Most advisement of graduate students is done by the Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology. All graduate students are assigned a First Year Advisor for their first year in the program. At the end of the first year, students are required to select a permanent advisor (and fill out the corresponding Advisor Form).
When a student enters the graduate program a member of the sociology faculty will be assigned as a First Year Advisor. First Year Advisors are usually chosen because they have one or more areas of academic interest in common with the student. At the completion of the first year in the graduate program, students are required to select a Program Advisor and fill out the Advisor Form. (Advisors can be changed later using the same form.) The purpose of the First Year/Program Advisor is to help students plan their selection of courses, help them understand the expectations and requirements of the graduate program, guide them in learning more about their areas of interest, serve as a mentor, and help socialize them into the field of sociology.
Although official approval of a course of study is not required, it is recommended that new students discuss their registration plans with the Director of Graduate Studies and their faculty advisor. The Director of Graduate Studies and the student's faculty Advisor serve as the primary academic advisors, but students are urged to consult widely with the faculty for advice and to become acquainted with their interests and research. Program Advisors should be consulted each semester for suggestions about course registration, and additional informal discussions with them are recommended.
When a student begins to formulate a topic for a thesis or dissertation, the student should ask someone on the Sociology graduate faculty to serve as the director of the thesis. Often a student will choose to have the previous faculty Advisor as the director of the project, but in many cases changes are appropriate or necessary. A good working relationship is necessary between the student and the thesis/dissertation director, so it is usually best for the students to choose someone with whom they have already worked well. With advice from the thesis/dissertation director, students should ask two (or more) appropriate faculty members to serve as committee members. Faculty members reserve the right to decline a student's request that they be a director or committee member on a thesis or dissertation.