PhD Dissertation Advisor, Committee and Research Proposals

Doctoral students are required to have a dissertation advisor selected, a dissertation committee formed, and research proposal approved within one year of passage of the qualifying examination.

Department chairpersons or doctoral program directors are responsible for approving formation of dissertation committees. The committee consists of a minimum of five members, one of whom is external to the program or to NJIT. The majority of the committee members are tenured or tenure-track faculty from the student's program or department having research experience or developing research interests related to the dissertation research. The dissertation committee chairperson typically is the doctoral candidate's dissertation advisor, but other faculty may be selected, provided they are from the student's program or department. The dissertation committee chair must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the program. Two committee members, including an external member, may serve as co-advisors. At least one of the co-advisors must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member from the program.

The other members of the dissertation committee, except for an external member from outside the university, must have faculty rank at the level of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Distinguished Professor, or Research Professor. Former students of any committee member, who are less than four years beyond doctoral completion, are specifically excluded from membership. Post-doctoral Associates, Instructors, Special Lecturers, Research and Teaching Assistants, or any other student category, are specifically excluded from membership. The external members should either have appropriate faculty rank elsewhere or have sufficient research expertise to warrant inclusion on the dissertation committee.

Part-time doctoral students pursuing the doctorate with industry collaboration should have at least one dissertation committee member from the participating industrial partner whose research credentials would otherwise be appropriate for a member of the university faculty. Committees for joint doctoral programs with other universities shall either follow these policies or the specific policies for the joint program consistent with the program approval and related documents.

Each doctoral program has specific requirements for preparing, presenting and accepting proposals. Research is expected to investigate or develop a unique contribution to science and technology. Research may be experimental, analytical, applied, or theoretical, provided it satisfies this criteria and is approved by the dissertation committee. It should be of a quality to warrant scholarly presentation or paper submission to reputable journals in accordance with program practice.

Publication of as least one peer-reviewed journal article is advised.