Advising/Supervisory Process

The advising process at WGSI begins as soon as a potential student makes contact with the Institute. The potential student’s initial contacts with WGSI are usually with the Graduate Coordinator and the Graduate Administrator. Opening conversations and e-mails focus on whether the student is prepared for graduate study and whether supervision can be provided for the intended area of study. During the application process the conversation continues, usually expanding to involve professors whose research interests are similar to those of the applicant.

Incoming students will be provisionally assigned an Academic Advisor, chosen on the basis of supervisory expertise in the student’s stated area of scholarly interest.  Normally, students study with this Advisor throughout the year; either students or Advisors may initiate a change, if they believe this is in the students’ best interests. Normally, the student and Advisor would have the first conversation about effecting a change. One or both may then approach the Graduate Coordinator for assistance in effecting this change.

Master’s Advising

In the first weeks of the term, the student will meet with the Academic Advisor and the Graduate Coordinator to work out the student’s individualized program of study. The student’s MRP will be read and marked by the Advisor, and one other faculty member with an appropriate area of expertise, to be approached by the Advisor after consultation with the student. We recommend that students submit at least one draft of their MRP to the Advisor for comments, before submitting the final version to both readers.

Ph.D. Supervision

In the first weeks of the first year, the student will meet with the Supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator to discuss the student’s program of study; both must sign off on the student’s proposed program of study. At the end of each year, the student will meet with the Supervisor to complete an annual progress report.

By the end of the first year, the student will also constitute a Comprehensive Exam Committee consisting of the Supervisor and two other faculty members for the purpose of defining and conducting examinations in one major field and one minor field.

During the second year, the student will also constitute a Dissertation Committee consisting of the Supervisor and at least two other faculty members, which may or may not be the same committee as the Comprehensive Exam Committee.  The Dissertation Committee will be responsible for approving the student’s dissertation proposal and reading and evaluating the dissertation itself. It is recommended that the student and the Supervisor begin to construct the Dissertation Committee in January of the second year; in order that the dissertation proposal may be reviewed well before the June 1st deadline. Students are required to meet with the members of their Dissertation Committee at least once a year to establish that they are making satisfactory progress in the program. Students should plan to submit drafts of their dissertation to their Supervisor(s), and potentially to other committee members, for comments before officially submitting the final version.

Termination Procedures:

Termination from the program is governed by the School of Graduate Studies Termination of Registration Guidelines, which may be found here.