Minimum Standards for Doctoral Committee Constitution, Effective 2016 Fall

  1. All doctoral committees require a minimum of four members among whom a minimum of three members must hold current UCLA Academic Senate faculty appointments limited to Professor (any rank), Professor or Associate Professor Emeritus, Professor in Residence (any rank), or Acting Professor or Acting Associate Professor. Two of the three doctoral committee members from UCLA must hold the rank of professor or associate professor (regular or in-residence series).
  2. One of the three UCLA members may be an Adjunct Professor (any rank) or Professor of Clinical X (any rank) who is certified and approved by the Committee on Degree Programs (CDP).
  3. The Chair always must hold a current Academic Senate faculty appointment at UCLA in the same department or interdepartmental program as the student.
  4. Each program or department may set additional requirements above the UCLA minimum standards in their Program Requirements regarding:
    • UCLA members (e.g., all three must hail from the home department, two out of three from the same discipline as the student, etc.)
    • Parameters for service as a Co-Chair
    • Minimum academic credentials of an additional member
  5. Only one committee member may hold an Academic Senate faculty appointment or its academic equivalent at another accredited university or college (UC or non-UC) without need of an exception from the Graduate Division.
  6. All committee members read, approve, and certify the dissertation. Under unusual circumstances, a department or interdepartmental program may petition the Committee on Degree Programs via the Graduate Division for an exception that would allow three committee members (including the Chair and at least one other UCLA member) to serve as certifying members in lieu of the full committee. An approved exception would apply to all doctoral committees of graduate students in that department or interdepartmental program for a period of up to ten years.
  7. All committee members must certify that the fairness, equity, and academic integrity of the oral qualifying examination and the final oral examination (dissertation defense) have been preserved by the doctoral committee.
  8. Only one committee member (never the Chair or Co-Chair) may participate remotely in an oral qualifying examination or final oral examination (defense of the dissertation). Remote participation must be a matter of necessity rather than convenience. The student must petition the committee chair in advance of the examination to allow one member to participate remotely; the committee Chair must provide written approval to the student ahead of the examination. The technology required for remote participation must allow for the participant to see/be seen by and hear/be heard by all committee members and have access to visual materials simultaneously. Although no exception petition will be required for one committee member participating remotely, the department/program must notify the Graduate Division of the remote participation within 14 business days of the examination. Under rare circumstances, the department or inter-departmental program Chair may petition the Graduate Division for an exception to allow a second member (not the Chair or Co-Chairs) to participate remotely in a doctoral oral qualifying examination or a final oral examination (defense of the dissertation). [Effective 2015 Fall]

Programs with Requirements above the Minimum Standards

The following graduate programs have additional requirements for constituting doctoral committees. All requirements above the Minimum Standards are enforced by the program. If a program is not listed below, then it adheres to the campuswide Minimum Standards.

Anthropology

One of the four doctoral committee members must hold an appointment at UCLA in a department “outside” the student’s major department. (Faculty who hold multiple appointments count as “inside” if one of those appointments is in the student’s department.)

Archaeology

All UCLA Ph.D. committee members must not hail from the same primary home department.

Bioinformatics

No UCLA members may be an Adjunct Professor (any rank) or Professor of Clinical X (any rank). Effective Fall 2016, doctoral committees will require a minimum of four members rather than five.

Biostatistics

At least two of the committee members must have their primary appointments in the Department of Biostatistics. At least one of the committee members must have a primary appointment outside of the Department of Biostatistics.

Civil Engineering

Two members, including the chair, must hold appointments at UCLA in the student’s major department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Classics

At least two of the committee members must be from the Department of Classics.

Community Health Sciences

Three of the four faculty must hold appointments in Community Health Sciences, one must be an outside member who holds no appointment in the School of Public Health; one of the four must be from the minor field. None of the four can hold adjunct professor or lecturer positions. A limited number of adjunct faculty hold waivers from the Graduate Council that allows them to be regular members of doctoral committees. The department SAO has a list of those faculty.

Comparative Literature

The doctoral committee is comprised of two faculty members from the department and two faculty members from inside or outside of the department.

Culture and Performance

The Chair, and one other committee member, always must hold a current Academic Senate faculty appointment at UCLA in the same department or interdepartmental program as the student.

