Upon admission into the program, each student meets with the program's graduate adviser to determine temporary assignment to an academic adviser. The graduate adviser attempts to match each student with the faculty member whose interest and expertise best converges with the student's goals and objectives. The student must select a permanent academic adviser (major professor) no later than the end of the fall quarter of his or her first year of study.
The major professor assists the student with a plan of study and supervises the student's research and progress toward satisfying degree requirements. The major professor also serves as chair of the student's dissertation and final oral examination committee.
The interests of students often evolve to the degree that a change of advisers is indicated. A change can be made with the approval of the program's graduate adviser.