This committee is responsible for advising all aspects of the graduate education of each graduate student who has passed the advanced written and oral comprehensive examination. This includes a continuing plan of graduate study, focussed on successful completion of remaining course work, and most importantly on insuring continuing research progress of the student towards a satisfactory dissertation. The University catalog describes the main duty of the Dissertation Committee as "supervision" of research progress. Thus, the committee should be formed soon after the student passes the qualifying examination (see below). The Dissertation Committee also serves as the evaluation board for the Oral Dissertation Defense. Note that registration for courses and other administrative procedures for post-qualifier students is still the responsibility of the graduate program director and the graduate committee (general course advising).
University requirements stipulate that the Dissertation Committee consists of at least three members, one of which must be from outside the physics department. However, within the Physics Department, this committee consists instead of five voting members. The chair of the committee is normally the research advisor, who must be an approved member of the graduate faculty. Within the Physics Department, selection of the committee is the joint responsibility of the student and their research advisor. Appointment procedures and general eligibility for membership on a Dissertation Committee are described in the University Catalog. One member of the Dissertation Committee must be from outside the department, but also must be an Old Dominion University Graduate Faculty member. Selection of this member of the committee should be done in consultation with the GPD or the graduate committee.
The Dissertation Committee is formed by filling out Form 16: Ph.D. Dissertation Committee . Any change in the Dissertation Committee should be made using Form 17: Request for Change in Ph.D. Dissertation Committee.
The Dissertation Committee must meet as a group with the student at least annually. At that meeting the graduate student should present a formal oral progress report on his or her research. Progress on course work and any other matters pertaining to the graduate education of the student should also be examined. At the conclusion of the meeting the advisor should fill out the form Report of Annual Dissertation Committee Meeting and forward it to the GPD.