This is the launch edition of the 2019-20 VCU Bulletin. This version includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester. (See the Archives page for bulletins for 2018-19.)

Graduate advisory committees shall be appointed for each master’s degree candidate for whom there is a requirement to produce a thesis or its equivalent in the form of a research project, performance, exhibit or other production. The committee will coordinate and supervise the preparation of the thesis or its equivalent. The committee shall have a minimum of three faculty members, one of whom should be from a discipline other than that of the candidate. The chair of the committee will be designated as the candidate’s faculty adviser. Departments/program directors will appoint advisers for master’s degree candidates for whom a thesis or its equivalent is not required. Every member of the committee must hold graduate faculty or affiliate graduate faculty appointment. The chair and at least one other committee member must hold VCU graduate faculty status. It is expected that all members of the committee will be present at any thesis proposal and thesis defense. In the event that a single member of the committee is unable to attend, the committee may meet with the written approval of the graduate program director. If more than one member of the committee is unable to attend, the defense must be rescheduled. The chair must be present for the defense of a thesis proposal and the final thesis.

A graduate dissertation committee shall be appointed for each doctoral candidate. The committee will have a minimum of four faculty members, including a chair, who will serve as the candidate’s faculty adviser. At least two members must be from within the candidate’s discipline and at least one from another discipline. Every member of the committee must hold graduate faculty or affiliate graduate faculty appointment. The chair and at least two other committee members must hold VCU graduate faculty status. It is expected that all members of the committee will be present at the dissertation proposal and dissertation defense. In the event that a single member of the committee is unable to attend, the committee may meet with the written approval of the graduate program director. If more than one member of the committee is unable to attend, the defense must be rescheduled. The chair must be present for the defense of a dissertation proposal and the dissertation defense.

Upon satisfactory completion of all program requirements for admission to candidacy, doctoral matriculants will take written and/or oral comprehensive examinations administered by their major departments or schools. Successful completion of the examinations shall entitle students to advance to doctoral degree candidacy status. Candidates are then allowed to proceed with the research and preparation of their dissertations and any other doctoral degree requirements designated by their departments.

In the event of failure, students may be permitted to retake comprehensive examinations one time only. The re-examination requires the approval of the appropriate graduate program committee.

Revised 5/14/2013
University Graduate Council