The Special Committee

The student’s program is guided by a special committee composed of graduate field faculty members chosen by the student in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The special committee system places considerable responsibility on the student to determine, with their special committee, appropriate courses and an appropriate program of study to fulfill the requirements for the degree. Under this system, the student works with the faculty members who can best direct the student’s course of study.

  • The minimum PhD special committee will consist of at least four members: the chair (“chair”) and at least two other members (“minor members”) must be from the Field of Communication, and one “additional member” whose primary appointment is outside of the field.
  • To ensure that a student is clearly identified with the Field of Communication, each student is encouraged to select their chair from the Field of Communication graduate faculty whose primary appointment is in the Department of Communication.
  • One field member will be appointed temporary advisor until the Chair is selected. The special committee chair should be selected and added by the student in Student Center by the end of the student’s first semester of registration. The minor members must be in place by the end of the third registered semester and the additional member needs to be secured before the A exam process can begin.
  • The special committee must meet at least twice a year.

Please see the Graduate School's website for additional information about special committees.