Procedure For Setting Up Thesis Defense Committee

Summary of Policy

This policy outlines who may be on a thesis defense committee.

Affected Parties

Students Under the Guarini School Programs

Policy Statement

The makeup of the Thesis defense committee must be approved by the Dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. It is the responsibility of the department to submit to the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies for approval a suggested examining committee for each degree candidate, along with information regarding the date, time, and place of the examination.

The chair of the examining committee must be a regular member of the Dartmouth faculty (which includes full-time tenure track and research faculty), and can be the thesis advisor, or another faculty member, as determined by program policy.

A student's thesis committee should be assembled to avoid potential or perceived conflicts of interest between faculty members and between faculty members and the graduate student. Such conflicts would include personal or financial relationships. The Dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies must approve committee membership in cases where a potential conflict may exist.

The PhD examination committee consists of a minimum of three full-time Dartmouth faculty members of which a minimum of two must be from the student's graduate program (including the dissertation advisor) as well as an external member with a faculty equivalent research appointment outside of Dartmouth. The external member may participate in meetings in person or via video conference.

Non full-time Dartmouth faculty (e.g. lecturers, part-time faculty, and Emeritus) can also serve on committees with prior approval from the Dean of the Guarini School who will consult with program and department chairs, and other deans where appropriate.

The AM, MS or MALS examination committee generally consists of three faculty members from the student's department/program of study (including the dissertation advisor). One of the three may be from outside the department/program, but this is not a requirement.

Read more about thesis support at Dartmouth. 


Effective Date

October 1, 2019

Last Revised Date

March 10, 2022

Office of Primary Responsibility