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Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee

The doctoral dissertation reading committee consists of the principal dissertation adviser and two other readers. At least one member must be from the student's major department. Normally, all members are on the Stanford Academic Council. The student's department chair may, in some cases, approve the appointment of a reader who is not on the Academic Council, if that person is particularly well qualified to consult on the dissertation topic and holds a Ph.D. or equivalent foreign degree. Former Stanford Academic Council members, emeritus professors, and non-Academic Council members may thus on occasion serve on a reading committee. If they are to serve as the principal dissertation adviser, however, the appointment of a co-adviser who is currently on the Academic Council is required. A non-Academic Council member (including emeritus professors and former Academic Council members) may replace only one of three required members of dissertation reading committees.

The reading committee, as proposed by the student and agreed to by the prospective members, is endorsed by the chair of the major department on the Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form. This form must be submitted before approval of Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) status or before scheduling a University oral examination that is a defense of the dissertation. The reading committee may be appointed earlier, according to the department timetable for doctoral programs. All subsequent changes to the reading committee must be approved by the chair of the major department. The reading committee must conform to University regulations at the time of degree conferral. Exceptions allowing two non-Academic Council members on the dissertation reading committee when a member of the committee becomes emeritus may be granted by the department chair through the Petition for Doctoral Committee Members.

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