Following admission to a doctoral program, the student confers with the degree program coordinator of the academic program and selects an advisor, or "major professor," from among the graduate faculty who have permission from their department chair to direct dissertations and who are willing to assume the responsibility. Dissertation committees must be formulated by doctoral students in doctoral programs requiring dissertations. The dissertation committee must consist of a minimum of three members of the Graduate faculty, including the student's major professor, who will serve as Chair of the committee.
Only faculty holding Member (Full) Graduate Faculty status may serve as the Dissertation Committee Chair. The committee may include not more than one voting non-Georgia Southern University faculty. This individual must hold Affiliate Graduate Faculty status at Georgia Southern University, be appointed to the graduate faculty, and be approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
The student must submit the completed Dissertation Committee Membership Approval Form to the College of Graduate Studies for committee approval and have the non-Georgia Southern committee member complete the online process. The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies gives final approval for non-Georgia Southern committee members. Changes in the Committee membership must be submitted on the Committee Member Change form and be approved by the graduate dean.
All members of a student's dissertation committee participate as peers and have the responsibility for planning the program of study, advising the student, and ensuring that the student's doctoral program is of high quality.