Procedures and Guidelines

Supervisory Committee

Form your Ph.D. Supervisory Committee as soon as you have a thesis area so that you may begin working towards your general exam.

Details regarding the rules for membership on the Ph.D. Supervisory Committee are located in the UW Graduate School’s Memo 13: Supervisory Committee for Graduate Students.

Your PhD committee must have at least four members. One of the members is the graduate school representative (GSR) who is selected by the student in consultation with the committee chair(s) and/or the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC - faculty advisor). You choose the remaining members; at least two must be statistics faculty. One of the members (usually your research advisor) is the Chair of the committee. You can also have joint chairs (often done when the main advisor is not a statistics Faculty member).

In addition to your advisor and two members, a GSR must be identified. The GSR and the supervisory committee chair cannot have a budgetary relationship. See the GSR Eligibility Chart.

Administrative Guide: Establish your Ph.D. Supervisory Committee

  • Write out a list of Committee members, indicating: 1) the chair; 2) the Graduate School Representative (GSR); 3) the other members; 4) the home department of each member; 5) that this is a Supervisory Committee (as opposed to a reading committee); and 6) the date for your General exam. Email this list to Ellen, who will notify the Graduate School. This should generate a confirmatory appointment email.
  • If after a week you have not received a confirmatory email from the Graduate School listing your committee members, notify Ellen who will check with the Graduate School.
  • After you receive the confirmatory email from the Graduate School listing your committee members, it is your responsibility to contact all Committee members regarding General and Final Examination dates and availability.

Futher Information
Doctoral Supervisory Committee Roles and Responsibilities
General Exam Policy

Dissertation

Important dissertation milestones are:

  • Completing all other PhD requirements and identifying a dissertation advisor and dissertation topic.
  • Forming a Supervisory Committee which should be done as soon as a dissertation topic is determined.
  • Passing the General Examination, in which the student discusses the dissertation proposal and background research.
  • 2 MONTHS PRIOR TO FINAL EXAM - Forming a Reading Committee; this is a subset of the Supervisory Committee.
  • 7 WEEKS PRIOR TO FINAL EXAM - Producing a complete draft of the dissertation for submission to the Reading and Supervisory Committees. The Reading Committee reads and approves the draft before the Final Examination is scheduled.
  • Scheduling and passing the Final Examination, in which the student defends their dissertation.
  • BY THE LAST DAY OF EACH QUARTER - Submission of an electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD) AND delivery of the Reading Committee Approval Form.

Students typically begin work on their dissertation after completing the PhD qualifying exams, although students should explore potential research topics throughout their graduate career. Students working on their dissertations should enroll in STAT 800 (PhD dissertation) normally only AFTER passing the General Exam.

Resources
The pages below contain formal UW requirements for PhD dissertations, to which Statistics students must adhere.

General Examination

IMPORTANT: The General Examination can be scheduled only if: (a) the student has completed 60 credits (some of these credits may be taken the same quarter of the exam); (b) all required program examinations that do not need Graduate School approval have been completed and; (c) all members of the supervisory committee agree that the student's background of study and preparation is sufficient and have approved the student to schedule a General Examination. At least four members of a supervisory committee (including the Chair, Graduate School Representative, and one additional Graduate Faculty member) must be present at the examination. Also, students may not take the General Examination and Final Examination in the same quarter.

Resources
Graduate School regulations on conduct of General Examinations

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SCHEDULING YOUR GENERAL EXAM
The General Examination can be scheduled only after the student has met all program requirements except writing the dissertation. Click here for students admitted to the PhD Program before 2012 or click here for students admitted to the PhD Program after 2012 to ensure you have fulfilled the requirements.

  • AS SOON AS YOU HAVE A DISSERTATION TOPIC: Form your Ph.D. Supervisory Committee and report members to Ellen.
  • At least FOUR WEEKS PRIOR TO EXAM: Contact Kristine Chan (kyunchan@uw.edu)  to request Padelford C-301 or contact Ellen (ellen@stat.washington.edu) for requesting a room elsewhere on campus.
  • At least THREE AND A HALF WEEKS PRIOR TO EXAM: Submit the General Exam Announcement Form with your exam information.
  • At least THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO EXAM: Proceed with scheduling the General Exam by filling out the on-line application for the General Exam at the Graduate School website. This action requires the committee members’ approval for date, time and location, and will take prior planning on the part of the student.
  • 2-3 WEEKS PRIOR TO EXAM: If any members of the committee will be participating via audio or video conference, student contacts Kristine Chan (kyunchan@uw.edu) to make arrangements for the appropriate equipment.
  • Prior to your General Exam, the warrant is generated and given to the Supervisory Committee Chair (unless otherwise requested by the Committee Chair).
  • The student's file/record is available to the Committee for the exam.
  • AFTER THE EXAM, the Committee Chair (not the student) gives the original, signed warrant to Ellen. (Note: warrants are processed at the department level. Do not send them to the Graduate School.)

Reading Committee and PhD Final Examination

The mandate of the Reading Committee (a subset of the Supervisory Committee) is to ensure that the student's dissertation is a significant contribution to statistical knowledge, and is an acceptable piece of scholarly writing.

