Master's Program Advising
As a master's student entering the department, you will be assigned a faculty member to be your advisor for the duration of your period of study. You may change advisors if you desire. The advisor's primary role is to provide advice and counseling on academic and departmental matters, including helping you prepare a program of study that satisfies departmental and university requirements for graduation. Advising begins prior to registration. Your advisor is available at specified times (usually posted on the advisor's office door) to assist you in course selection and registration.
Your primary role as a student is to keep your advisor informed about matters concerning your progress toward degree completion. The amount of time you spend with your faculty advisor is up to you, and you are expected to take the initiative in arranging advising meetings. On occasion, the faculty advisor may request to meet with you.
When you are offered admission to the PhD program, the department assigns a provisional advisor. The advisor serves as your primary source of advice and guidance on academic and departmental matters, including department and university requirements for graduation. The advisor's initial role is to help you develop your program of study and research directions, select an outside area of specialization, and become acquainted with the faculty who share relevant interests. The PhD Faculty Committee also serves as a second source of oversight for each PhD student. The role of the provisional advisor continues until the formal designation of the dissertation major advisor once the student has advanced to degree candidacy. While in many cases the provisional major advisor may continue as your dissertation major advisor, it may turn out that the most appropriate person for that role shifts as you refine your dissertation topic and gain experience working with individual faculty members.
Your primary role is to keep your major advisor informed about matters concerning your progress toward degree completion. Each academic year you, in consultation with your major advisor, submit an annual progress report. The report is used as part of a broader process to guide your progress and assess whether you are making sufficient progress toward completion of your degree.