The thesis advisory committee assists supervisors in their role of monitoring and mentoring research by graduate students. Committee members should therefor be reasonably accessible to the student to fulfil on the commitment of the thesis advisory committee, which includes: 

  • providing advice and recommendations on the student's research 
  • helping to monitor and report on the student's progress throughout their graduate program
  • formally meeting with the student on an annual basis
  • serving on the thesis proposal examination committee
  • serving on the thesis defence committee 
  • PhD committee members may also serve on the PhD comprehensive examination committee

The thesis advisory committee is not a substitute for overall supervision of the student, and members are not normally expected to assist in experimental design, editing of materials, or other direct support (i.e. unless they are collaborators in the research and recognized as such).  See roles and responsibilities of advisory committees for information.