University of Minnesota  FAQ

Graduate Advisor and Examination Committee Membership: Eligibility


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

  1. Who has the authority to review and approve assignments to committees and to specific roles such as advisor or chair?

    All appointments to graduate examination committees must first be approved by the program’s director of graduate studies. The collegiate dean or their designated representative at the collegiate level must also review and approve all appointments as advisor and all committee assignments. This responsibility may not be delegated to individual graduate programs.

  2. My program would like to assign a qualified academic staff member to serve as the primary advisor for a student. Who would approve this exception request?

    The collegiate dean or their designated representative at the collegiate level will review and approve all advising and committee assignments. They also have the ability to approve exceptions for advisor appointments, subject to individual review.

  3. Can someone from outside the University, and an expert in the area of the student’s research, serve as chair of the master’s final, doctoral preliminary or doctoral final oral examination committee?

    Individuals who are expert in the area of the student’s research may serve on a master’s or doctoral examination committee, subject to program and college approval, but may not serve as (co)advisor or (co)chair.

  4. Are colleges required to approve temporary advisor assignments at the time the students are admitted?

    No. The college approves the advisor when the membership of the preliminary and final oral examination committees is proposed.

  5. Is a faculty member who earned a Ph.D. degree at a non-U.S. university judged to be equivalent to an accredited institution in the U.S. eligible to serve as an advisor? On graduate examination committees?


  6. What is meant by “non-academic relationship” with respect to an individual’s eligibility to serve on the preliminary or final oral examination committee?

    A non-academic relationship” refers to an individual’s personal or financial relationship with the student — e.g., the individual is a member of the student’s family; r is the student’s spouse, partner or friend; or employs the student in a capacity not related to the student’s education. It does not include professional relationships — e.g., an individual who supervises the student’s research at the company where the student is employed.

  7. How can I find out who is eligible to serve on my graduate examination committee?

    For a current list of individuals who are eligible to serve on graduate examination committees, refer to the Faculty Role List.

  8. Can an emeritus faculty serve on a committee or as an advisor for a student?

    Emeritus faculty and faculty who have left the University may continue serving as advisor or on examination committees that were active at the time of their departure from the University, if both the faculty member and student agree in writing. New assignments for emeritus faculty or faculty who have left the University fall into the category of outside expert. Graduate programs may choose to appoint emeritus faculty or an outside expert as adjunct faculty with graduate education responsibilities in order for the individual to serve as advisor or chair.

  9. Who is responsible for adding/removing individuals from the Faculty Role List?

    Eligibility for inclusion on the Faculty Role List, and responsibility for ensuring accuracy of its accuracy is determined by program and collegiate processes.

  10. Who can serve as a co-advisor?

    Individuals who meet the conditions to serve as advisor outlined in #1 through #3 of the Graduate Advisor and Examination Committee Membership: Eligibility Requirements policy can serve as a co-advisor. Eligibility requirements for academic staff to serve as co-advisor are noted in #4 of the policy.