Masters (MA/MSc)

Besides your supervisor, you will have 1-2 other UBC G+PS members who compose your Supervisory Committee.  The Supervisory Committee consists of a supervisor and one other faculty member, as well as a third reader, either from within or outside the department. The committee advises MA/MSc students on coursework, research, and thesis preparation. Its role is to provide support by broadening and deepening the range of expertise and experience available to you and your supervisor. The committee offers advice about and assessment of your work. The committee should be established as early in the student’s program as possible.

The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the student’s program is conducted in accordance with all University and Departmental regulations. The supervisor plays a major role in helping guide a student’s graduate program, recommending a suitable supervisory committee, writing letters of support on the student’s behalf, as well as overseeing the thesis defense. Student responsibilities include understanding and accepting the rules, procedures and standards in place in the program and at the university.

G+PS Graduate Student Responsibilities

G+PS Supervisor Role and Responsibilities


RES Master’s Student Supervisory Committee Requirements

Number of Members: Master’s Supervisory committees should be comprised of at least 2 members; Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) recommends 3 members, including the supervisor. Requests for 4 or more supervisory committee members must be approved by the RES Graduate Advisor or IRES Director.


IRES Representation: In almost all cases, the supervisor will be an IRES Core or “Core Associate” (CA) faculty member. This provides sufficient IRES representation. In the few cases where the supervisor is not an IRES core or CA faculty member, the committee must be vetted by the RES Graduate Advisor or IRES Director. (For further information on “Core Associates,” see the IRES Policy on Faculty Associates.)


Non-G+PS Members: A supervisory committee can include member(s) who are not UBC G+PS faculty members with approval by the RES Graduate Advisor or IRES Director. Examples of non-G+PS members include, but ARE not limited to, professors at other universities, research associates, etc. The student or supervisor should make the request to add a non-G+PS member to their committee in writing/email to the RES Graduate Advisor and IRES Graduate Program Manager. For further details: Non-G+PS Members as Supervisory Committee  on submission requirements to review and approve a non-G+PS member request, see the link.


G+PS Membership: A majority of the supervisory committee must be G+PS members, i.e., tenure-track assistant, associate, or full professors. This is a UBC/G+PS requirement. 1 of 2 committee members constitutes a majority.


IRES-Recognized Committees: In some cases, the best committee for a student may not meet the G+PS membership requirement. In particular, a committee of 3 may be desired, in which only person A is a tenure-track faculty member, while persons B and C are faculty members at other universities, adjunct faculty, research associates, practitioners, etc. In this case, IRES will recognize the committee (e.g., persons A, B, and C) for advising purposes, but a subset of the committee (e.g., A and B) must be designated as the formal committee that meets G+PS membership requirements.