Upon admission to a doctoral program, all students will be assigned a doctoral advisor who functions as a mentor and guides the student in the completion of degree requirements and scholarly work. A temporary advisor (e.g., program director) can be assigned initially in programs that assign doctoral (research) advisors after the completion of rotations or other developmental experiences. Normally, the doctoral advisor will serve as the dissertation committee chair, once the student reaches doctoral candidacy. The dissertation committee must be chaired by a member of the UMKC doctoral faculty. In some cases, following the procedures of the specific program, the doctoral advisor need not be the dissertation committee chair but must be, at a minimum, either a graduate faculty or adjunct graduate faculty member.

Ph.D., Ed.D., and D.M.A. student dissertation committees must have at least four members. The majority of the members must be doctoral faculty or regular graduate faculty members.

See the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. academic regulations  for additional specifications for Interdisciplinary Ph.D. supervisory committees.