Graduate School

Dissertation Advisors and Committee

The Dissertation Committee

Each program should make clear in its handbook how students go about selecting their dissertation advisors and/or committees, and set a timetable for doing so. Programs should be structured so that each student always has an advisor; leaving a gap between advice from the DGS and advice from the preliminary examination committee and/or dissertation advisor tends to prolong time to degree and increase attrition.

Chairs and DGSs need to be aware of the advising and mentoring relationships in their graduate programs. Monitoring the progress of each student is the responsibility of the program and not simply that of the faculty advisor. The dissertation chair and the other faculty members of a dissertation committee should meet with the student on a regular basis, and certainly a minimum of once a semester.

Policy on Advisors who have left Brown

Subject to the approval of the chair of the department, faculty who leave Brown may continue to serve as dissertation or thesis advisors for students whom they were advising at the time of their departure. Under normal circumstances, when a faculty member leaves, his or her advisees will be required to seek a new advisor. The program must be mindful of the need to provide students with some on-campus supervision and contact in the cases where a non-resident advisor continues service.