Each incoming Ph.D. student is assigned a first-year advisor. The aim in assigning first-year advisors is to make the best match possible between students’ and faculty members’ research interests. Sometimes, students (and faculty) may desire to change the advising relationship as the student's interests evolve.

The faculty advisory committee consists of two faculty members in the first year, and three in the second year. The student will choose members of the committee with the help of the faculty advisor, who will usually chair the committee.

Students meet with their faculty advisory committee to choose courses to fulfill the disciplinary/theoretical orientation, to discuss the independent or directed study, and to select electives appropriate for their intellectual and professional development.

  • Spring term, first year: Meet with faculty advisor and at least one additional faculty member*

  • Spring term, second year: Meet with faculty advisor and at least two additional faculty members

  • Spring term, third year: Meet with faculty advisor and at least two additional faculty members, or with advancement committee (may be delayed until fourth year with advisor’s approval)


* In preparation for this meeting in first year, the student is advised to prepare a course plan. This plan should include a list of all courses that have been or are currently being taken and proposed courses for the second year. The course plan should also include a narrative describing how the proposed course of study and the proposed disciplinary/theoretical orientation are appropriate, given the student’s research interests and academic background.