Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee plays a crucial role in the MA and PhD programs. It is responsible for directing and advising the student in planning a program of study; for supervising research and writing; and for assessing and attesting the student’s progress. Students should make use of their committees, particularly during the first months of the program and at formative stages of research and writing. The student and the full committee must meet at least once a year (preferably once a term), unless the student is on leave or in the field. In the latter cases, regular correspondence must be maintained.

Supervisory Committees operate according to the following guidelines:

  • Supervisory Committees should provide justification for membership in terms of the student’s program. The supervisor has the responsibility of providing that justification when the program is first submitted for approval and when any major change in the program, or any change in the composition of the committee, is made.
  • The Supervisory Committee Chair should justify the student’s program in terms of the student’s scholarly requirements and interests.
  • Supervisory Committees should provide and keep on file comments on their reactions to thesis proposals. Whenever a Supervisory Committee provides its collective judgment of a thesis proposal, a written report should be provided to the student with a copy for the student’s file in the Graduate Office. Minority views should be reflected in such reports.
  • The Anthropology Graduate Student Committee (AGSC) should be provided with a copy of the student’s accepted thesis proposal. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that this is done. The Supervisory Committee should point out how the student has been prepared in scholarly areas necessary for the thesis work, including methodological areas, and whether he/she will likely have access to sufficient data to complete it.
  • Instructors of graduate courses are strongly encouraged to structure their course requirements so that broadly-based evaluations can be made by the end of the first term. These are needed for assessment of applications for financial assistance.
  • The April evaluation forms should yield information about the amount and quality of work accomplished by the student during that academic year so that the AGSC has sufficient information on each candidate to present assessments for the May Department meeting (during which faculty collectively assess all graduate students in the program).
  • Before a change in Committee membership is made, the incoming Committee member(s) should be in close communication with continuing and outgoing Committee members.