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Advisor and Committee

Selecting Your Research Advisor

You will have your Research Advisor assignments near the end of the first semester after completing the advisor selection process. The selection process consists of a research overview course, one-on-one interviews with potential advisors, and submission of the Advisor Selection Form.

  • The research overview course, Introduction to Graduate Studies (CH 610), provides an introduction to each of the research faculty and their research programs. This course is only offered in Fall.
  • Each student will meet individually with at least three professors to discuss potential research projects. You should schedule your one-on-one meetings as soon as the semester starts.
  • Complete the Advisor Selection Form (link below) with signatures from the professors you interviewed. Send the form to the Graduate Office by October 15 (if you started in August) indicating 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices of research advisor. For students with a January start, the form is due by March 15. The Department Chair, the Director of the Graduate Program, and your potential advisor(s) will make the final assignments based on your selections and research group availability.

Switching Groups

Switching groups can be a challenging proposition. It’s best if you do it early in your academic career, such as by the beginning of your second year if you realize your research interests lie elsewhere. Depending on the situation, you may or may not feel comfortable speaking with your current advisor, but be sure to discuss things with the Graduate Office to determine how the change will impact your deadlines, funding, if paperwork needs to be processed, etc.

Selecting Your Research Advisory Committee

The main purpose of the Research Advisory Committee is to advise you during your career with us and evaluate the preliminary and final examinations. The first action of the committee will be to approve the Plan of Work, where you will formalize your Research Advisory Committee. You and your advisor will work together to decide who will form part of your Research Advisory Committee. You have until July 31 (if you started in the fall) or by December 31 (if you started in the spring) to finalize your committee. If you have a previous Master’s, you should consider doing this as soon as you receive your research advisor assignment. Committees are composed of graduate faculty members from the Chemistry Department and/or from other departments on campus, if appropriate. PhD Students will select three faculty members apart from your advisor to form a four-person committee. In addition, you must have a Graduate School Representative (GSR). There are three ways to identify the GSR to serve on your committee;  you can invite a graduate faculty member from another department, the Graduate School will assign a GSR, or one of your committee members is already from a department outside of Chemistry at NC State and agrees to serve a dual role. Master’s students will select two faculty members apart from your advisor to form a three-person committee and does not have a GSR.

After you pass your Prelim, your committee becomes final. If your committee changes after you pass your prelim, or will change, you must formally replace/delete them using the Committee Modification Form. Turn in the Committee Modification Form before or when you turn in your Exam Request Form for your final defense. A form is not needed for a new Graduate School Representative, unless one of your committee members serves a dual role.