Questions tagged [thesis-committee]

Questions about a group of faculty members, professors and people working in industry that evaluate the thesis or project report of PhD/MSc candidates.

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111
votes
8answers
17k views

What makes someone deserving of a Ph.D.?

Few days back while attending a thesis defense, one Professor was asking the defender why does he think, he deserves the degree. I was wondering since then, is there really any general answer for that?...
78
votes
4answers
20k views

One reviewer in the committee rejected my Ph.D. defense but he didn't attend

Update on Feb 27 The extension is confirmed. I can get the different reviewer, but sadly the graduate school will be able to make a replacement for me next semester. My additional advice for others ...
78
votes
7answers
9k views

What standards should I apply when evaluating a PhD thesis from a weaker university?

I have been asked to serve on the examination committee for a PhD thesis. It's in the area of machine learning. It's from a university in a developing country. My job is to provide a written report, ...
50
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7answers
12k views

What are the common mistakes PhD candidates make in their final defense session?

For a PhD candidate that has done a fine job in their PhD, what are the common mistakes to avoid in a defense session?
39
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3answers
10k views

How should a student deal with personal criticisms from an assistant professor?

I am a PhD student. In the past I have met with an assistant professor for some general advice about my research, both times he has made off the cuff comments on my lack of competence as a researcher ...
39
votes
5answers
6k views

I believe my department is failing to enforce standards in doctoral examinations. How to proceed?

I have witnessed multiple doctoral examinations at my (top-10 rated) university in which the student did not, in my opinion, demonstrate the required level of knowledge and understanding under ...
35
votes
11answers
17k views

My PhD defense is next week and I am having negative thoughts about my work and knowledge. Any advice on how to tackle this?

I am presenting my PhD thesis in front of my committee next week and I feel that I have just not done enough. My work is simple and I also feel that I have poor theoretical foundations and am going to ...
29
votes
2answers
14k views

How to select a dissertation committee member wisely?

I'm currently developing my dissertation proposal, and am in the process of choosing my committee members. I have heard that one should carefully choose their committee members, since they ultimately ...
26
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5answers
4k views

Is it advisable (or even usual) to invite a foreign member of doctoral jury to give a lecture just after the defense? Or is it inappropriate?

I will have my doctoral defense next month, in Italy. In my jury there's a foreign member, who comes on purpose from Belgium (I know him in person and I invited him to be member of the jury, through ...
26
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7answers
4k views

Should I write my master's thesis in English, as a non-native speaker?

I'm currently enrolled in a Master's degree Program in Statistics in Italy. I just started working on my thesis and my advisor asked me if I wanted to write it in Italian or in English. Apparently, ...
25
votes
7answers
11k views

Will the PhD degree be retracted if the thesis is found to be not novel?

Suppose a person got PhD degree by properly submitting his/her thesis on a particular topic. Assume that neither the student nor the doctoral review committee including supervisor knows that the ...
23
votes
2answers
776 views

What are some guidelines to keep in mind when selecting members of one's PhD committee?

Selecting members of one's PhD committee is an important part of a PhD student's academic development. Committee members can have considerable influence on a student's PhD program, such as ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Supervising same work again and again

I found few professors having supervised more than 200 masters theses 'each' in the past 14-15 years. When looked at these theses, I found that out of 200 theses supervised by a professor, more than ...
21
votes
4answers
9k views

PhD manuscript with grammatical errors and informal phrases

I have made a very good contribution in my PhD and just graduated two years ago from a top university with honors. Today, I revised my PhD manuscript and surprisingly found several grammatical errors,...
18
votes
3answers
12k views

What are some of the starting phrases that I can use while responding to Ph.D examination committee questions during my defence?

I am appearing my Ph.D defence in a few weeks. I am in need of some starting phrases or words which I can use while responding to the questions from the examiners. There could be difficult questions ...
18
votes
6answers
7k views

What incentives do professors have to serve on dissertation committees?

