Degree Planner


Advising questions can be answered online by e-mailing to

Choose a Research Advisor

When a new post-undergraduate student or graduate student enters our program, that student should choose an Academic Advisor, who will assist and guide the student in course selection and other academic matters. This academic advisor may remain the student's Academic Advisor throughout their degree program, or the student may select a new Academic Advisor at some later date.

When a graduate student is ready to perform research leading toward a Master's thesis or Ph.D. dissertation, that student must also select a Thesis or Dissertation Advisor. This process may begin with the student taking one or more courses with a particular professor, or may follow some other route, but it is always a mutual decision between the student and the Thesis / Dissertation Advisor. The Thesis / Dissertation Advisor may or may not be the same person as the Academic Advisor, although the same person usually fills both roles.

If you are a new post-undergraduate student or graduate student, please examine the web pages that describe our Faculty and Research Areas, and see if there is one person that you feel might best suit you as an initial Academic Advisor. Then complete the Academic Advisor Selection Form  [Master's] [PhD], obtain your advisor's signature, and return to the Graduate Secretary.


Advisor Selection and Master's Plan of Work [link to form]

M.S. Thesis

M.A. Project


Advisor Selection and Doctoral Plan of Work [link to form]

Preliminary Examination

Candidacy Examination


Other Important Deadlines

  • Notification of Proposed Thesis form filed: One semester prior to final defense.
  • Notification of Approved Dissertation Topic and Prospectus form filed: One year prior to final defense.
  • Final version of thesis copies to committee members: At least 10 days before final defense.
  • Final version of dissertation copies to committee members: At least 20 days before final defense.
  • M.S./Ph.D. defense announcement made: At least one week before final defense.

Please plan in advance to avoid any potential conflicts in terms of timing, committee members, etc. Please also note from our grad web page: Forms and Guidelines