Dissertation Committee

By the end of the 2nd semester, a student will select a Dissertation Advisor who must be a member of the Ph.D. in Biology Faculty. By the end of the 3rd semester, a student will form a Dissertation Committee that should complement the proposed plan of study and reflect the interdisciplinary focus of the program. The student will complete the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form and submit to the Graduate Coordinator.

The Dissertation Committee composition must follow these guidelines:

  • Be composed of no fewer than 4 members
  • Include the Dissertation Advisor who will serve as chair of the committee
  • Include at least two members from the Ph.D. in Biology Faculty (this includes the Dissertation Advisor)
  • At least 50% of the committee must be members of the Department of Biological Sciences (this includes the Dissertation Advisor, if applicable)
  • inclusion of member(s) on the Dissertation Committee from outside the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is allowed. Contact the Graduate Coordinator about required paperwork to obtain the necessary appointment for this purpose prior to submission of the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form. 

The Graduate Coordinator will submit the signed form to request approval of the Dissertation Committee from the Dean of the Graduate School after appropriate consultation with the Dissertation Advisor and the student.

One additional member of the Dissertation Committee will then be appointed by the Graduate School to serve as graduate faculty representative. The student may check a box on the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form if the Graduate School may select this representative. Alternatively, the student in consultation with the Dissertation Advisor may include a specific gradute faculty from outside the Department of Biological Sciences to act in this capacity. In this case, the student should also obtain the faculty member's signature on the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form.

The student and his/her Committee must meet by the end of the 3rd semester to set a timeline for the candidacy exam.

The student is required to meet with the Dissertation Committee once a year. This provides the Committee with an opportunity to give input for the student’s research and spot deficiencies, if any, in his/her course of conducting dissertation research.

A Dissertation Advisor can dismiss a student at any time because of poor performance under their direction or failure to demonstrate timely progression towards the degree. If a student is dismissed by his/her Dissertation Advisor, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for a replacement advisor within 4 months. If no faculty member has agreed to serve as the Dissertation Advisor within the designated time period, the student will be terminated from the program. The student must notify the Graduate Coordinator of the new Dissertation Advisor using the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form.