It seems that there is no requirement for professors to serve on even a single dissertation committee. (This is so at least at my US university and I believe is common practice worldwide - please ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

After the passing of my supervisor, the department forces me to start again from zero. How to respond?

I have had a very rocky PhD candidacy. My first supervisor left academia half way through my candidacy; the replacing supervisor passed away a year after that. So two and a half years through a three-...
18
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3answers
1k views

What role do professors on a graduate student's PhD committee serve?

Do they discuss the graduate student in meetings with each other? Or do they have any obligations to interact with the graduate student in other ways?
18
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3answers
10k views

What does a PhD Committee do?

I have been reading that many students have a PhD committee. I assume this is a group of experts supervising the student. In my case, and I think this is quite common, I had two people. One was the ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

Ethics: Is it ethical for a professor to conduct research using a student's ideas without giving them credit?

I pointed a professor (my major advisor) to a resource (a data set), in an email exchange during the beginning of the semester, he published a paper based on this data set several months later, ...
17
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3answers
3k views

Should you choose your committee members or should your advisor?

The question of how to choose PhD committee members has already been asked and answered in general terms, but I have the following more specific questions regarding the choice: Is it more important ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Quickly pulling together thesis after unexpected failure of oral exam [closed]

I failed my oral exam unexpectedly. My advisor had the impression that it would be less formal than it was (or at least that is what he told me) and I wasn't prepared. I thought it would be more along ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the chance of making a successful appeal to dismissal decision from a PhD program after failing the qualifying exam in the 2nd attempt? [closed]

I’m about to get dismissed from a PhD program because I failed in the 2nd attempt of the qualifying exam. Currently, I'm thinking of the option to appeal the dismissal decision due to a long history ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Reasonable to exclude a specific professor from a thesis defense for personal reasons?

When I started my Master's program, my supervisor was Professor X. However, I had to leave their group after a few months, partly because we didn't get along, but also because the research topic wasn'...
14
votes
4answers
84k views

How should I email dissertation to committee?

I have to send my doctoral dissertation to the members of my committee and I wonder how I should write the email. It is not a question of inviting them to be on the committee (they have already agreed ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it OK to thank the examiners in the acknowledgements of the final draft of a PhD thesis?

The examiners of a friend's PhD thesis required revisions which they needed to approve before they would accept the thesis. The requirements were fairly demanding but overall reasonable and helpfully ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the things one should consider while defending a PhD thesis, especially when the two examiners have completely different comments?

I am a completing Ph.D student. I submitted my thesis 4 months ago and have recently received the comments from the examiners. But to my surprise, two examiners have provided entirely different ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

What happens in a thesis defense when the non-committee members leave the room? [closed]

I've been to many PhD proposals and defenses, but I've yet to give either myself. At every talk I've seen, after the speaker finishes his/her presentation and the non-committee members ask their ...
12
votes
2answers
999 views

What should I do if my advisor and committee members want me to do two different things?

My advisor said that when I write my thesis I should staple together my three papers. One of my committee members says my thesis should have a unifying theme and a narrative that ties together all ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Viva voce question about another student "validating" my results

My PhD supervisor wanted me to talk about how my research was "validated" by another student in my Viva Voce, despite my results speaking for themselves. This part of my findings had not even been ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to deal with my thesis chair?

I am a 2nd yr Master's student set to graduate this may. My plan is to pursue a PhD afterwards at another institution. In my program, you either have to do a Master's thesis or a 45 min oral summary ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the process for retroactively (post completion) reviewing plagiarism on a dissertation?

I am currently at a community college so I am not privy to the inner workings of the big university world but I am curious how this works. Recently it has become headline news that a student from a ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

PhD thesis defense - is there a separate defense session with one's graduate committee? [closed]

I was watching a math PhD thesis defense on YouTube and it seems that after about an hour of the talk, a committee member tells the audience to leave except for the graduate committee and the PhD ...
9
votes
4answers
13k views

Is it correct protocol to thank your committee members in a PhD dissertation?

