Ph.D. Advising Committees

In order to assist our Ph.D. students in pursuing successful doctoral research and in furthering their professional development, the Department will appoint for each student in their third year and beyond a three-person committee which will meet at least once per year with the student. The committee will consist of the student's Ph.D. advisor and two other members of the Physics Faculty chosen by the student in consultation with the advisor and/or the Director of Graduate Studies. Alternatively, one member of the committee could be a faculty member from another department, university or the equivalent. Physics office staff will assign each student a month in which this meeting is to take place and the student will have responsibility for arranging a time for the meeting.

In advance of this meeting, the student will distribute a few-sentence description of their current research, the plan for their doctoral research and their progress toward completing that plan. This short write-up will also include a list of items related to professional development such as conferences attended, papers submitted for publication and talks presented. This yearly meeting will last about one hour and allow more detailed discussion of the student's research activities with a focus on the plan for completing the Ph.D. thesis project. The meeting may begin with a presentation of the student's current and planned research lasting no more than 30 minutes. While a face-to-face meeting is desirable, it is possible that one or more participants may join remotely.

One of the faculty on the committee who is not the research sponsor will be chosen as chair and will transmit to physics_dgs ATĀ columbia.eduĀ a few-sentence written summary of the meeting, including recommendations for the student and the time for a next meeting if it is concluded that holding a meeting sooner than annually would be beneficial. The final portion of the meeting should be devoted to deciding on the content of this summary. The student's advance submission to the committee and this meeting summary will be become part of the student's Departmental record.

The procedures outlined above are guidelines and exceptions can be made with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. These annual meetings are important required evidence of the student's satisfactory progress toward meeting the requirements of the Ph.D. degree.