Graduate Advising

The Student's Advisor

Each Research Group will choose one or more temporary faculty advisors to assist new students in the group. Each student in a Research Group will be assigned one of these advisors. The student will keep this advisor until he/she has been accepted as a student by a permanent research advisor or changes the primary Group of association.

Choosing a permanent advisor is one of the most important things a student will do, and so this choice should be made carefully, with both student and advisor taking into account the research interests and preparation of the student, the courses the student has taken in the College so far, and his/her performance in these courses, the research interests of the advisor, and the ability for student and advisor to interact successfully with one another.

Each Research Group will provide opportunities for first-year students to learn about the work being done by the faculty in that area, usually through the Research Seminars. Students are also encouraged to make appointments with individual faculty members to discuss the faculty member's work and the prospects for the student's participation in that work. The student is responsible for completing all required courses and Ph.D. qualifying examination components necessary to obtain the degree he/she is working toward.

A student may choose a permanent faculty advisor as soon as he/she wishes and the prospective advisor agrees. The choice should occur within 9 months of the student's entrance into the program. At the end of the Winter Semester of the student's first year in the program, students who do not yet have a permanent advisor will be asked to choose one. The Graduate Program Coordinator will facilitate this process. After consultation with the faculty involved, the permanent advisor will be assigned, with both advisor and student being informed in writing by the Graduate Program Director.

Change of Advisor and/or Research Group

Occasionally students may wish to change the Research Group of preference and/or the permanent faculty advisor. If the student is in good standing and has adequate preparation to work in the new area, and if the faculty of the new Research Group have room to accommodate new students, then a change can be made. The procedure is as follows:

A student who does not yet have a permanent research advisor and a Research Group should submit a written request to the Graduate Coordinator to select his permanent research advisor and his Research Group membership. This request must be signed by the student and the faculty advisor. Irrespective of the temporary Research Group and temporary advisor affiliations of the student, this request will be granted. A student who already has a permanent research advisor should submit a written request to change the permanent advisor to the Graduate Coordinator. The Graduate Coordinator will inform the present and prospective advisors and the Research Coordinators of the advisors' Research Groups in writing of the student's request.

After agreement between the present and prospective advisors and with the permission of the prospective advisor, the change will be made. The student, the previous advisor, and the new advisor will sign and date a form agreeing to the change. The form will also specify in detail any remaining work, which the student has to complete for the previous advisor, including any work for which the student has received a Research Assistantship, and any changes in financial aid to the student, which will be made as a consequence of the student's changing advisors. This form will be placed in the student's Department file and all those who signed the form will be given a copy. This process will be completed within one month of the date of the student's written request or else referred to the Graduate Council. Individual cases, which cannot be resolved according to the procedures in (a) or (b) will be referred to the Graduate Council for resolution.

Advisor for Part-Time Students

Part-time students should follow the procedures listed above to find a permanent faculty advisor. Part-time students may initiate the procedure near the completion of their required course work. Students must have their faculty advisors chosen by the time they finish the course requirements for the degree.

Duties of the Advisor

While the student is encouraged to consult with other members of the faculty with regard to thesis/dissertation work, the faculty advisor has final authority and responsibility to guide the work as he or she believes appropriate. The procedures for formation of the MS thesis and Ph.D. dissertation committees are listed under Sections Error! Reference source not found. and Error! Reference source not found. respectively. The primary responsibilities of the faculty advisor are:

  1. Develop a program of study in cooperation with the student. The faculty advisor has the authority for final approval of a student's program of study; however, the program must be in agreement with the rules and regulations of the EECS graduate program and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
  2. Review the student's progress, approve registration forms and add/drop or course withdrawal forms, and revise the program of study (if required) each registration period.
  3. Submit recommendations (positive or negative) for financial aid for the student to the Graduate Program Director.
  4. Form the student's thesis/dissertation examining committee in consultation with the student and the Graduate Program Director.
  5. Assist and guide the student in the performance of the thesis/dissertation research.
  6. Arrange the doctoral proposal defense; report the results to the Graduate Program Director.
  7. Arrange the thesis/dissertation defense; report the results to the Graduate Program Director.