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Responsibilities of Field Advisors

Students in the Humanities PhD Program declare one Major field, normally within the discipline of the student’s Master’s degree, and two Minor fields. Their advisory committee consists of the Major field supervisor and the two Minor field advisors.

Overall, the three members of a student’s advisory committee, in their different capacities (as outlined below), oversee the student’s progress through a program. A faculty member who agrees to serve on a student's advisory committee makes a long-term commitment towards the education of that student. The Major field supervisor is the student’s principal supervisor, and agrees to be responsible for overseeing the student's overall program of study and progress through the various stages. The two Minor field advisors agree to take responsibility for the student's program of study in their respective fields,

COURSEWORK. Each member of the advisory committee oversees 6 credits of the student's coursework in the field they supervise. These credits can be taken as directed study tutorials or regularly scheduled graduate seminars, either with the student’s advisor or, with the advisor’s approval, with other faculty members whose areas of expertise are relevant to the student’s program of study.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONS usually take place in the term following the completion of the student’s coursework. The principal supervisor coordinates the pre-comprehensive exams meeting of the advisory committee with the student (chaired by the Humanities Director), sets and marks the comprehensive examination in the student’s Major field, and supervises the writing of the thesis. The two Minor field advisors set and mark the comprehensive examinations in their respective fields.

The THESIS PROPOSAL with Defense usually takes place during the term following the completion of the comprehensive field examinations. The Major field supervisor, with input from the Minor field advisors, guides the student in the preparation of the thesis proposal, and all three members of a student’s advisory committee participate in the student's thesis proposal defense which is chaired by the Humanities Director.  

THESIS. The Major field supervisor acts as primary thesis supervisor, and the two Minor field advisors oversee aspects of the thesis that relate to their fields. All three members of the student’s advisory committee participate in the thesis defense.

Please consult the degree requirements for detailed information about each stage in the student’s trajectory through the program.

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