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Advising & Thesis Supervision

Students and faculty meeting

As a physics graduate student, you will have access to a number of faculty advisors who will serve different roles at different stages of your graduate residence.

Academic Advisor

You will be appointed an academic advisor upon entering the physics graduate program. They will serve as the primary mentor until you find a research adviser. You are expected to meet with your academic advisors at least quarterly for the first year of study. Academic advisors are resources for you to discuss courses, WCE preparations, transition to grad school, research interests, finding a research advisor, etc.

In addition to general mentorship, during the Fall term, you and your academic advisor will discuss plan of study that will help prepare you for your research, the written candidacy exam, and satisfies the advanced physics course requirements. You must submit your plan of study through REGIS during the Fall term of your first year for approval by the academic advisor and option representative.

Research advisor

Your research advisor is your primary mentor through your PhD research. During your first year of study, you are encouraged to consult with your academic adviser, the option representative, the executive officer, and/or individual faculty members to select a tentative research group. By your second year of study, you should identify a research advisor with whom you intend to conduct your PhD research. You are encouraged to maintain a relationship with both your academic and research advisor even after you have selected a research advisor.

Thesis Advisory Committee

The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) reviews your research progress and provides feedback and guidance towards completion of your degree. You and your TAC will meet annually between the oral candidacy exam and final thesis defense. For continuity in advising, it is recommended that the TAC members are the same as the candidacy committee and defense committee, but you may propose variations or changes at any time to the option representative.