Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. Program in kinesiology will be assigned to an advisor, who is a regular faculty member with at least a 25% appointment in the Department, based upon the student's goal statement (submitted with admission materials) and any communication between the student and a particular faculty member prior to admission.
The student and advisor should collaborate to develop the student's proposed program plan, as well as any necessary changes to the program plan. In addition, the student should meet regularly with his/her advisor to discuss academic progress, expectations, professional development, and preparation for the research practicum, comprehensive exam, and dissertation. The advisor is responsible for preparing a written annual review of academic progress.
The KIN academic progress guidelines specify that doctoral students should form a guidance committee within the first 24 credits of study. The committee must consist of at least four MSU regular faculty members. At least three members of the committee (including the chairperson) must possess an earned doctoral degree and at least one member must be from outside the Department of Kinesiology. Further, at least two members must be from the Department of Kinesiology. Further information can be found in the doctoral programs section of the MSU Academic Programs catalog.
Guidance committee members serve as mentors to the doctoral student. Their responsibilities include reviewing and approving the student's proposed program plan, contributing to annual reviews of academic progress, assisting with the research practicum and comprehensive exam, and assisting with the student's professional development, especially the student's development as a researcher. Because research mentoring is such an important function, students should select guidance committee members who collectively can help them to develop expertise in the discipline and related areas of study and acquire research skills.
The KIN dissertation policy indicates that the dissertation committee must consist of at least four MSU regular faculty members. At least three members of the committee (including the chairperson) must possess an earned doctoral degree, and at least two members must be from the Department of Kinesiology. Often the members of the guidance committee also serve on the dissertation committee, but this is not required. The student should select dissertation committee members who can provide the necessary guidance to enable successful completion of the research.
One of the members of the dissertation committee must be identified to serve as the dissertation director. The student's advisor often fulfills this role; however, a different faculty member may be selected. The dissertation director is responsible for ensuring that all required dissertation forms are submitted in a timely way.
Changes in Advisor or Committee Members
MSU has established procedures for changes in advisor or of guidance committee members. KIN graduate students should check with the graduate studies coordinator or secretary about those procedures if changes become necessary. Of course, it is always appropriate and courteous to discuss concerns with the current advisor before requesting a change.
Extension of Time to Complete Degree
An extension of time to complete degree requirements is needed when the student cannot complete all requirements within the eight-year time period specified by MSU policies. Such requests are not granted automatically. Students must present a compelling rationale for the extension of time, accompanied by a detailed plan for completing the degree.
Nationwide, many students do not complete graduate education programs. Unfortunately, sometimes the reason for leaving a graduate program is conflict between the graduate student and advisor. The MSU Graduate School offers a Conflict Resolution Program that helps students prevent and resolve such conflicts. In addition, students may consult with the KIN graduate studies coordinator or the KIN department chairperson for assistance.