Supervisors and Supervisory Committees


Graduate students require a supervisor that meets all the eligibility requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) for appointment as a supervisor. Additionally, a supervisor must ordinarily have an appointment with the Department of Medicine and have supervised at least one student at the University of Alberta before. A faculty member who does not meet these requirements may be appointed as a supervisor but his or her student will require an additional supervisor who does meet them. The employment supervisor of a student may not be appointed as his or her supervisor or supervisory committee member.

MSc Supervisory Committee

The Department of Medicine requires MSc students to have a supervisory committee. The supervisory committee consists of the supervisor(s) and any supervisory committee members. The supervisory committee can have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 members (3 is recommended). The committee is chaired by the supervisor. Its composition must be agreeable to both the supervisor and the student and be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

All supervisory committee members are required to serve as examining committee members. For this reason, the composition of the supervisory committee should be appropriate for the composition of the final examination committee. For instance, at least 1 and preferably 2 supervisory committee members should have an MSc degree or higher or both an MD and an FRCPC.

Doctoral Supervisory Committee

Doctoral students are required to have a supervisory committee. The requirements and recommendations for MSc supervisory committees apply to doctoral supervisory committees as well. The exceptions for doctoral supervisory committees are

  • they can have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 members;
  • their composition must be approved by both the Graduate Coordinator and FGSR; and
  • at least 1 and preferably 2 members should have a PhD degree or higher.

For more information, see Supervision and Supervisory Committees and The Role and Structure of Examining Committees in the University Calendar. Students must submit the names of their supervisory committee members to the Graduate Program Advisor for their division within one month of the start of their program.

Supervisory Committee Meeting Progress Reports

The supervisory committee is charged with monitoring the student's progress and providing help and advice.

The Graduate Coordinators will review each student's progress annually (usually during the Fall term). This review will include reading the Supervisory Committee Meeting Progress Report which is signed by the supervisor and the student.

If disagreements occur regarding either the style or the substance of the research, it is recommended that they be resolved by the student and his/her supervisory committee. When these issues cannot be resolved in this way, the student or the supervisor should seek the advice of the Graduate Coordinators.