Project/Thesis Committees

Assembling Your Committee

It is the student's responsibility to assemble their committee and then notify the Interdisciplinary Studies program of its members.

It is never too soon to start thinking about your project/thesis committee. There are a few of ways to research potential committee members:

  • Talk to other students about their experiences.
  • Read online faculty biographies.
  • Read what relevant faculty have published.
  • Talk to faculty members in office hours or via email.
  • Take a class or independent study with the faculty member you are considering.

For more ideas about the process of assembling the committee, consult the Student Handbook.

Thesis Committees

Interdisciplinary Studies thesis committees must be composed of three members of the graduate faculty. The details of the thesis committee are specified in the University Catalog under the section "AP.6.9.3 Master’s Thesis":

The master's thesis committee is composed of at least three members of the graduate faculty, at least two of whom must be from the student's department or program. [Because all MAIS curricula are interdisciplinary, "student's department or program" is very broadly defined.] Faculty who are not members of the graduate faculty or other appropriate persons not affiliated with the university may serve as additional members. 

Project Committees

The membership of the project committee is not specified in the University Catalog; it is determined by the Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Project committees consist of:

  1. A chair who is a member of the Mason graduate faculty.
  2. A member of the Mason faculty, graduate or otherwise.
  3. A member of the Mason faculty, graduate or otherwise, or a practitioner with expertise on the project topic who holds at least a master's degree.

Graduate Faculty

The University Catalog defines graduate faculty in section "AP.6 Graduate Policies" as follows:

The graduate faculty consists of all George Mason University tenured and tenure-track faculty. Other Mason faculty members, as well as individuals from outside the university, may be appointed to the graduate faculty by the Provost for a specified duration of time.

Students should not count on a non-graduate faculty member being made a member of the graduate faculty just to work with them. If you are not sure whether the person you are considering for your committee is on the graduate faculty, the best thing to do is to ask them.