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Selecting a Research Supervisor

Selection of a Research Supervisor

Students in the Ph.D. program will be assigned a research supervisor (major advisor) no later than the end of Spring Quarter of their first academic year  For students who are willing to do only two rotations, they must submit their two ranked choices to the Department Chair by the end of the winter quarter. Those students who opt to have three rotations, three ranked choices should be submitted to the Department Chair by the end of the spring quarter. Students can also directly select supervisor in the autumn quarter of the first year if both student and supervisor agree to do so. In this case, students must inform the Department Chair before the end of autumn quarter.

The relationship between a research supervisor and a graduate student is a very special one. In our Department, we want graduate students to have as much freedom as possible in the selection of a research supervisor. After a selection is made and agreed to, further change is possible only by petition, with approval by the Department Chair. Agreement in the selection of a supervisor must be mutual and must be done on a fully informed basis. Although we will attempt to accommodate every student’s first choice for a supervisor, it is possible that this will not occur because of previous commitments by the faculty to other students in the program and laboratory space constraints. Typically, two incoming students will not be assigned to the same supervisor.

Once selected, supervisor’s primarily role is to provide guidance, supervision and evaluation of student’s study program and research.  While the research supervisor, in collaboration with the Doctoral Supervisory Committee, of which he or she is chairperson, will make critical decisions on student’s research direction, it is the student’s responsibility to drive the project.

Students must begin research leading to a Master’s or Doctoral degree by summer quarter of their first academic year.  All students are expected to enroll for graduate research in either PCEUT 600, 700 or 800 all four quarters, including summer, in every year they are in the program.

For more information please visit research profiles of individual faculty members.