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 Genetics Program file,
(3) approve the final program of study, sign and file the form Report of the Guidance Committee - Doctoral and Other Programs,
(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 Program 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 Genetics 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 Genetics 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 and filed with the Genetics Program Office, the Office of the Dean, College of Natural Science, and each member of the Guidance Committee.

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. Within one semester after the committee has met, a copy of the form Report to the Guidance Committee - Doctoral and Other Programs, available from the Genetics Program Office, listing all degree requirements, should be filled out by the major professor and the Guidance Committee. The completed form should be given to the Genetics Program Secretary. All committee members should sign this form, agreeing to the course work requirements, a tentative dissertation subject and an approximate date when the comprehensive exam will be taken.

2) The graduate student should discuss specific topics to be covered in the oral portion of the comprehensive exam (see next section) with each Guidance Committee member. If possible, agree on the topics for the comprehensive exam at the first Guidance Committee meeting and include the list of topics on the form, Record of Comprehensive Examinations for Doctoral Degree and Educational Specialist Degree Candidates. The Genetics Program graduate student should make an appointment with each Guidance Committee member to discuss books and papers to prepare him/her for the oral portion of the comprehensive examination.

3) Discuss plans for completing the Genetics Program teaching requirement and make these plans known in writing to the Genetics Program Director and Genetics Program Secretary.

Frequency of Committee Meetings
Genetics 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 Genetics Program Office. The form Genetics Program Yearly Guidance Committee Report may be used for this purpose.