Usually, when a student is admitted to graduate study, a temporary advisor is assigned. In some cases, the department chairperson or graduate program director serves in this capacity for all incoming graduate students. The student, following departmental procedures and regulations, then selects a permanent advisor who will be responsible for helping the student to finalize the program of study.
For most degree options, a second member is selected from the student's department to serve on the examining committee. (In some programs of study, more than one departmental faculty member, in addition to the advisor, serves on the examining committee.) A third member of the examining committee, called the Graduate Faculty Representative (GFR) is appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research from outside the student's department. The GFR must be a member of the Graduate Faculty and may not be selected from a separate discipline within a yoked department. The GFR is the representative of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research on the examining committee and is responsible for reporting the results of graduate examinations to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The Office of Graduate Studies and Research welcomes suggestions from the student regarding candidates for the GFR.