English

Of the three members required by the university to hold current UCLA Academic Senate faculty appointments, a minimum of two must hold these appointments in the English Department.

Environmental Health Sciences

In addition to the university’s minimum standards for the nomination of the Doctoral Committee, the Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Department will require the following:

  1. One of the four doctoral committee members must hold an appointment at UCLA in an outside department. Students may petition to request that Faculty with joint appointments in EHS be considered as outside members.
  2. At least one of the four doctoral committee members must be a Faculty member from the EHS Department.
Environmental Science and Engineering

The three UCLA faculty members must hold either a full, split, joint, or adjunct faculty appointment in the IoES.

Epidemiology

Two of the four doctoral committee members must hold an academic appointment in Epidemiology.

Ethnomusicology
  1. Three of the four doctoral committee members must hold appointments at UCLA in the student ‘s major department; and
  2. One of the four doctoral committee members must hold an appointment at UCLA in a department “outside” the student’s major department. (Faculty who hold multiple appointments count as “inside ” if one of those appointments is in the student ‘s department.)
Geography
  1. All doctoral committees require a minimum of four members holding current UCLA Academic Senate faculty appointments limited to Professor (any rank), Professor or Associate Professor Emeritus, Professor in Residence (any rank), or Acting Professor or Acting Associate Professor. Three members (internal members) must hold appointments within the Geography Department (affiliated, zero-appointment faculty in the Department are considered internal members), one of whom must be the chair.
  2. One of the four doctoral committee members must hold an appointment either at UCLA in a department “outside” the student’s major department, or at another UC campus or university outside of the UC system who holds an appropriate appointment as listed above. (Faculty who hold multiple appointments count as “inside” if one of those appointments is in the student’s department.)
Health Policy and Management

The doctoral committee consists of at least four faculty members who hold professorial appointments. Two of the faculty must be tenured. Three of the four must hold appointments in Health Policy and Management; at least one must hold an appointment in another department at UCLA. Students may, however, petition the department for exceptions.

Hispanic Languages and Literatures

At least two members (including the Chair) must hail from the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Materials Science and Engineering
  1. Two committee members must have their primary appointment with Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).
  2. The third member must either have a primary appointment from MSE or have a joint appointment with MSE.
  3. The fourth member must have a primary appointment outside the department (joint faculty appointment included).
Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
  1. A member of the department’s Graduate Training Committee (GTC) must be on the committee. The GTC member can be removed following the student’s ATC if both the student and GTC member agree.
  2. At least one committee member must be from outside the department
Molecular Biology

Together, the student and dissertation research adviser convene a five member doctoral committee. Upon advancement to candidacy, the dissertation research adviser joins the doctoral committee as either the fifth member, or by replacing one of the existing four members of the committee. The fourth committee member must hold either a current UCLA
Academic Senate faculty appointment, or its academic equivalent at another accredited university or college (UC or non-UC).

No UCLA members may be an Adjunct Professor (any rank) or Professor of Clinical X (any rank).

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

No UCLA members may be an Adjunct Professor (any rank) or Professor of Clinical X (any rank).

Molecular Cellular and Integrative Physiology

The doctoral committee consists of a minimum of four faculty comprised of the program’s affiliated faculty who are qualified in the student’s selected research area. Students may petition to the MCIP IDP Chair to have an “outside” (non-affiliated faculty) member serve as one of the four faculty members. The chair of the student’s committee must be an affiliated faculty member of the MCIP IDP.

Music
  1. The Chair (or one of the Co-Chairs) must come from the home department (this is the new minimum set by Graduate Council).
  2. At least one other member of the committee must be “inside,” but with respect to this member’s affiliation, “inside” can mean belonging to any of the three departments (Ethnomusicology/Music/Musicology) in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
  3. At least one of the members of the committee must be “outside,” but with respect to this member’s affiliation, those holding a 0% appointment in the department will be considered “outside.”
  4. The fourth member (and any additional members) of the committee may be either inside or outside.
Musicology
  1. The Chair (or one of the Co-Chairs) must come from the home department (this is the new minimum set by the Graduate Council).
  2. At least one of the other member of the committee must be “inside” but with respect to this member’s affiliation, “inside” can mean belonging to any of the three departments in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
  3. At least one of the members of the committee must be “outside,” but with respect to this member’s affiliation, those holding a 0% appointment in the department will be considered “outside.”
  4. The fourth member (and any additional members) of the committee may be either inside or outside.
Psychology
  1. At least two members of the doctoral committee must be from the Department of Psychology; at least one of these members must have a primary (50% or more) appointment in Psychology.
  2. At least one of the Psychology faculty committee members must have a primary (50%) appointment in the student’s Area.
Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures

