The regulations which govern the composition of a Ph.D. committee at UCLA can be found in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA as follows:

Regulations Governing the Nomination of Doctoral Committees

1) Doctoral committees consist of a minimum of four faculty members from UCLA of the following academic ranks:

  • Professor (any rank)
  • Professor or Associate Professor Emeritus
  • Professor-in-Residence (any rank)
  • Acting Professor or Acting Associate Professor

2) Adjunct professors (any rank) and professor of clinical X (any rank) may serve as one of the four regular members and/or co-chair on professional (non-PhD) doctoral committees.

3) Three of the four doctoral committee members must hold an appointment at UCLA in the student’s major department.

4) One of the four doctoral committee members must hold an appointment at UCLA in a department “outside” the student’s major department. (Note: Faculty who hold multiple appointments count as “inside” if one of those appointments is in the student’s department.)

5) Two of the four doctoral committee members must hold the rank of Professor or Associate Professor (regular or in-Residence series) at UCLA.

6) The Chair of the doctoral committee must hold a UCLA appointment in the student’s major department or interdepartmental degree program as professor (any rank, regular or in-residence series), or professor or associate professor emeritus. If a committee has co-chairs, at least one must be from the student’s major department or interdepartmental degree program at UCLA.

7) Additional members (above the minimum number of four) may be nominated and, if appointed, have the same voting rights and responsibilities as the other committee members.

8) Those holding titles indicated in 1) above, as well as adjunct professor and adjunct associate professor, professor of clinical X, and visiting professor or visiting associate professor may serve as additional members (above the minimum of four) and may also serve as co-chair of the committee.

9) By petition (to accompany the committee nomination), one of the minimum four members may be a faculty member from another UC campus who holds an appropriate appointment as listed above. (Funding for travel expenses will not be provided by the Graduate Division.)

10) By petition (to accompany the committee nomination), the “outside” member of the doctoral committee may be from another university inside (not UCLA) or outside of the UC system and from the same field as that of the student. The petition, approved by the chair, vice-chair or authorized departmental faculty graduate adviser must include documentation of the following:

  • A curriculum vitae of the faculty member who is nominated to serve as the “outside” member.
  • The faculty member nominated to serve as the outside member must hold a regular series appointment at a university that offers accredited graduate degrees or have equivalent intellectual qualifications as documented in the vitae and attested to in a letter from the chair of the department.
  • A statement indicating that the department has made arrangements to finance all travel expenses of the outside member to attend the University oral qualifying and, if required, the final oral (defense of the dissertation) examination. Students are not permitted to finance these travel expenses.

These petitions will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of the Graduate Division on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, the student and department should make sure that such a petition and the committee nomination are submitted many weeks in advance of the anticipated date of the University oral qualifying examination, in particular because there is no guarantee that they will be approved, which means that an alternative committee may need to be nominated later if the petition is not approved. This petition process may not be used to retain a UCLA faculty member as a regular committee member once they have left the University for an appointment at another university.


Standards & Procedures for Graduate Study:
Academic Policy:
Thesis & Dissertation Quarterly Meetings:
UCLA Graduate Division
Graduate Division Forms: