Graduate Advising

Every graduate student must have an advisor from the major department. This professor advises on courses, supervises research, and acts as a channel of communication within the major department, to other departments, and to the Graduate School. The advisor must approve the student’s program of study before each registration and also must approve any changes to it. The advisor serves as the chair of the student’s committees (e.g., Master’s Committee, preliminary examination committee, dissertation committee). These committees oversee each student’s progress.

In Educational Policy Studies, at the time a student is admitted to graduate study, a temporary advisor (advisor) is appointed by the Admissions Chair. Before the end of the first year of graduate study in the Department, the student must secure the agreement of his/her temporary advisor or another professor in the Department to serve as advisor. The advisor’s field of scholarly endeavor should be closely allied to the student’s proposed field of study.

Neither a graduate student nor a professor is under obligation or compulsion to enter into, or to continue in, a particular student-advisor relationship. However, a student may not continue graduate studies without an advisor. Therefore, a graduate student should not sever his or her relationship with the advisor without first securing the agreement of another member of the Department faculty to serve as advisor. All changes of advisor must be recorded and filed in the Departmental Office.

Some cases involving severance of the student-advisor relationship involve faculty retirement or a faculty member leaving the University. In these cases, every effort is made by the Department to find a suitable replacement. Many cases simply involve changes made with the common consent of the student and faculty members involved. If an advisor exercises his or her discretion to no longer serve as advisor against the preferences of the student, the faculty member must provide a written explanation of the reasons to the student and to the Department Chair. Where severance is initiated by the advisor, the student may seek an appropriate replacement.