MASTER OF SCIENCE EXAMINATION COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
Senate Policy 405.1
This proposal is made by the dean of the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate
Faculty Council (GFC). The GFC recommended that this proposal be approved at its
February 6, 2007 meeting. Dr. Carl Anderson (MEEM) was the author of the original
proposal which was brought to the GFC during its November, 2006 meeting.
This proposal reduces the required number of examiners on M.S. committees from four
to three. Departments that wish to continue to require that four examiners serve on M.S.
committees will be able to do so under the proposed policy. Most of Michigan Tech’s
peers (table 1) require only three members on M.S. examination committees. The
proposed new wording of the M.S. policy closely resembles the wording of the current
Ph.D. examination committee policy.
Table 1: Michigan Tech’s peer institutions’ requirements for number of members on
The current Master of Science examination committee policy is:
"Examination Committee—Must be nominated by the chair of the major
department, usually in consultation with the advisor, and approved by the dean of
the Graduate School. At least three of the four examiners must be members of
the graduate faculty and at least one of the graduate faculty must be from outside
the major department."
For comparison, the current Ph.D. examination committee policy is:
“The Examining Committee will be appointed by the dean of the Graduate School
in consultation with the department chair. The committee will consist of at least
four members of the graduate faculty. At least one of these will be from outside
the student's administrative home department. The primary advisor, or a coadvisor
who serves as chair of the committee, must be from the student's home
department. For interdisciplinary and non-departmental programs, the outside
examiner may not be affiliated with the interdisciplinary or non-departmental
program. A person external to MTU may be appointed as an ad hoc member of
the Graduate Faculty to serve as the outside examiner. Persons who are not
members of the Graduate Faculty may not serve as voting members of doctoral
Change the current Master of Science Examination committee policy to the following:
"The examination committee will be appointed by the dean of the Graduate
School in consultation with the department chair (1). The committee will consist
of at least three members of the graduate faculty (2). At least one of these will be
from outside the student's administrative home department (3). The primary
advisor, or a co-advisor who serves as chair of the committee, must be from the
student's administrative home department (4).
(1) The wording of this sentence matches exactly the wording of the policy for Ph.D.
committees. (2) This is
the main thrust of the proposal, that is, to change the required number of committee members from four to
three. (3) The use of the phrase ‘administrative home department’ makes the policy flexible so that it can be
directly applied to interdisciplinary degree programs. (4) This sentence states clearly that the student’s
advisor or co-advisor must be from the same department as the student, and that the chair of the examination
committee must be from the student’s department. This sentence is included because during 2005-2006 the
GFC determined that it was very important for a student’s advisor to be familiar with the policies of the
department that house the student.
Introduced to the Senate: 21 March 2007
Adopted by the Senate: 18 April 2007
Approved by Administration: 26 April 2007