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Culminating Project

Forming your Committee for a Master's Level Project

The most important consideration when beginning a thesis, starred paper, creative work, internship/portfolio or project/portfolio is the selection of at least three active graduate faculty members to serve as committee members.  The student's advisor will often be one of the committee members but any active graduate faculty member associated with the program may be requested as chair.  Each graduate student, after consulting with her/her advisor or committee chair, should ask two other graduate faculty, based on each member's potential value in the area of research undertaken, to serve.  The student's selected committee must be comprised of:

  • The program advisor or committee chair
  • Two additional active graduate faculty members from
    • the academic unit;
    • a clearly related discipline; or
    • a content expert eligible for temporary membership in the graduate faculty (must have a master's degree)

A fourth reader serving as a content expert is not required but may be included on a student committee and do not require a graduate faculty appointment but must complete and submit a volunteer form.

To Do

  • Identify a committee chair through meeting with your advisor, reading your graduate program handbook, and speaking with graduate faculty in your program.
  • Discuss your project with your chair and identify graduate faculty members appropriate to guide and review your project.
  • Complete a culminating project committee composition approval form. The form must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies at least 20 days prior to holding a preliminary conference meeting.
  • If requesting a fixed term, adjunct or emeriti faculty member to serve on your committee, the individual must request temporary membership to the graduate faculty through the hiring department before Graduate Studies will approve your request. Faculty members may check Graduate Studies faculty records through Sharepoint to verify graduate faculty status.
  • If requesting a content expert eligible for a temporary graduate faculty appointment (having a master's degree or higher) complete the External to SCSU Committee Member request form and submit it with your committee composition approval form. The requested individual will need to complete the volunteer agreement (included with the request form) and provide a CV or resume.
  • Include volunteer forms for an external fourth reader (content expert) as needed.