Various patterns exist for advising graduate students. Some programs have a central plan for new graduate students, after which individual advisors are assigned. Other programs assign new graduate students to advisors early in their graduate program. Coursework taken without the advisor’s expressed approval is not automatically applicable toward a graduate degree.
In all instances, advisors should be familiar with Graduate School rules and regulations as well as program and departmental requirements. While graduate students have the primary responsibility to know the rules and regulations and to fulfill the program requirements for their graduate degree, advisors’ knowledge and expertise can assist students in their progress toward the degree.
An advisor assigned at the time of admission to a doctoral program will assist the student in completing initial tasks such as enrollment, coordination of examinations, submission of a plan of study, and the formation of a supervisory committee. Depending on individual program procedures, the advisor may chair an advisory committee which also will be involved in the advising activities above. It is possible for the advisor to be named as chairperson of the supervisory or dissertation committee.
Students with assigned advisors should consult their advisors for information on course prerequisites, content and similar matters.