The graduate committee's major role is to offer guidance regarding coursework needed for your specific degree requirements and to assist you in formulating your study design and interpretation of results. A student should select his or her graduate committee by the end of the first full semester of registration. The term "full semester" means either the fall and spring semester. The committee is composed of members of the University of Wyoming Graduate Faculty. Occasionally, scientists who are not part of the UW faculty may be chosen to be part of the graduate committee. Appointment of a non-UW faculty member should be discussed with the committee chair (your advisor(s)) and the head of the Department before an offer is made to join the committee. Students who have an off-campus research faculty member as chair MUST have a Veterinary Sciences academic co-chair.
The graduate committee is the authoritative entity regarding the terms of your program of study, research proposal and defense exam (i.e., no administrative structure can overrule the graduate committee regarding the content of these items). The committee is nominated jointly by the student and his/her advisor, approved by the head of the department, and then is submitted to the Registrar's Office on its committee composition form. The committee members are likely to be useful mentors throughout your career, and important sources of references for jobs. They will be helpful advisors to insure your graduate experience reaches its full potential. Therefore, it is in your best interest to choose the committee members wisely and to keep the various members of the committee informed regarding the progress of your program. It is a useful practice to ask around in the department and college to insure that potential members of your committee would be a good "fit", given your research type and personality, and other members of the committee.
A petition may be filed if it is necessary to change your committee's composition. This requires the signatures of the all current members of the committee, plus that of the Department Head.