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Guidance Committee

The Guidance Committee's functions are to:

  1. Assist in planning the entire program of study and research,
  2. Complete a yearly progress/evaluation report which will be permanently filed in the student's Program file,
  3. Approve the final program of study through GradPlan,
  4. Administer the comprehensive and final examinations,
  5. Provide guidance and advice in addition to that given by the major professor, and
  6. Involve the Genetics and Genome Sciences Program (GGS) graduate student in constructive discussions concerning his/her research.


The Guidance Committee must be established at the beginning of the second year of the student's doctoral study. The GGS Program graduate student and the major professor mutually select the Guidance Committee. The University requires that a Guidance Committee consist of at least four tenure-track faculty members, three of whom, including the major professor, must be participating members of the Genetics Program faculty. More than four persons may be members of the Guidance Committee. Additional committee members can contribute to the student's program and need not be tenure-track faculty or members of the Genetics Program faculty.

Change in Guidance Committee Member

Any change in a Guidance Committee member should be discussed first with the major professor and, then, with the GGS Program Director. If a student desires to change a member of the Guidance Committee, the change should be requested as early as possible in the graduate training program. All changes in membership must be reported in writing to the GGS Program Office, and entered in GradPlan for tracking and approvals of the Guidance Committee members, the GGS Program Director, the Office of the Dean, College of Natural Science, and the Graduate School.

First Guidance Committee Meeting

The following topics are some of the issues to be considered and resolved at the first Guidance Committee meeting.

  1. Discuss course work requirements and make decisions regarding courses to be taken to insure that the student has a comprehensive knowledge of genetics and related subjects. The courses that a student is required to complete will depend on prior academic background in relation to the selected graduate program. The PhD Degree Plan should be filed by the student and approved by committee members online through GradPlan.
  2. The graduate student should discuss the topic of his/her dissertation research, and planning for the comprehensive examination.
  3. Discuss plans for completing the GGS Program teaching requirement.

Frequency of Committee Meetings

GGS Program graduate students should make the initial contact and subsequently work closely with his/her Guidance Committee. Frequent consultation with all committee members is essential. They can provide valuable information regarding the student’s selection of courses, academic planning, experimental progress and interpretation of research results. Frequent consultation with Guidance Committee members will return excellent dividends. The University requires graduate students to meet at least once a year with the full committee members. A written report of the yearly meetings must be provided to the GGS Program Office. The form GGS Program Guidance Committee Report may be used for this purpose.