Two or three faculty members will be appointed by the Program Director to serve together with the Program Director or Assistant Director as an advisory committee for each first-year and second-year student. This committee will advise the student on academic matters and review the student's progress at the beginning of each of the first four semesters in the program. Topics covered in advising sessions include selection of coursework, research rotations, the Teaching Assistantship, participation in other activities in the program, and preparation for the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination.
By the beginning of the fourth semester, the student, in consultation with the Thesis Advisor, will assemble a Thesis Advisory Committee. The Thesis Advisory Committee consists of the Thesis Advisor and three MCB Graduate Program faculty trainers. The Thesis Advisory Committee will serve as the examination committee for the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination at the end of fourth semester. After completion of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, the student will meet with the Thesis Advisory Committee at least once each year to review progress. A brief written report of progress and proposed work is prepared by the student before each Thesis Advisory meeting, and the committee provides an evaluation report at the end of each meeting. The Thesis Advisory Committee continues to guide the student’s research throughout his/her thesis work and, with the addition of an external examiner, will serve as the student’s thesis examination committee. Students can change the composition of the Thesis Advisory Committee after completion of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, as long as a minimum of three MCB Graduate Program faculty trainers in addition to the Thesis Advisor is maintained.