Service by faculty and other individuals on master's and doctoral committees is voluntary, and members may serve or discontinue service at their own discretion. It is the student's responsibility to form and nominate a valid committee appropriate for their degree objective.

For more information, contact the Academic Services team.

Comprehensive Exam or Project Committee

Senate reg. 300B, 305C

For Comprehensive Exam or Project committee requirements, see Master's Degree Plan II.

Master's Thesis Committee

Senate reg. 300B305B

The thesis committee is approved by and responsible to the Graduate Dean under policies established by the Graduate Council.

The master's thesis committee consists of at least three Academic Senate members, with tenure-track faculty member from the student’s major (home) department serving as chair or co-chair. At least two members of every master’s thesis committee must be tenure-track faculty. The majority of the three members shall be from the student’s UCSB major (home) department.  Recommendation of the appointment of additional members to the thesis committee is at the discretion of the department. 

Read more information about other possible committee members below.

To formally nominate a thesis committee, departments must submit to the Graduate Division a Committee Form I and Conflict of Interest Form that includes current title and departmental affiliation of every faculty member being nominated. Departments must submit the completed and signed Committee Form I and Conflict of Interest Form.

Doctoral Committee

Senate reg. 350D

Nomination of a doctoral committee is required prior to advancement to doctoral candidacy. In most departments, the same doctoral committee is nominated to administer and assess the student's qualifying examinations and supervise dissertation work. In some departments, separate qualifying examination and dissertation committees are nominated.

The Doctoral committee is approved by and responsible to the Graduate Dean under policies established by the Graduate Council. The Doctoral committee consists of at least three UC Academic Senate members, with a tenure-track faculty member from the student’s major (home) department serving as chair or co-chair. At least two members of every doctoral committee must be tenure-track faculty. The majority of the three members shall be from the student’s UCSB major (home) department.   Recommendation of the appointment of additional members to the doctoral committee is at the discretion of the department.

Read more information about other possible committee members below.

To formally nominate a doctoral committee, departments must submit to the Graduate Division a Committee Form I and Conflict of Interest Form or Joint Doctoral Committee Nomination Form and Conflict of Interest Form that includes current title and departmental affiliation of every faculty member being nominated. Departments must submit a completed and signed Conflict of Interest Form along with the committee nomination form.

Changes to Committees

Committee Form I-A or or Joint Doctoral Form IA is used to modify thesis or doctoral committee membership (adding or removing member, or modifying faculty role). Form I-A is reviewed by the Graduate Division staff for the Graduate Dean.

 

Possible Committee Members

Please click on each Committee Member type for definitions and guidelines per category.

Academic Senate Membership includes everyone on the Academic Membership List.  Membership includes, but is not limited to:

  • Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Professor Emeritus
  • Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment (PSOE), Lecturer with Security of Employment (SOE), or Senior Lecturer (SOE)
    • Lecturers PSOE/SOE are allowed to serve as co-chair or member of a thesis or doctoral committee without Graduate Council Exception. They are not allowed to serve as sole chair of a committee.

Tenure-track faculty include the titles Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, and Professor Emeritus. Faculty with these titles are allowed to chair and serve as a committee member, and are listed on the Academic Senate Membership List.

Affiliated faculty with zero-percent appointments in the student's department are considered to be members of that department. An affiliated tenure-track faculty member may be nominated to chair or serve as one of the first two required department members without Graduate Council approval.  Faculty Affiliations are listed on the Academic Senate Membership List.

If approved as chair or member of a student’s committee before leaving the University, the faculty member may continue to serve as chair or member at the department's discretion

A faculty member who has retired may serve on a student’s master’s and doctoral committee at the department's discretion. The nomination of an emeriti is to be reviewed by the Department Chair.

As of May 2021, Graduate Council approval is no longer required and committee nominations that include emeriti can be submitted to the Graduate Division without any additional memo.

At the department's discretion, an Academic Senate Member from another UC may be nominated to serve as a committee member or co-chair (not as sole chair). Only one of the first three committee members can be from another UC. The UC faculty member may count as one of the two required tenure-track faculty members, but cannot count as a home-department member. The Committee Form I or must include the faculty member's name, UC campus, department, and academic title.

Non-Academic Senate Members

At the department’s discretion and with the Graduate Council’s approval, one non-Academic Senate member may be appointed to serve, for up to 3 years, as a committee member or co-chair (not as sole chair). Exception requests are not required for appointments beyond the first three members. 

Some examples of non-Academic Senate members that a student may want to include on their committee include non-SOE lecturers, visiting professors, adjunct professors, researchers, and industry members. 

Exception Requests for Non-Academic Senate Committee Members to serve on Committees

The following must be submitted to the Graduate Division for Graduate Council review:

  • Committee Form I signed by the Department Chair and Graduate Advisor, including nominee’s name, job title, and employment affiliation
  • Nominee's curriculum vitae
  • A memo of support from the Department Chair or Graduate Advisor that includes:
    • Explanation of why there are not three Academic Senate faculty available to serve
    • Why the non-Academic Senate person is qualified to serve in lieu of a UC Academic Senate member
    • How the nominee's research expertise will aid the student
    • Whether the nominee has served on student committees before
    • Specific length of time the individual will serve (3-year maximum)
    • Anticipated quarter and year of degree completion