Dissertation Committee

Within the first semester of enrollment, the Ph.D. student will be given a preliminary dissertation committee that will guide and evaluate their research proposal. Once a preliminary proposal has been approved, the student must assemble a full dissertation committee. This committee will consist of the research mentor, three LMU-DCOM anatomy faculty members (including the Director of the Anatomical Education Ph.D. program) and at least one member from outside of LMU. The outside member may participate via video conferencing. The committee chair must be an LMU-DCOM faculty member in the Department of Anatomy. The committee Chair may or may not be the primary research mentor. Committee members are expected to have terminal degrees and/or expertise pertaining to the dissertation topic. The committee must include three LMU-DCOM anatomy faculty members. Faculty from other departments may be on the committee and may be the primary research mentor but can not be the committee chair. The committee may include more than five members if additional expertise is needed.

The student must meet with their preliminary dissertation committee two times each semester. Once the full committee is formed, the student must meet with the committee a minimum of two times per year but can request additional meetings as needed. Students are encouraged to meet with research mentors and individual committee members as frequently as needed to ask questions, troubleshoot problems, etc.

  • One week prior to each meeting the student must submit a written progress report
  • Following each committee meeting, the committee chair must write a summary report and, distribute it to the student and committee members
  • Students must present a research proposal outline to the committee by the end of the 2nd semester of attendance
  • Committee members will give input on strengths weaknesses and concerns before the student writes the full proposal
  • To obtain committee approval of the research project, the student will present the full proposal to the committee by the end of summer semester of year one. The committee will provide feedback and may require revisions before approval
  • The student is expected to have committee approval of the research project before fall semester of year two
  • When the dissertation committee deems that the student has made adequate progress on the research project, the committee will grant permission for the student to begin writing the dissertation
  • Following the mentor’s approval of the completed dissertation, the student will distribute it to the dissertation committee for review. This must be done a minimum of two weeks before the dissertation defense
  • The student will give a public presentation of the dissertation a minimum of 4 weeks before the end of the semester.
  • The dissertation committee will review the dissertation prior to the defense and may require revisions prior to graduation
  • The committee will administer a private oral defense of the dissertation following the public presentation