Committee and Research Topic

Policy in Catalog:

Degree Requirements in the School of Marine Science Graduate Catalog - Advisory Committee

Forms:

Select an Advisory Committee and Research Topic
Request a Change in Advisory Committee

General Information:
Committee Composition & Research Topic

The advisory committee is chosen by the student in consultation with the major advisor. A M.S. committee has at least four members and a Ph.D. committee has at least five members. A majority of the committee members must be from the SMS faculty, as published in the current graduate catalog.  For a committee of four or five, three members will be from the SMS faculty. For a committee of six, four members will be from the SMS faculty. One of the SMS faculty members must be from outside of the student's research discipline and outside of the student's home department.  For doctoral students one of the five committee members must be from outside of W&M.  If you wish to include a committee member who is not a member of the SMS faculty, the individual must possess a terminal degree in a relevant field and have appropriate experience.  If you have any questions, please contact the [[ad-as,Associate Dean of Academic Studies]] for further information in advance of inviting an individual from outside of the SMS faculty to serve.

Your committee must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Studies.   At the time you select your committee you will also declare the topic area for your research. To make it official, formally select your committee and identify your research topic area within 9 months of your program start date.  We recommend that you complete the form before the end of the Spring semester at the latest (for students entering in the Fall).

Remote Participation of Committee Members

Committee members are expected to attend the qualifying exam and defense in person. Should a committee member need to participate remotely, however, the advisor should alert the moderator and confirm the availability of adequate means of communications, both at VIMS and at the remote location. The approval of the Associate Dean of Academic Studies is required in the event that more than one committee member participate remotely. When you schedule your qualifying exam or defense, you will be asked to identify which committee members, if any, will participate remotely.

Planning to Bypass the M.S. Degree?

A master's student will initially form a committee with four members, using the above committee composition guidelines. Once the Notification of Intent to Bypass is submitted and approved, a student is required to constitute an examination committee in accordance with the requirements for a Ph.D. program advisory committee prior to the comprehensive exam. Before the comprehensive exam is scheduled, you will need to submit a Request to Change in Advisory Committee form to the [[registrar, SMS Registrar]].

Last Updated: 18-AUG-2017 by J. Hay