Thesis Advisory Committee and Meeting

Purpose of Thesis Advisory Committee for Master’s and Doctoral Students

Thesis Advisory Committees for both master’s and doctoral students are formed as students are preparing their formal Thesis Proposal. The purpose of a Thesis Advisory Committee meeting is to provide a consultative process for the student and to ensure that:

  1. The quantity and quality of the proposal is appropriate in that it defines the scope of the thesis
  2. It demonstrates that the student is prepared to undertake the work.
  3. It functions as a contractual agreement between the student and the Supervisor/Thesis Proposal Advisory Committee to limit the thesis to the project identified.
  4. It is methodologically sound.
  5. The question proposed is logistically feasible.
  6. The project is achievable

For master’s students your Thesis Advisory Committee should be established early in your third term of study before significant activity e.g. data analysis and/or data collection begins.

For doctoral students your Thesis Advisory Committee should be established early in your fourth term of study concurrently or shortly after you complete your comprehensive examination and before significant activity e.g. data analysis and/or data collection begins.

Deviations from this time line should be noted on your Progress Report.


For both master’s and doctoral students, the membership of your Thesis Advisory Committee will include a minimum of three members: the Supervisor and/or Co-Supervisor(s) and two other graduate faculty members (one of whom may be from another Queen’s department or other university). Community or other experts may be asked to participate when appropriate.


Your Thesis Advisory Committee will meet with you to discuss and approve your Thesis Proposal.  Each member of the Committee must be provided with a copy of your Thesis Proposal document five working days in advance of the meeting date (hard copy or PDF version). You and your supervisor will work together to prepare the Advisory Committee/Thesis Proposal Meeting Form and bring it with you to the meeting. At this meeting, members will also assess your academic preparation to carry out the thesis research. The Thesis Advisory Committee may recommend that you strengthen your background in the research area, for instance, by taking additional courses; engaging in a program of reading; or taking some form of technical training. Your Supervisor will record the discussion and decisions made at the meeting on an Advisory Committee/Thesis Proposal Meeting Form.

Advisory Committee / Thesis Proposal Meeting Form (fillable)

  1. Should be signed by all Committee members and the Student
  2. Supervisor to provide original to the SKHS Graduate Assistant
  3. SKHS Graduate Assistant to file original in SKHS graduate student file
  4. SKHS Graduate Assistant to provide Student and Supervisor with a copy of the Form
  5. Student to forward PDF version of the approved thesis proposal to the SKHS Graduate Assistant via email to:
  6. SKHS Graduate Assistant to update student’s Progress Report to indicate “thesis proposal received”

An approved copy (hard copy or PDF) of the the thesis proposal must in the student’s graduate file before any preparation regarding the oral thesis defense may begin.