The graduate school states you should have a full committee when starting your 4th semester.  If you do not have your committee selected you will have a hold placed on your registration the following semester.  

You may submit your select your special committee online in your student center.

Guidelines for selecting your special committees:

Rules:  your committee needs to have at least 3 members:

  • a chair, the main person advising your research
  • a second CS field member who is not in the immediate area of your advisor
  • a member of a field other than CS, representing an outside minor which you will do.


  • it is perfectly fine, in fact advisable, to have more than one faculty from the same area on your committee. This will lead to having more than 3 member committees, which is great! Extra committee members are an extra source of advice, and likely an extra source of recommendations.
  • Committees can be changed any number of times later - all you need is a signature from everyone on your committee stating that they are OK with the change.  Although it becomes a bit  more difficult to change your committee after your A exam. 
  • You may also have members of your committee who are not field members. You need to have 3 who are field members, so a non-field member would be a 4th. You may want to add a Cornell researcher, who is not a field member, or even someone not from Cornell (if you are working with someone long distance).  This is called an ad-hoc committee member.   Please reach out to me for instructions on how to add an ad hoc member if you decide you would like to do this.