The Joint Committee of the Laurier-Waterloo PhD in Religious Studies

The Joint Committee is the coordinating and governing body of the Laurier-Waterloo PhD in Religious Studies. The directorship rotates between the two universities on a three-year cycle. The director is selected by the department; if there is a dispute, the joint committee elects the director. Although each university and department retains its legal autonomy, the joint program is administered through the cooperative efforts of the Joint Committee, the membership of which consists of the two chairs, the two graduate officers, the director, and a student representative from each of the two universities. The Joint Committee supervises, among other things, the following: admission, the core courses, the General Examination, the supervisory structure, language requirements, the dissertation, and the oral presentation processes.

The Supervisory Committees

The role of a supervisory committee is to provide expertise in the student’s area of research, write and evaluate the field exam, offer guidance and feedback, and assist the student in achieving a timely completion of degree requirements. Supervisory committees are approved by the joint committee, and the director oversees the supervisory process.

Supervisory committees typically consist of at least three members of the Religion and Culture / Religious Studies faculty from both universities. The final defense will also include a reader from another department at one of the two universities and an appropriate external examiner from a third university. A change in membership can be initiated by the supervisor, committee member, student, or director.

Supervisory committees may be convened as needed but should meet at least once a year. Supervisors and doctoral candidates typically meet more frequently.