Upon admission, students will be assigned to a faculty advisor. Efforts are made to align students’ interests with those of their initial faculty advisor. Students should consider their advisor as a “point person” for communication about getting started in the program. The advisor will serve as the student’s major advisor until or unless the student identifies another faculty member who agrees to serve as the major advisor. Changes regarding the advisor/advisee relationship must be communicated to all affected parties and students should contact the SoHE Graduate Program Coordinator to request a Change of Advisor Form.
By their first annual review, students should have established who will serve as their major advisor. During the first year, students are free to “make the rounds” and become familiar with faculty research. If a student determines that someone other than the initial faculty advisor provides the best fit in relation to their research interests, the faculty member must also agree to serve as the major advisor. This information should be included in the first annual review.
The major advisor serves as the student’s primary research mentor, and will, in most cases, chair the thesis, preliminary exam, and dissertation committees. Students should not, however, feel limited to working only with the major advisor. In fact, CSCR students should seek to glean insights from many faculty across campus, both in the classroom and on collaborative projects.
What Students Can Expect from their Advisor
Advisors serve a primary role in developing a student’s academic and professional interests and career. To gain the most from your graduate education and experience, you should expect the following from your primary advisor:
- Timely and effective communications and feedback
- Course recommendations
- Career advice
- Networking opportunities
- Tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance
- Effective time management skills
- Direction to campus resources
- Guidance for setting goals and timelines
- Knowledge of degree and major requirements
- Knowledge of program admission requirements and processes
- Awareness of academic policies, procedures, and deadlines