Advisors & Committees

Every graduate student must have an advisor and a committee.


Every graduate student must have an advisor who is responsible for monitoring his or her academic progress. The selection of an advisor and the relationship between the advisor and the advisee are critical during the entire process. The Department assigns each student entering the program a temporary advisor who serves only until the student has become affiliated with a research advisor.

By the end of the first year, the student must have identified a research advisor. The research advisor directs the student in the preparation of the Master's Paper, guides the student's doctoral research, and chairs the Examination Committee at the Master's Exam, the Candidacy Exam, and the Doctoral Thesis Defense.

The student/advisor relationship is a central aspect of the graduate program. To maintain the effectiveness of this relationship, requires the ongoing consent of both parties -- either party can withdraw from the relationship by notifying the Director of Graduate Studies. It is not uncommon for students to change advisors and research areas after finishing their Master's Degree. Students who are having difficulty finding an advisor should seek the help of the Director of Graduate Studies or the Department Chair.

While advisors will monitor their students' progress, it is ultimately the students' responsibility to ensure that they meet the requirements of the program.


Each graduate student will also have an Examination Committee consisting of at least three members, including the student's research advisor. The committee must be acceptable to both the student and the advisor, and at least half of the members of the committee must be members of the departmental faculty. Students should form this committee once they have identified an advisor and a master's paper topic. As with the student/advisor relationship, membership in the Examination Committee requires the ongoing consent of the student and the committee member.

The Graduate Committee shall be notified of all changes in advisor or Examination Committee status.