Request an external committee member

Qualified individuals from outside the University may participate on your advisory and examination committees. An outside member must bring scientific expertise to your committee that cannot be found among the faculty at the University of Minnesota. To request an external committee member:

  • Your advisor sends to your program's Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) a letter requesting the appointment of an external committee member, along with the proposed committee member's curriculum vitae. 
  • Your DGS will review the request and recommend to approve or deny the appointment.
  • If your program approves the request, the DGS then emails a memo to the CBS Associate Dean for Graduate Education, requesting approval of the appointment.
  • If the Associate Dean supports the appointment, your graduate program coordinator should notify CBS Human Resources of the approval, along with the external committee member's full name, birth date, and a current mailing address.
  • CBS Human Resources will enter the committee member as a “person of interest” into PeopleSoft and notify your graduate program coordinator of the individual’s UMN ID number and X.500 (i.e., UMN internet ID/email).
  • Your graduate program coordinator should then contact the external committee member with information on how to claim their UMN internet ID/email account, so they can log in to digitally sign academic process documents, such as the exam forms and the reviewer’s report form.
  • For an external committee member to claim the account, they:
    • go to
    • enter UMN ID number and birthdate
    • do NOT enter anything in the Social Security Number field
  • ***Note that all external committee members MUST claim their UMN email accounts in order to access online forms.