All first year MA students must attend the Orientation session, typically held at the end of August, just prior to the official start of Fall classes. Each student will arrange to meet with the MA Program Director to plan their fall course schedule, or address general issues about the structure of the program. Students of Chinese Pedagogy should meet with their director, Professor Lening Liu, who will serve as their academic advisor.
Based on applications materials identifying a given student’s primary area or topic of interest, an academic advisor will be assigned to all incoming students. The academic advisor is a faculty member who is responsible for guiding the research and writing of the MA Thesis. Students should make every effort to take a course offered by their advisor during their first semester, only excepting cases where the advisor is on leave. Academic advisors should meet in person with their advisees at least twice per semester, and should be prepared to respond via e-mail to questions that may come up during summer and winter breaks as students consider their options for the upcoming semester. It is the advisee’s responsibility to get in touch with the advisor as questions arise, and to arrange for face-to-face meetings, at least once during registration, then one around the middle or toward the end of classes. The first meeting should focus on course selection, while the second meeting gives the advisee a chance to say how things are going generally, to discuss any specific issues or problems that are arising with a course or with the workload overall, and to begin to think ahead to the next term. While advisees are expected to take the initiative in scheduling meetings, advisors in turn are expected to make it a priority to find time to meet when asked, during office hours when mutually convenient, or otherwise at another time. At least twenty minutes should be blocked out for the two basic meetings each semester. Advisors should not hesitate to be in touch with the MA Program Director, the Director of Graduate Studies, or department administrators on any uncertain questions, or when an issue arises that should be brought to the attention of those who are overseeing the graduate program.
Students with questions about changing advisors should consult with the MA Program Director.