The supervisory committee mentors and guides the student to develop a program of study which will lead to a graduate degree. The committee reports to the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee (DGSC) at least once a year on the student's progress. The supervisory committee shall be available to the student for consultation on a regular basis (GGR 1.6.4)

Establishing your Supervisory Committee

It is a requirement that students have a Supervisory Committee by the end of the first month of graduate studies.

The Supervisory Committee must consist of the Supervisor and at least two SFU committee members. There must be one other full MBB faculty member on a Supervisory Committee besides the Supervisor. Associate members supervising students must have at least two full MBB members on the committee.

At the discretion of the graduate student (in consultation with the Supervisor), an additional committee member can be included from outside SFU. There is no expectation for the outside SFU member to submit an official SFU committee meeting report, but their opinions can be summarized and included in the supervisor’s report. By agreement between student and supervisor, the outside SFU member can serve as examining committee member for candidacy exams and thesis defences. Because these committee members are not independent judges of the dissertation research, they cannot serve as public or external examiners. Please note: Adjunct faculty members are not continuing SFU faculty members, therefore, as per MBB requirements, an adjunct faculty member will be an additional committee member.

First supervisory committee meeting

The Graduate Program Assistant will send you a detailed email, with a deadline, by the third week of your first term in which you will have your first supervisory committee meeting. 

Review the guidelines for your first supervisory committee meeting.

Subsequent annual committee meetings

The Graduate Program Assistant will send you a detailed email, with a deadline, by the third week of the term in which you will have your annual supervisory committee meeting. 

Supervisory committee meetings and submission of student committee reports are mandatory as required by SFU and cannot be delayed or postponed.

Review the guidelines for subsequent supervisory committee meetings.

Student-supervisor agreement

Expectations that are set early and are clear, explicit and mutually agreed upon are the basis of a good supervisory relationship. These expectations should include a supervisory agreement.

Your progress toward degree completion should be monitored closely through the establishment of a realistic timetable of milestones and communication with your supervisor/faculty advisor, graduate program assistant, and/or supervisory committee.

The Graduate Program Assistant will include your Student-Supervisor Agreement in the detailed email referred to above.