Three committee members (including the Chair and at least one other UCLA member) can serve as certifying members in lieu of the full committee.

Social Welfare

Three committee members must be from the department and at least one faculty member must be from another department of the university.

Sociology
  1. At least three members must hold at least 50% appointment in Sociology at UCLA, one of whom must be Chair or Co-Chair.
  2. At least one outside member is required. An outside member is a UCLA faculty member with no appointment in Sociology or 0% appointment in Sociology, or a faculty member from another institution.
    • A CV must be submitted for the outside member.
Urban Planning
  1. A second committee member must be a faculty member in a department of Urban Planning, either at UCLA or another institution.
  2. One of the four committee members must hold an appointment in a department “outside” of the student’s major department. Faculty who hold multiple appointments count as “inside” if one of those appointments is in Urban Planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all of my doctoral committee members have to be certifying?

Yes, all committee members read, approve, and certify the dissertation. (Under extremely unusual circumstances, a department or interdepartmental program may have an exception that allows three committee members to serve as certifying in lieu of the full committee.)

Can Lecturers serve on doctoral committees under the Minimum Standards?

Effective Fall 2016, the new Minimum Standards require three eligible UCLA faculty members but there are no restrictions regarding the number from inside or outside a department. Thus, the pool of potential UCLA committee members has increased significantly. To balance this change, eligible faculty titles have become more defined. Only Adjunct and Clinical X professors of any rank will be eligible for inclusion on a committee if approved by the Committee on Degree Programs (CDP). Lecturers are no longer eligible as one of the four members. However, a Lecturer could be a fifth (additional) member as a subject matter expert with equivalent academic credentials to a UCLA Academic Senate faculty member.

Can an Adjunct Professor be my co-chair?

An adjunct professor may serve as a co-chair if approved by Committee on Degree Programs (CDP). Please consult with your department to determine if the professor in question has CDP approval.

Do I need to submit a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for anyone who is not a UCLA Academic Senate faculty member or CDP-approved member (i.e., non-UCLA ladder rank faculty member)?

Yes. If you would like a qualified individual who is a subject matter expert on your research topic and who is not UCLA Academic Senate faculty or CDP-approved, you will need to submit a current CV with the committee nomination.

Can a Subject Matter Expert serve as a co-chair?

No. Subject Matter Experts may only serve as fifth (additional) members on a doctoral committee.

Can a non-UCLA faculty member serve as a co-chair?

Yes, as long as they hold an Academic Senate faculty appointment or its equivalent at another university.

How can I find out if an Adjunct or Clinical faculty member is CDP approved?

Please consult with your Student Affairs Officer (SAO) in your graduate program to determine if the professor in question has CDP approval.

What is the process for nominating an Adjunct or Clinical faculty member to the CDP Exceptions List?

The department confers with the Academic Policy Coordinator in the Graduate Division about the process for nominating Adjunct or Clinical faculty to the CDP Exceptions List. Information about the exceptions list is available on p. 15-16 of Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Can two CDP-approved individuals serve on a doctoral committee as members?

Only one CDP-approved member may serve as one of the required four committee members. However, a second CDP member may serve as a fifth (additional) member.

Can a UC (non-UCLA) staff or faculty member who does not hold an Academic Senate faculty position (e.g., Research Scientist, Lecturer, Adjunct Professor, and Clinical Professor) serve as one of the four required members on a doctoral committee?

No. Only UC faculty members who hold an Academic Senate faculty appointment or its equivalent may serve as one of the four required members. A UC (non-UCLA) staff or faculty member who does not hold an Academic Senate faculty position or its equivalent may serve as a fifth (additional) member.