Student-Dissertation director relationships are established in one of two ways. Either the student becomes interested in a topic then selects director on the basis of his/her interest and competency in the area, or the student first becomes interested in the work of a particular faculty member, and then decides to write his/her dissertation in that area. Either approach is acceptable. The important thing is that the student feel free to approach any member of the graduate faculty concerning the question of thesis advising. He/she should also feel free to change advisors, although if this is done after the research is under way, it is likely to result in some delay I the completion of the dissertation.
After their graduate program is launched, students should confer with their academic advisor or the Director of Graduate Study about a thesis. The present advisor may, or may not, serve as the director of the thesis, depending upon his/her academic interest, and availability, and the student's wishes. If someone other than the academic advisor is selected as the thesis director, the student may either retain his present academic advisor or request the thesis director to assume the entire advisory responsibility.
The two other members of the thesis advisory committee are appointed by the Director of Graduate Study, in consultation with the student and his/her advisor. The student will ask these members to serve on the committee. These members should be appointed early in the development of the thesis to assist in its preparation. However, the thesis director is chiefly responsible for supervising the preparation of the M.S. thesis, and will normally chair the student's M.A.: oral examination.