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While the specifics of this role vary from institution to institution, from department to department, and from chairperson to chairperson, some general functions of the chair are relatively universal.First, the chairperson will approve your dissertation or thesis topic.
And, ultimately, the chairperson will determine whether you will be granted the degree.
Most departments have rules concerning who may and who may not serve as dissertation or thesis chairpersons.
Knowing your institution's local ground rules will help you avoid considering a potential chairperson who is not eligible to chair a dissertation or thesis.
You must consider the following factors in choosing a chair: (a) expertise, (b) accessibility, (c) feedback, (d) success, (e) personality style, and (f) attitudes toward methodology.
Therefore, the selection of a chairperson for your project is a very important decision.
In collaboration with your chair and committee, you will delimit your topic, develop your proposal, conduct your research, and write your dissertation or master's thesis.
The student is responsible for obtaining signatures from advisor and readers before submitting the form to the Doctoral Programs Officer for final processing.
The rules governing the composition of the reading committee are as follows: at least one member of the committee must be from the GSE; the principal dissertation advisor must be on the Stanford Academic Council (AC); and any member of the committee that is not a member of the academic council must be approved by the Area Chair and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
In the last case, the Petition for Non-Academic Council Member to Serve on Doctoral Committee form (available from the Doctoral Programs Officer) and a current CV of the proposed member are required.
This person must be particularly well qualified to consult on the dissertation topic and hold a Ph D or an equivalent foreign degree.