Advisor and graduate committee

Upon acceptance into the graduate program, each student is assigned to a Faculty Advisor, who is always the Committee Chair or co-Chair and a full-time Geography faculty member. Your Advisor should be the primary Department contact for information, guidance and mentoring throughout a student's graduate studies. It is the student's responsibility to contact his/her Advisor about appropriate coursework, research questions, and selection of a graduate committee.

Up until comprehensive examinations, it is possible for PhD students to change advisors if there is another Department faculty member who is willing to serve as your Advisor. The previous Advisor and the Graduate Director must be notified of the change. Co-advisors are possible, though this course of action should be carefully discussed with your Department Advisor.

Each student, in conjunction with his/her Advisor, will select a Graduate Committee to provide guidance in selecting an appropriate curriculum, and to see the student through the comprehensive examination (PhD) and dissertation/thesis research. An advisor should be selected by the end of the second semester of study and a “Declaration of Advisor” form submitted. The Graduate Committee should be appointed by the third semester for Masters students, within the fourth semester for PhD students. The Graduate Committee is official once the “Program of Study” has been filed. The Graduate Committee will review the written and oral comprehensive examination, for PhD students, the Thesis prospectus for Masters thesis students, and the proposal for Masters non-thesis students. The graduate committee must also review, agree upon, and sign Graduate School forms for: the “Program of Study,” the “Application for Admission to Candidacy,” and the “Notice of Completion.” Subsequent sections and the appendices provide more details about specific requirements.

Graduate advisors and committee chairs (both PhD and MS) must be full-time faculty members of the Department of Geography. A current list of members of the graduate faculty can be found on the Graduate School’s website. Adjunct Faculty can be on graduate committees, but not as advisors/chairs. They may serve as co-chairs, however. At least one committee member must be a Graduate School-approved faculty member from a department other than Geography, who represents the University-at-large and the Graduate School. To formally establish a committee, complete a “Program of Study” form. If any changes are made to your graduate committee, fill out a “Change of Advisory Committee” form. Formal approval of all student advisory committees is made by the Graduate Dean.