Major Advisor and Advisory Committee

Incoming doctoral students are assigned to a major advisor (the department faculty coordinator for the Ph.D. Program), who provides the student with advice regarding course work and program requirements.  Ordinarily, the initial major advisor works with the student through the course-work stage of the Ph.D. Program or until the student has passed the General Examination.

The student, in consultation with the major advisor, should form an advisory committee by the time the Plan of Study is completed (18 credits). In addition to the major advisor, the committee should have at least two associate advisors. These advisors are members of the University Graduate Faculty authorized to advise doctoral students in the student’s area of concentration.

As soon as the student begins to formulate specific plans for dissertation research, he or she should select a dissertation major advisor and associate advisors who are compatible with those research plans. Since consistency of direction is very important in doctoral studies, a durable relationship between the student and dissertation advisor should be formed as soon as possible. If circumstances warrant it, the initial major advisor may also be selected as the dissertation major advisor. For more details about the Advisory System, procedures for making changes in the student’s advisory committee, etc. see the Graduate Catalog.