Composition of the MS Supervisory Committee

You must adhere to University of Washington Graduate School Memorandum No. 13 in selecting faculty members to be recommended for the supervisory committee. The supervisory committee consists of a minimum of two and no more than four members.

The Committee Chair

The Chair must be a member of the graduate faculty. Typically, the chair is also the advisor for the student's thesis or project work. Occasionally it is appropriate for the advisor to be selected from faculty other than graduate faculty. In such instances, the supervisory committee would consist of three members, with one of the members of graduate faculty serving as chair. The chair then has the added responsibility to act as a consultant for the advisor on matters pertaining to functions of the committee.

Committee Members

At least half of the total supervisory committee must be graduate faculty. Members should be chosen based on compatibility of interests between the topics on which the student wishes to work and the areas of inquiry on which faculty are focusing their efforts.


Consider the ability of selected members to work together, as well as required expertise. The student and committee will develop approaches for working together that blend the individual student's needs, as well as academic scholarship guidance and evaluation expected of the committee by the University. Ongoing discussions, negotiations and clarifications of strategies and expectations are important processes between the student and committee to assure the meeting overall goals.