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Academic Advisement

Before the beginning of each term, every student arranges a program with an advisor. For the first two semesters this advisor is a member of the Advisory Committee and the student will be required to take the Core Curriculum. Once the student chooses a dissertation sponsor, their program will be arranged with the approval of the sponsor in accordance with the requirements of the sponsor's program. On registration day, each student completes the appropriate forms and pays the tuition and fees at noted due date. Any unscheduled absence from the Academic Program of more than two days must be approved by the student's Lab Mentor and Faculty Advisor. A degree candidate must register for no less than one semester hour.


An Advising Agreement, which outlines certain responsibilities of both the faculty advisor and the student, signed to clarify the roles of students and the dissertation advisor. A copy of the agreement should be reviewed between the advisor and student after the student has committed to a specific lab.


To assist in the guidance of a student's career planning, the student and their advisory committee complete a Career Development Plan (CDP). The CDP provides a planning process that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives, and serves as a communication tool between faculty advisors and graduate students. The Plan is intended for the student mentor and student to develop together during the first year in the lab, then update annually. The updated Plan should be shared with the Dissertation Committee prior to one of the semi-annual meetings for discussion at the meeting.


The dissertation/thesis advisor has responsibility for the supervision of dissertation/thesis research. As soon as the research project is begun (normally within two years of entering the program) the advisor and the student select the student's Advisory Committee consisting of at least two faculty consultants. The faculty consultants shall meet with the advisor and the student at least twice a year to evaluate the progress of the research and to make any necessary recommendations. Within one week of each meeting, the Chair of the Committee should complete the Advisory Committee Report form. The form must be reviewed and signed by all members of the Advisory Committee before submission to the Director of the parent graduate program. A copy of the final report should be sent to each member of the committee, the student, and the College of Graduate Studies. The advisor may select additional faculty consultants in the course of the project.