Professional (Non-Ph.D.) Doctoral Committee Policy, Effective Fall 2022

The standards listed below are applicable to the following professional (Non-Ph.D.) doctoral programs only:

  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Environmental Science & Engineering (D.Env.)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)
  • Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

All other doctoral programs must adhere to the Minimum Standards for Doctoral Committee Constitution

Minimum Standards for Professional (Non-Ph.D.) Doctoral Committee Membership

  1. All non-Ph.D. doctoral committees require a minimum of three faculty members, of whom a minimum of two members (including the Chair) must hold UCLA Academic Senate faculty appointments.
  2. One of the required two Academic Senate faculty members must hold the rank of professor or associate professor (regular or in-residence series).
  3. The third member may be UCLA non-Senate faculty and instructors (including adjunct professors, health sciences clinical professors, lecturers, and academic administrators), or faculty from another accredited institution.
  4. The Chair must hold a current UCLA Academic Senate faculty appointment per #1 above in the same department or IDP as the graduate student and must hold the one of the following ranks:
    • Regular professor series (any rank)
    • Professor or associate professor emeritus
    • Professor-in-residence series (any rank)
    • Acting professor, or acting associate professor
    If a committee has co-chairs, at least one of the co-chairs must be from the student’s major department or IDP at UCLA and at least one must hold a current UCLA Academic Senate faculty appointment with one of the following ranks:
    • Regular professor series (any rank)
    • Professor or associate professor emeritus
    • Professor-in-residence series (any rank)
    • Acting professor, or acting associate professor
  5. Additional members (above the minimum number of three) who have subject matter expertise may be nominated and, if appointed, have the same voting rights and responsibilities as the other committee members.
  6. Under exceptional circumstances, a subject matter expert who does not fit criteria #1-3 above may serve as one of the three required members if certified and approved by the Committee on Degree Programs. Only one such substitution is allowed per doctoral committee.
  7. Only one committee member with an Academic Senate faculty appointment or its academic equivalent at another accredited university or college (UC or non-UC) may serve without need of an exception from the Graduate Division.
  8. All committee members read, approve, and certify the dissertation.
  9. Individual departmental and interdepartmental graduate programs may establish additional requirements above the UCLA minimum standards regarding, for example :
    • UCLA-affiliated members (e.g., all must be faculty in the home department/program; one out of two from the same discipline as the student; etc.)
    • Parameters for service as Co-Chair (e.g., both must be Senate members, etc.)
    • Minimum academic credentials of any additional members
  10. 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 student’s committee chair must report the remote participation on a designated form submitted to the Graduate Division. Under rare circumstances, the committee chair may request an exception through the same designated form to allow the student and multiple committee members (including the chair or co-chair) to participate remotely in a doctoral oral qualifying examination or a final oral examination (defense of the dissertation). If an exception is being requested, the form must be signed by the Chair of the student’s department. Remote participation forms must be submitted to the Graduate Division at least two weeks prior to the examination, unless the remote participation is being requested due to unforeseen circumstances such as a positive COVID-19 test [Effective 2022 Fall]

Programs with Requirements above the Minimum Standards

Graduate programs with additional requirements for constituting professional (non-Ph.D.) doctoral committees will appear here. All requirements above the Minimum Standards are enforced by the program. If a program isn’t listed here, then it adheres to the campus-wide standards.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can serve as one of the two required UCLA Academic Senate members??

In addition to the titles authorized to serve as UCLA Academic Senate members on Ph.D. doctoral committees (see #2 in the Minimum Standards for Doctoral Committee Constitution), UCLA Senate members with the following titles are now authorized to serve as part of the required Academic Senate membership on professional (non-Ph.D.) doctoral committees:

As per #2 above, at least one of the two required Academic Senate members must hold the rank of professor or associate professor (regular or in-residence series).

Can Adjuncts serve on Professional (non-Ph.D.) doctoral committees??

Effective Fall 2022, Adjuncts are permitted to serve as regular members, but not as sole chair or Academic Senate members, on professional (non-Ph.D.) doctoral committees, without need of an exception from the Graduate Council’s Committee on Degree Programs (CDP). If an Adjunct serves as co-chair, at least one of the co-chairs must be from the student’s major department or IDP at UCLA. The other co-chair must hold a UCLA Academic Senate appointment limited to the ranks set out in #4 above.

Can UCLA faculty members with non-UCLA Academic Senate appointments serve as regular members?

Yes, providing they hold a current appointment with one of the following titles:

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

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

Can Subject Matters Experts (SMEs) serve as co-chairs?

No, SMEs may only serve as 4th (additional) members on a professional (non-Ph.D.) doctoral committee or as one of the three required members under exceptional circumstances, if approved by CDP (see below).

Do I need to submit a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for non-UCLA faculty members or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with my committee nomination or reconstitution?

Yes. A CV is required for non-UCLA faculty and SMEs who are not CDP-approved (i.e. nominees who do not meet criteria set out in Standards #1 -#3 in standards)

How can I find out if a Subject Matter Expert (SMEs) 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 a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to the CDP Exceptions List?

The department confers with the Policy Coordinator in the Graduate Division about the process for nominating Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to the CDP Exceptions List. Information about the exceptions list is available on p. 22 of Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

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

If certified and approved by the Committee on Degree Programs (CDP), one Subject Matter Expert (SME) may serve in place of the three required committee members. Only one substitution is allowed per professional (non-Ph.D.) doctoral committee. However, a second CDP-approved member may serve as a 4th (additional) member.

My committee was approved by the Graduate Division before the new standards for professional (non-Ph.D.) committee constitution became effective? Will I need to reconstitute?

No, only committees nominated or reconstituted from Fall 2022 onwards are required to adhere to the new standards.

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