Prior to admission

Most successful applicants will contact potential mentors during the application process. The departmental website lists faculty and provides links to individual pages that describe their research interests.

After admission

Students arriving without a specified research mentor are required to do laboratory rotation(s).  The student should meet with the appropriate section coordinator for academic advising and coordination of rotations.  Rotations are arranged by mutual consent between the student and the potential mentor(s).  A laboratory rotation is to be regarded as a temporary arrangement by both the student and the potential mentor(s) and typically lasts 1-2 months. The decision for a student to continue in a particular lab to perform their thesis/dissertation research must be agreed upon by both the student and the faculty mentor.  Rotations should be completed in the first semester so that students can complete requirements on time for a successful first annual review.

Changing research mentors

It is recognized that, on occasion, a student may need to change research mentors.  This change may be either student or faculty mentor initiated.  Students are advised that a change of mentor can cause a significant delay in their progress toward a degree.

Student-Initiated

Students wishing to change research mentors should complete the following steps:

  1. Speak to Graduate Program Director or Departmental Chair.
  2. Contact other potential advisors.
  3. Choose new advisor by mutual consent of the student and new advisor.
  4. Inform the Department Chair, Graduate Program Director, and old and new research mentors.
  5. Choose a new committee (within 30 days) and file the Appointment of Change of Master’s Thesis Committee Form or the Appointment of Change of Doctoral Dissertation Committee Form.

Advisor-Initiated

Faculty mentors may dismiss a graduate student from their lab by completing the following steps:

  1. Document the problem with the student and the changes requested of the student. Meet with the student to discuss the problem and present the student with the requested changes.  If the student fails to perform the requested changes, repeat the documentation and meeting.  If the student again fails to perform the requested changes, the faculty mentor may initiate the dismissal procedure.
  2. Send the above documentation to the Graduate Program Directors and the Departmental Chair.
  3. Meet with the student and, if appropriate, the Graduate Program Director or Departmental Chair to inform the student of his/her dismissal.
  4. The student should contact other potential research mentors.
  5. The student should choose a new research mentor by mutual consent of the student and the new faculty mentor.
  6. The student should inform the Graduate Program Director or the Departmental Chair of the new faculty advisor. The Graduate Program Director or Departmental Chair will then officially inform all involved parties (the Departmental Chair, the previous faculty mentor, and the new faculty mentor) of the change.
  7. Within 30 days of the official change in mentor, the student and the new faculty mentor should choose a new graduate advisory committee and file the Appointment of Change of Master’s Thesis Committee Form or the Appointment of Change of Doctoral Dissertation Committee Form.