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Every graduate student must form a faculty committee to oversee the process of thesis or dissertation completion.

A thesis committee is composed of three members of the MU faculty: a major advisor from the academic program (i.e., department, unless it is an interdisciplinary program not housed in a department), a second reader from the academic program, and a third reader from either the academic program or member of the graduate faculty from a different MU graduate program.

The doctoral program committee is composed of a minimum of four members of MU graduate faculty.* Three members must come from the student’s academic department or interdisciplinary degree program. The fourth may come from either a different academic department/interdisciplinary degree program at MU or from within the student’s home unit. Every department and interdisciplinary program must have a formal documented policy that establishes whether the fourth member is required to be from outside the student’s department or program. The fourth member’s role includes ensuring procedural fairness and objectivity, maintaining appropriate standards for scholarly work, offering interdisciplinary perspectives and complementary expertise. As such, having a fourth member from outside the department or program is an important consideration. At least two of the doctoral committee members, including the student’s advisor, must be MU doctoral faculty.

*Exceptionally, the Doctoral Nursing Program uses a three-member committee.

Committee formation