The purpose of the Final Examination is to enable the Supervisory Committee to assess whether the student has produced a dissertation that is a significant contribution to statistical knowledge and that the student has PhD-level training in statistical research. After a successful Final Exam, the student must submit a final dissertation to the Graduate School; this final version of the dissertation should address any issues raised in the Final Exam, to the satisfaction of the Supervisory Committee.

The student must be registered throughout the course of the degree (up to and including the quarter in which the final version of the dissertation is turned in to the Graduate School). A student who does not complete all degree requirements by the last day of the quarter must register for the following quarter. (Note: The Final Exam and submission of final version of the dissertation may happen in different quarters as long as the student stays registered.)

Scheduling your Final Exam
You must apply for your Final Exam at least three weeks before the date on which you plan to take your Final Exam.

This means that your Final Exam will take place no sooner than, at the very minimum, twenty-two days after your reading committee members have all agreed to allow you to proceed to the final.

What that means is:
1) you have given the reading committee a copy of your complete draft dissertation 7 weeks before the exam. This will provide your reading committee 4 weeks to read it.
2) your reading committee members have all read your complete draft dissertation during the 4 weeks, agree that you are prepared and approve you to schedule the Final Exam in time for you to --
3) apply for your Final Exam at least three weeks before the date on which you plan to take your Final Exam.

IMPORTANT NOTES: This three-week deadline for applying to take your Final Exam is a minimum and must be met in order to ensure that the Graduate School and the Department have time to review and process all the information needed to approve the Final Exam. Failure to meet this deadline may result in a delay of your Final Exam (including a possible delay to the following quarter).

Students may not take both the General Exam and Final Exam in the same quarter.

Resources
Graduate School Doctoral Student Resources
Graduate School Theses and Dissertations procedures
Graduate School Appointment and Responsibilities of a Doctoral Reading Committee
Graduate School Dissertation Defense
Graduate School Final Quarter Policy

Administrative Guide: Establish your Reading Committee

  • At least 8-9 WEEKS PRIOR TO FINAL EXAM: Establish your reading committee – discuss with your Committee Chair and ask members of your Supervisory Committee if they will be able to serve on your reading committee (three members are required).
  • Email your list of the Reading Committee members, indicating which one is the Chair, and
    the date for the Final Exam to Ellen.
  • If, after one week, you have not received a confirmatory email from the Graduate School
    listing your Reading Committee members, notify Ellen. You will need this confirmatory
    email before scheduling your Final Exam.

Administrative Guide: Instructions for scheduling your Final Exam

  • After confirming that all Reading Committee members have read your dissertation and have suggested no further major revisions, and no less than 3-4 weeks before you hope to hold your Final Examination, arrange a Final Exam date with your Committee members.
    IMPORTANT: Make sure you confirm the date and time of your Final Exam with all members of the Committee, especially the GSR. It is recommended that you get agreement in writing; email confirmations should be saved as documentation that you have made the arrangements.
  • At least FOUR WEEKS PRIOR TO FINAL EXAM: Contact Kristine Chan (kyunchan@uw.edu) to request Padelford C-301 or contact Ellen (ellen@stat.washington.edu) for requesting a room elsewhere on campus.
  • At least THREE AND A HALF WEEKS PRIOR TO FINAL EXAM: Submit the Final Exam Announcement Form with your exam information.
  • At least THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO FINAL EXAM: Submit the Doctoral Final Examination application form at the Graduate School website. Ellen prepares the Final Examination warrant and will give it to the Committee Chair (unless otherwise requested by the Committee Chair)
  • 2-3 WEEKS PRIOR TO FINAL EXAM: If any members of your committee will be participating via audio or video conference, student contacts Kristine Chan (kyunchan@uw.edu) to make arrangements for the appropriate equipment.
  • Please note: The public is welcome to attend the open part of your examination. Usually there is time for questions from the general audience. Then the committee asks everyone and continues the examination in a closed session with only the committee and the examinee
  • The student's file/record is available to the Committee for the exam.
  • On the day of your Final Exam be sure that at the end of your Final Exam, your committee members sign the warrant, double-check to make sure that all information is noted on the warrant and then have the Committee Chair send/deliver the signed warrant to Ellen.

TO GRADUATE, students must do the following:

  • Original signed warrant - must be sent or hand-delivered by a faculty committee member (not by the student) to Ellen.
  • Submission of an electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD) by the LAST DAY OF THE QUARTER.
  • Submission of the Reading Committee Approval Form by the LAST DAY OF THE QUARTER to the Graduate School via the Administrative Documents section of the UW ETD Administrator Site.
  • Copy of dissertation - a hard-bound copy is required for the department's permanent collection. Note: Binding takes one month. Deadline is always the 10th of month (ready the following month). There are no required fees, although you have the option to register your copyright via ProQuest for a fee. If you want to order bound (paper) copies of your document, you may do so through the UW Copy Centers or through ProQuest. Questions should be directed to the UW Copy Centers or to ProQuest at 1.800.521.0600, ext. 77020 - available 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday (excluding U.S. holidays). Also, you can submit a copy of the receipt to Ellen showing that a hard-bound copy has been paid for and will be sent directly to: Ellen Reynolds, Graduate Program Adviser, Department of Statistics, Box 35-4322, B-313 Padelford, Seattle, WA 98195-4322.

IMPORTANT: The Graduate Program cannot recommend you for graduation until the above steps are complete.