Academic Policies & Procedures

Doctoral Students

Doctoral Advisory Committee

A member of the Indiana University graduate faculty, who is endorsed to chair graduate student committees in a student's major department, will be appointed to chair the student's doctoral advisory committee. After some familiarity has been established with the courses and faculty, the student will nominate two additional Indiana University graduate faculty members to represent the major and minor areas on the advisory committee. 

An Appointment of Advisory Committee Form must be completed and submitted to the graduate recorder in the SPH Records Office with approval of the advisory committee members. The form may be found online at this link:

Final confirmation of committee representatives is the responsibility of the executive associate dean.

Graduate Faculty status of faculty members (the status with determines eligibility of faculty to serve on the doctoral advisory committee) is available on the Indiana University Graduate School’s Website at this link:

The doctoral advisory committee will work with the student to prepare a "prescription of courses" for the program of studies. The prescribed course of study must be approved by the advisory committee and the executive associate dean no later than the eighth week of the second semester of full-time enrollment.

The advisory committee will be responsible for prescribing course work and writing and evaluating qualifying examinations. Requirements for completion of the degree that are not stated in the bulletin must be specified in writing as part of the formal course prescription.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: How many people need to be on my advisory committee?

Answer: The advisory committee is made up of a minimum of three faculty members.

Question: What are the membership qualifications for faculty on a doctoral advisory committee?

Answer: All advisory committee members must have graduate faculty status. In addition to graduate faculty status, the chair of the advisory committee must be endorsed to chair graduate student committees.

Question: How do I find out if a faculty member is qualified to be on my doctoral advisory committee?

Answer: Visit the University Graduate School’s website at this link: If the desired faculty member is on the list, that person has graduate faculty status. If the faculty member is endorsed to chair the committee, there will be an asterisk in the proper column to denote that status. Please remember that the chair of your advisory committee must be an endorsed graduate faculty in your major department.

Question: A faculty member in my department has agreed to serve on my advisory committee, but is not listed on the Graduate School’s list of graduate faculty. Is it possible for this person to serve on my advisory committee?

Answer: It is possible, but only under specific circumstances. Normally, a person must have graduate faculty status to serve on a graduate student committee. A tenured, or tenure-track faculty member with a doctoral degree automatically has graduate faculty status. A faculty member who does not automatically qualify as having graduate faculty status, and who is not listed on the Graduate School’s list of graduate faculty, must first be granted approval for graduate faculty status by the chair of his or her department. If approval is granted, the departmental chair will send a memo to the secretary for academic affairs. The secretary obtains the Executive Associate Dean’s approval. The memo must specify if the faculty member has been approved to serve on a specific student’s committee only or if the faculty member has been approved to be listed on the Graduate School’s graduate faculty listing. Departmental chair approvals for faculty members to serve on an individual student’s committee are given to the School of Public Health - Bloomington recorder to be filed in the student’s academic file. Approvals for faculty to be included on the graduate faculty listing, are sent to the University Graduate School.

Question: A faculty member from an academic institution other than IU has agreed to serve on my Ph.D. Advisory Committee. Is this possible?

Answer: To get approval to serve on a School of Public Health - Bloomington graduate student committee, a non-IU faculty member must submit a curriculum vitae (CV), accompanied by a memo from the chair of the student's advisory committee to the School of Public Health – Bloomington graduate recorder in the SPH Records Office, who will then forward it to the executive associate dean for approval.

Academic Bulletins