The thesis supervisor’s role in the first year is to:

  • help the student to select courses in the initial 1-2 terms
  • ensure the student is aware of how to find school and faculty policies
  • assist student in finding information about funding sources and employment opportunities, where appropriate
  • support the student in planning professional development relevant to career goals
  • ensure the student has opportunity to be nominated for awards, where appropriate

How do I choose a supervisor and committee?

You are responsible for choosing your thesis supervisor, who will chair your supervisory committee. The thesis supervisor is usually a Professor or Associate Professor of the School, with previous experience on doctoral committees or as research supervisor or Chair of Doctoral committees. The supervisor must be a member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. A review of the School’s full-time faculty will enable you to familiarize yourself with the research being conducted in the School and start a preliminary dialogue with any faculty members whose research appears compatible with your intended course of study. If your research interests or plans change, you can change your supervisor, although you should be aware that this may delay your progress towards graduation.

The supervisory committee consists of the chair and two or more other committee members. You work together with your supervisor to identify suitable committee members. The majority of the committee must be from UBC. When persons from outside the University are proposed, a memo requesting approval with a justification and a curriculum vitae of the person(s) nominated.should be sent to your Program Manager who will forward a letter of request to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Appropriately qualified individuals who are not members of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (such as clinical faculty, faculty with partner appointments, adjunct faculty, professors of teaching, senior instructors, visiting faculty, honorary faculty, UBCO faculty, affiliate professors, faculty members from other universities, and off-campus professionals who are academically qualified to advise graduate students) may be approved to co-supervise, or serve on the supervisory committees of graduate students.

Looking for a supervisor? You can click here to find out more.