My question is: I would like to thank the committee members of my PhD dissertation explicitly thanking them for their time and effort and writing down their names Prof. Name1, Prof. Name2, etc... ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How important is the Ph.D. Thesis?

It may sound an insincere question but bear with me, please. I am just starting to write my thesis. I got some good publications along the way, and I have a couple under review which I hope will get ...
9
votes
1answer
613 views

Which role should other graduate students serve in a PhD defense?

In some countries and at certain universities, graduate students are advisory members of the committee during the PhD defense. In other countries like the Netherlands, a PhD defense takes place in ...
9
votes
2answers
24k views

How to address Phd dissertation committee members in email?

I am in the process of notifying my PhD dissertation committee (already formed)on the proposal exam. I would like to send an email to all of them and now I am confused as to how to address them. ...
8
votes
3answers
642 views

How does the PhD thesis examination result impact academic job success?

In majority of universities around the world, the PhD examining committee should meet and allow PhD student to defend his/her thesis. Based on the thesis content and student performance in the viva, ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

What should a supervisor do about a PhD student who does not try to improve?

What should a faculty supervisor do about a PhD student who does not seem to be trying to make their work better? Let's assume the supervisor has given detailed and specific instructions, which the ...
8
votes
1answer
103k views

How do you politely ask someone to be on your committee? [duplicate]

I'm a graduate student finishing up my first year, and I'm currently in the Master's program but am planning on switching to the PhD program at my university (which is located in the U.S.). I've ...
8
votes
1answer
210 views

Can an editor examine a PhD student whose manuscript is under review in their journal?

Do conflict of interest arises when a journal editor, who is handling a paper under review, acts as an examiner of the author's PhD thesis? Does it depend of the review stage? Will the answer change ...
7
votes
7answers
8k views

How to defend plagiarism in master's thesis

I am an Indian student and studying in the USA away from home and family. I am writing my master's thesis in a private University and we were two weeks away to submit the final version to the ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How far can one expect a external examiner to travel to be on defence/viva committee?

I'll base the scenario of this question on the PhD thesis defence committee recommendations in place in my university in Ireland. Similar may apply to other countries. A PhD Defence/Viva committee in ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Nervous about my thesis results -how to decode my supervisor's email? [closed]

I have been waiting for my PhD thesis results for a long time now. Last week, I sent an email to the university, asking for the results. Few hours ago, my supervisor has sent me an email saying that ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How to ensure committee reads and comments on dissertation draft prior to final examination?

The constructive question is, What practices/strategies could help ensure the committee reads the dissertation? I am wondering if those who already hold a PhD, or advanced graduate students finishing ...
7
votes
1answer
461 views

Was there ever a time in American history when humanities PhDs were more sought after than STEM PhDs?

Was there ever a time in American history when there was greater interest in a humanities PhD, say, a PhD in Philosophy or Creative Writing, than a STEM PhD? Perhaps during the period of time ...
7
votes
1answer
247 views

Disclosure of history of depression

I have studied for eight years at University and have at the moment achieved a masters degree in Mathematics. During my first 4-5 years or so, I suffered on and off from depressions and my performanes ...
7
votes
2answers
425 views

Medically undiagnosed condition: how to inform?

I am currently a final year grad student. Sometime last year, I developed severe pain in one of my hands which led to a lot of time lost. I have seen some of the best doctors in the country for my ...
7
votes
1answer
454 views

Advisor is unhappy with M.Sc. research results and is showing signs of preventing the student from graduating. What should be done?

I am having difficulties with an advisor who has not been clear with me on my research project, and I am fearful that I will not be allowed to graduate on time. What should I do? Please allow me to ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What are appropriate questions for a closed-door (non-public) part of a PhD (or master's) defense? [closed]

There is a related question about questions to expect for PhD defenses here: What questions to prepare for PhD defense?, but the question (and answers) are referring to the public oral defense. ...