Saturday, April 21, 2018
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Hawaii System
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Tropical Plant Pathology
Graduate Student Handbook

Advisory Committee

Initiation and successful completion of graduate studies requires early and continued advice from the Tropical Plant Pathology Graduate Faculty. The most important members of this faculty are your advisor and your committee members. When the student is being supported by a research assistantship, the faculty member supporting the student will usually be the students faculty advisor. In those rare instances when a student is not supported by an assistantship, the Tropical Plant Pathology Graduate Chair will serve as the Interim Advisor for the student.

Your relationship with your faculty advisor/committee chair will often determine the success and flow of your academic experience and training in plant pathology. Your advisor is devoted to mentoring you and to your success in your graduate studies. Your Thesis/Dissertation Advisory Committee shares responsibility for reviewing your progress as a graduate student and in guiding you toward completion of your degree requirements. The Advisory Committee will suggest and approve your plan of work. You must keep your committee informed of your progress throughout your tenure in Tropical Plant Pathology. It is recommended that you schedule a committee meeting once every semester.

Because of its importance, your thesis/dissertation committee should be formed in a timely fashion. Your committee must be formed in accord with Graduate Division Policy. Master committees require a minimum of three faculty—two from the graduate faculty in Tropical Plant Pathology. A Ph.D. committee requires a minimum of five committee members—three must be from within the graduate faculty of Tropical Plant Pathology and at least one of the remaining members from outside the Tropical Plant Pathology faculty. The Graduate Division has a web site to search for qualified members of the Graduate Faculty. The outside member of your committee will read and critique your thesis/dissertation, participate in your oral exam, and may submit an independent report to the graduate dean. The outside member insures fairness in the examination and maintenance of academic standards. You may have more members than the minimum number of committee members but excessive numbers will not be allowed.

You should choose your thesis/dissertation committee members in consultation with your advisor. Your committee should be formed by your second semester of residence in the department. Select faculty that bring expertise to provide you proper guidance. You want your committee to be composed of faculty that will ensure high professional standards. If the need arises, the composition of a constituted committee can be changed by submitting a memorandum to the Graduate Chair justifying the proposed change.

When you and your advisor have decided upon the composition of your thesis/dissertation committee, you will convene the group. Some advisors prefer to have the committee meet before you present your proposal seminar to discuss your plan of work. At this time you may submit a completed Student Progress Form I - Advancement to Candidacy. Other advisors will have you convene your committee, present your proposal seminar, and discuss your plan of work. Upon completion of your proposal seminar you will submit a completed Student Progress Form II - Advancement to Thesis Stage to the Graduate Chair for approval.

In completing the progress forms, remember that Tropical Plant Pathology does not have a qualifying exam or require a first language exam. Your committee will tell you of any deficiencies. We do not use interim advisors, so your advisor’s name will be used.

All members of your Advisory Committee must approve and sign your completed thesis.

In the Ph.D. Program, the Advisory Committee will administer your comprehensive and final examinations. A majority of your committee must approve of your dissertation and the oral defense of your dissertation. A minority member has the right to appeal to the Graduate Division for a final decision.

Program Goals

  • Students communicate effectively
  • Students are competent and knowledgeable biologists
  • Students conduct research in plant pathology


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Facilities - Non Department


Advisory Committee

Thesis and Dissertation


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