The design and direction of a student’s own program, in conformity with the standard requirements of the Graduate School and of the Department, need to be planned as early as possible.

During the registration period preceding the first semester of study, the director of graduate studies will counsel all incoming MA and PhD students. At this time, the student should select (or ask the director to select) a faculty member to act as a major advisor and mentor during the first semester. This faculty member may remain the student’s advisor as long as appropriate, or the student can change their advisor as their interests and plans mature. The development of close working relationships with other faculty members is encouraged.

Each student is required to complete a Program of Study form in consultation with the advisor. In developing a Program of Study, the student will need to outline the courses they plan to take and a tentative schedule of department exams.

At the end of each school year in May, members of the graduate faculty meet formally with each student at the Graduate Roundup to review and to discuss the student’s general progress and performance. Students are asked to submit a paper, completed for a course during the previous semester, in advance.