ECE MSEE Program Committee Selection

Committee Composition:  Thesis 

During the first semester of graduate degree status, the student should select an advisory committee consisting of at least three graduate faculty members, and at least two should come from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department.

Committee Selection

The members of the committee are normally chosen for their expertise in the proposed topic or for expertise in a particular methodology. Thesis  committee members are chosen among faculty awarded graduate faculty status by the PVAMU Graduate School. A list of the ECE graduate faculty members can be found at the link:  ECE graduate faculty members.  A list of all university graduate faculty members can be requested from the Graduate School. All voting members of the committee must have been granted graduate faculty status. Other members, such as those with expertise contributing to the candidate’s research, perspective, and/or analyses, may participate as guests as the research progresses and if invited, may join the committee during the defense but will not be a voting member of the official committee.

Choosing a Thesis Committee

Students may choose a thesis chair from the list of ECE graduate faculty members. The student and the chair will choose other committee members, with approval from appropriate University officials.

Committee Approval

A graduate committee selection form should have the appropriate signature from the administrators in the college/school granting the degree. The Dean of the Graduate School has final authority for the approval of members of thesis committees.

If a student is unable to assemble a complete committee, the department head shall appoint members as needed from the faculty in the student’s department/college, or aid the student in contacting appropriate faculty from other departments.

The thesis  committee may be reconstituted at the student’s discretion. The student should consult first with the chair of the Thesis Committee and then with the department head about such changes as soon as possible, and forward a new letter requesting approval of the new committee. Committee members should not be changed any more than two times during the process, unless in the case of the unavailability of faculty. Students are cautioned, however, that changes in committee membership may result in changes to the thesis with a corresponding extension of the completion of their thesis. Faculty members may also elect to withdraw from a committee.

After selecting a committee, the student should consult with the thesis chair and determine the process to be followed in completing the thesis.  The Graduate School should also be consulted to determine the currently-approved format. Other formal requirements may include an oral defense of the thesis or dissertation, and any guidelines, requirements, or recommendations provided by the college or department conferring the degree and PVAMU’s Graduate School.

In addition to the members selected on the students committee (departments/colleges prerogative), the graduate school may appoint an independent outside graduate faculty member to act on the committee, with the main purpose of ensuring fairness of the process.

Role of the Thesis Committee Chair

The thesis committee chair has primary responsibility for supervising the thesis process.  All questions regarding the topic, form and format, and specific procedures should first be discussed with the chair.  Thesis formatting, thesis defense and  all other decisions are likely to fall within the purview of the chair.  All questions should first be discussed with the chair, who will determine which direction the thesis  will take.  The chair and the student have the responsibility of following the guidelines described in the PVAMU Thesis and Dissertation Manual.

The chair also has the role of assisting the student during the writing process.  This includes, but is not limited to, assisting in the conceptualization of the general project, the study design, project implementation, issues that may arise during the analysis, and conclusions to be drawn.  Other committee members also are expected to make contributions in these areas.  It is not within the chair or committee members’ purview, however, to write the thesis (or any portion of it) for the student.

Finally, the chair acts as a mediator.  In the event of differences in opinion between committee members and/or the student, the chair determines which direction the thesis shall take.  In all instances, it is the chair who acts as the final arbiter and decision- maker.

Role of the Thesis or Dissertation Committee Members

All thesis committee members must have expertise directly related to the proposed thesis research topic, except for graduate appointees to the committee. They must also have a reasonable degree of currency and activity in the field, and have been granted graduate faculty status, as specified by Graduate Faculty Guidelines by the PVAMU Graduate School.  The chair of the thesis committee is responsible for discussing and consulting with the department head about any committee members who are from outside of Prairie View A&M University.

Committee Members from Outside of Prairie View A&M University

In the event that a committee member from outside the university has been approved (such as having recognized national expertise in the subject, among other criteria), that individual must have graduate faculty status at his or her employing university and/or have been given graduate faculty status at PVAMU.