advisory committee members are held as often as needed.
  • Students will provide written drafts of work and meeting agendas at least 10 working days before meetings are held.
  • Make certain that all necessary Graduate School forms and paperwork are filed in a timely manner.
  • Provide to the Program Director the version of the dissertation prospectus that is to be included in the comprehensive exam for approval, with advisory committee signatures, before the date of the exam is set.
  • The student is responsible for finding a date and location for the public presentation and the oral defense of the dissertation prospectus. The date must be set to include either the Director of the Graduate Program and/or the department chair, as well as all advisory committee members.
  • Provide to the Program Director the final version of the dissertation prospectus with all requested revisions.
  • When the advisory committee deems the dissertation ready for defense, the student is responsible for finding a date and location for the public presentation and the oral defense. The date must be set to include either the Director of the Graduate Program and/or the department chair, as well as all advisory committee members.
  • Provide to the Program Director an electronic version of the revised and approved dissertation exactly as it is submitted to the University Library.
  • Assure that all Graduate Program forms, paperwork, and memos are filed with the Graduate School and are routed through the program director.
  • The student is ultimately responsible for making satisfactory progress.

Dissertation Advisor Responsibilities

Once the student files the Program of Study with the Graduate School, the student’s academic advisor changes from the Graduate Program Director to the faculty member named as the dissertation advisor on the Program of Study. By taking on the role of dissertation advisor, a faculty member agrees to invest a significant amount of time with the student. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to ensure that he/she has sufficient time for this role.

The number of advisees a faculty member takes on must be commensurate with an ability to provide for all student advisees. In cases where a faculty member has insufficient time or capacity to provide a strong dissertation advisory role, the Program Director may advise the student to choose a different dissertation advisor. While the dissertation advisor is not ultimately responsible for whether the student makes satisfactory progress, in cases where the faculty member is overcommitted, he/she will do the student a better service by requesting that the student finds another dissertation advisor. The faculty member may continue to advise the student as an advisory committee member.

  • The dissertation advisor will monitor the student’s progress.
  • If the student falls behind in achieving any milestones, the dissertation advisor will provide the Program Director with a written memo that indicates this as soon as possible once the milestone is missed. Subsequent decisions to terminate GRA/GTA funding are made by the Ph.D. Program Graduate Committee. The dissertation advisor may choose to provide written documentation of extenuating circumstances that impose unavoidable delays in academic progress.
  • The dissertation advisor will assist the student in:
    • Course selection
    • Developing the short dissertation proposal to distribute to prospective committee members.
    • Developing the dissertation prospectus
    • Providing feedback to develop a job market paper based on dissertation research
    • Dissertation research and writing.
  • The dissertation advisor will return comments, edits, etc. for all written work submitted by the student in a timely manner (within 10 working days from when it was received).
    • Chair the comprehensive exam
    • Provide to the Graduate Program Director a memo that defines the agreed comprehensive exam format and content before the student enrolls in the comprehensive exam credit
    • Provide a memo to the Graduate Program Director to report comprehensive exam results.
    • Provide a memo to inform that Graduate Program Director when the academic committee deems the dissertation ready for defense.

Dissertation Advisory Committee Members' Responsibilities

Dissertation Advisory committee members will:

  • Return comments, edits, etc. for all written work submitted by the student in a timely manner (within 10 working days from when it was received).
  • Attend committee meetings (about one per semester).
  • Meet with the student outside of committee meetings on an as needed basis.
  • Serve on the dissertation prospectus examination committee.
  • Serve on the dissertation examination committee.