Forming a Graduate Advisory Committee

The duties of your Graduate Advisory Committee are to assist you in preparing your Plan of Study and to offer advice or expertise during your graduate work, including research and thesis preparation. 

Who May Serve

The majority of your committee members must be graduate faculty in ENE. For example, if you have a three-member committee, at least two should be from ENE; if a five-member committee, at last three should be from ENE.

  • As is the practice in the College of Engineering, the chair of a graduate student advisory committee (the major professor) must be a current ENE faculty member.
  • Members of the committee need not be faculty with whom you have taken coursework; however, at least 51% of the committee members must have regular graduate faculty certification (e.g., graduate faculty in other Purdue programs).
  • There are no restrictions on inviting external faculty or experts to be committee members provided all other restrictions are met. Students should request special graduate faculty certification early, since the process may take time and requires approval by the Head. Certification involves the individual’s CV, description of expertise, and current contact information.
  • There are no restrictions on the maximum number of faculty permitted on your committee.
  • Note: Changes to committee members and coursework can be made to the initial approved plan if needed. If there have been changes to courses or committee members after the Plan of Study has been submitted to the Graduate School, you must use a Request for Change to the Plan of Study (G.S. Form 13), which must be signed by you and approved by your major professor, the head of the graduate program, and the school dean (if requested by the school).

Identifying Committee Members

 The same electronic submission process used to draft a plan of study (myPurdue) is used to identify committee members (link to submitting an electronic plan of study). A committee must be approved by the head of the graduate program, the school dean (if requested by the school), and the dean of the Graduate School. The dean of the Graduate School may appoint additional members if it seems advisable.

Important Milestones and Reflection Points

  • Readiness Assessment exam: A student must have a three-member advisory committee (e.g., a chair and two other members, or two co-chairs and two additional members) in place prior to the Readiness Assessment exam. 
  • Preliminary Exam: A Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8), signed by the major professor and the head of the graduate program, must be received by the Graduate School at least three weeks prior to the proposed examination date in order to give the dean of the Graduate School adequate time to appoint and arrange for additional members, if he or she wishes. The preliminary examining committee must consist of a minimum of three members of the graduate faculty, who need not be faculty members with whom the student has taken coursework. All members of the examining committee are to be notified of the scheduled examination. Other faculty members may be requested by any member of the examining committee to participate, without vote, in the examination, and any interested faculty member may be present, without vote. Although only three committee members are required, if the committee has four or more members, a single member may withhold his or her signature of approval.
  • Final Thesis Exam: Your committee must consist of a minimum of four members of the graduate faculty.
  • Note:  Preliminary and final examining committees may or may not be identical to the advisory committee.

Graduate Faculty

All faculty in the School of Engineering Education have been appointed as Graduate Faculty. 

Special Appointments

A special appointment may be requested by the Graduate Coordinator for an individual who does not meet the conditions required for regular appointment yet who can contribute special expertise to the work of graduate students. Such a person may serve as a member on graduate student committees.

Nominations for special appointment to the Graduate Faculty are initiated electronically by the Graduate Coordinator. The student requesting the addition of a special graduate faculty member will need to provide a current CV and a statement describing the expertise the requested faculty member is expected to contribute to the committee. This information will be electronically approved up to the Dean of the Graduate School. Upon approval,  the Graduate School will assign a graduate faculty identifier to the appointee for use on the Graduate School documents.