You should begin developing your committee in your first or second year of coursework, or at least choose your committee chair (also called major professor) to serve as your key research advisor. Committee members should be familiar with you and your work. When you ask them to serve, be prepared to discuss your dissertation topic in order to help them see how they can contribute their expertise. Your advisory committee must be formed before you qualify. The PhD Office will prepare a committee designation form, obtain signatures from all committee members, and submit the form to the Graduate School.