Graduate Handbook | Advising
A first-year Counselor is assigned to each entering graduate student from among the faculty on the Graduate Studies Committee. They will be available to help you choose initial courses, begin the work of exploring your particular field, navigating the program, and choosing further mentors.
As students establish relationships with faculty members, they will choose a Major Professor to guide them through their future progress. Your Major Professor is synonymous with your Committee Chair, whether at the qualifying exams or dissertation stages.
Students are required to meet with their Counselor before the end of each semester during their first year. Students who have already chosen a Major Professor during their first year may consult with both their Major Professor and their Counselor. After the first year, students can simply consult with their Major Professor, though students who have not yet decided on their Major Professor into the second year can continue to consult with their Counselor.
As students establish their Qualifying Exams Committee and Dissertation Committee, other faculty members on those committees will also serve significant advising roles in guiding students through their fields of scholarship and the research process.
The Graduate School offers helpful tips for establishing a positive and productive student-mentor relationship. For information on other faculty to consult for various reasons, see The Student-Department Relationship in the Institutional Structure section.