Background Image Alternative Text: Physics professor Dipangkar Dutta's research on gravity with graduate student Kofi Assumin-Gyimah in Hilbun laboratory.

Learn About Faculty & Staff

With the approval of the dean of the college, each department with graduate programs will determine procedures for handling recommendations or appeals concerning Graduate Faculty appointments, reappointments, or changes in level of membership status. The department and/or the college criteria and procedures must be consistent with the qualifications and responsibilities outlined below but may be more restrictive.

Graduate Faculty members are listed in the Bulletin of the Graduate School and on the Graduate School website.

For further information regarding our outstanding graduate faculty locate your program of interest and then explore.

Graduate Faculty Criterion

MSU graduate faculty members are employees of Mississippi State University. Other criteria for holding an MSU graduate faculty appointment to follow:

  • earned a terminal degree (highest degree awarded in the discipline) in or related to the faculty member's area of graduate discipline;
  • be a full-time employee of Mississippi State University, holding the rank of assistant professor, assistant research professor, assistant extension professor, assistant clinical professor or higher without any qualifying designations such as 'visiting,' 'emeritus,' or 'adjunct'; and 
  • have demonstrated and maintained noteworthy accomplishments in research and/or creative achievement, as defined in the Faculty Handbook (6.1.2) 

Government affiliates embedded in the university may be considered MSU graduate faculty by agreement.

MSU graduate faculty may:

  • teach graduate-level courses in each field of specialization if the individual meets all requirements outlined in AOP 13.09, Credentials for Teaching;
  • serve as members of doctoral and master's/education specialist committees within or outside of the department/program of appointment; and 
  • serve as a chair of doctoral, master's, or educational specialist committees and may serve as the director of thesis and dissertation research within the faculty member's area of graduate responsibility.

Graduate faculty members are appointed through submission of the 'Application to Graduate Faculty' form, which is approved by the Department Head and Academic Dean. Reappointment to graduate faculty is not required provided the faculty member remains full-time faculty (as described in the sound bullet under graduate faculty qualifications) of Mississippi State University and remains affiliated with an academic program. Removal of a faculty member from graduate faculty is at the discretion of the Department Head, Academic Dean, and Graduate School Dean.

MSU graduate faculty members are listed by college/department in the Graduate Catalog.

Non-Graduate Faculty Committee Members

At minimum, greater than 50% of the committee members must be members of MSU graduate faculty. A non-graduate faculty member is anyone external to Mississippi State University or Mississippi State employees who are not graduate faculty. Non-graduate faculty committee members are expected to have a graduate degree or commensurate expertise in the field of study. The decision of whether or not non-graduate faculty members are qualified to serve on a thesis or dissertation committee is determined by the program/college.

If a non-graduate faculty committee member serves as the director of research, it is expected the individual will have education and research expertise commensurate with MSU graduate faculty.

Thesis/Dissertation Director

A thesis/dissertation director is the individual primarily responsible for providing oversight for a master's, educational specialist, or doctoral student's research. Any member of a student's graduate committee may be designated as the thesis/dissertation director on the committee request form. Typically, the major professor serves in this role. In the rare case when the thesis/dissertation director is not the major professor, then coordination between the thesis/dissertation director and the major professor is required. The major professor will be primarily responsible for academic advising ensuring the student meets all the programmatic requirements for the degree.

Committee Membership Changes

Committee membership changes are submitted to the Graduate School on the 'Request for Change of Committee Members' form. The new committee member(s), student, Major Professor, Graduate Coordinator and Department Head must sign the form. If a student's request to remove a member of the graduate committee is not approved, the student may appeal the decision using the Graduate Appeals Process. All decisions will be provided in writing to the student, committee members(s), Major Professor, Graduate Coordinator, and Department Head if applicable. Faculty may appeal removal from a student's committee using the Faculty Grievance Procedures (AOP 13.05).