The dissertation committee has four or more members, including the advisor. The committee’s role is to provide different lenses through which to view a student’s work. Their insights and experiences provide an opportunity to broaden a student’s perspective by seeing their study from various vantage points. A student typically selects dissertation committee members in consultation with the primary advisor. Committee members should reflect the range of expertise pertinent to the student’s topic of study and corresponding methodologies.
A student may call upon committee members for advice in areas appropriate to their expertise and interests throughout the dissertation process. Committee members also comment on written materials developed by the doctoral student and they are responsible for evaluating and approving the proposal and completed dissertation.
Degree Committees in Human Ecology follow the guidelines of the UW–Madison Graduate School. The chair or co-chair of all Degree Committees must be a member of the graduate faculty in the Civil Society & Community Studies department or a faculty affiliate of the department (who must also hold graduate faculty status at the University). The chair of the Degree Committee will most often be the student’s major advisor. Master of Science degree committees consist of at least three members, two of whom must be UW–Madison graduate faculty or former graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. Preliminary exam committees likewise consist of at least three members, two of whom must be UW–Madison graduate faculty. Dissertation committees consist of at least four members, at least three of whom must be graduate faculty or former UW–Madison graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. For both prelim and dissertation committees, at least two members of the committee must be CSCS faculty, faculty affiliates, or faculty associates.
At least one of the four members of the dissertation committee must be from outside the department. In many cases, this member may come from the student’s minor department. As per the guidelines of the Graduate School, the additional non-specified member(s) of a Degree Committee may be UW–Madison faculty, academic staff, emeritus faculty, visiting faculty, faculty from other institutions, research associates, and other individuals deemed qualified by the department. Due to the participatory and engaged nature of research conducted in CSCR, students are encouraged to consider their community/organizational partners, practitioners, or outreach specialists for this role on their Degree Committees.