When a student enrolls in the department, a faculty member is appointed to serve as the student’s initial Program Adviser.

While the department administration tries to match student and advisor interests in the assignment of initial Program Advisors, these assignments are based on incomplete information and are not binding. Students should change the faculty advisor as appropriate as the student’s plans and interests change.

Advisors provide advice, of course, but they are also contact points for advising bulletins and alerting the student to academic progress milestones. During the faculty’s review of student progress, the program advisor is called upon to describe the student’s progress and discuss any problems or delays in that progress.

Consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies is recommended in advance of a change of advisor for any reason other than designation of the research director as the program advisor. (Changes of advisor for that reason are completely normal and almost automatically approved.)

To request a change of advisor, the student should send the request by e-mail to the Student Services Manager with copies to the Director of Graduate Studies and the involved faculty (old and new advisors). Such requests are usually approved without comment, but factors such as faculty load sometimes intervene.

The Director of Graduate Studies serves as the backup advisor for routine signatures if the program advisor is not available.