Supervisory Committee

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Forming your Supervisory Committee

Students should form their supervisory committees before the end of the fall term of their first year, and aim to hold their first supervisory committee meeting before the end of April in the winter term of their first year. This is important so that your committee can provide guidance prior to the first Progress Report deadline on May 15th.

Once your supervisory committee is formed, please complete the Plan of Study form to record the composition of your committee. Also be sure to talk to the Graduate Program Assistant (Nancy Riddell) to tell her the members of your committee. This is very important because committee membership must be entered into the McMaster School of Graduate Studies system.

Supervisory Committee Meetings

Your first supervisory committee meeting should occur before end of April of your first year. Subsequent to the first year, every student must hold a supervisory committee meeting once every academic year (e.g., September to August), at minimum (many committees meet more often). These reports must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies before the end of November every year.

Each meeting is documented via the Supervisory Committee Meeting Form. Complete all the relevant student sections and bring one copy of the form to your committee meeting. Your supervisor, in consultation with the other members of your committee, will complete the remaining sections. The completed and signed form is then submitted to the PNB Graduate Administrative Assistant, Nancy Riddell. Note that these instructions will change somewhat when the Supervisory Committee Meeting Form is converted to an electronic form which will be completed online, through a portal provided by the School of Graduate Studies. The switch to electronic supervisory committee meeting forms will occur soon, probably before end of the 2018 fall term. We will update this link when the online form is ready. Meanwhile, use this paper form:

Plan of Study

The PNB Plan of Study:

  • records the composition of your [Supervisory Committee#Forming your Supervisory Committee supervisory committee] (to be done by end of first term of first year), and
  • provides a structure to plan required courses, modules, and the Comprehensive Exam. The plan should be worked out in consultation with your supervisory committee, and approved by your committee and the graduate chair.

We suggest that you start the conversation about your Plan of Study at your first committee meeting; you won't likely know all the courses you want to take yet, but you can start thinking about options with your committee. It is useful to review your Plan of Study at each supervisory committee meeting.

  • Each time you update your Plan of Study you can enter the changes online:
  • Plan of Study form

The online Plan of Study will ask you for:

The advanced statistics courses, independent study modules, comprehensive exam topic(s), and additional half course should be chosen with the aim of achieving a reasonable balance between breadth of knowledge across the relevant discipline and depth of knowledge within the student's sub-discipline of specialization. See Course Requirements.

Progress Reports

This link will take you to a detailed description of Progress Reports, which are due every year on May 15th.