Successful graduate programs are those with dedicated faculty and systems for advising and mentoring graduate students who need sound advice throughout their graduate career. These students deserve guidance from faculty whose interests go beyond the advisor-director role to one of teacher and mentor. Departments and programs are responsible for encouraging and ensuring effective mentorship for graduate students during their studies.


A mentor assists scholarly development, contributes to intellectual stimulation, and fosters professionally enriching relationships with graduate students. A faculty mentor is a peer-to-be, one who encourages and supports independent development; one who, through insightful guidance, trust, and mutual respect, nurtures a transition from graduate student to colleague. Students should expect that mentors will interact with them on a regular basis, providing the guidance, advice, and intellectual challenge necessary to help students complete their degree programs.


Graduate students should expect that advisors and mentors will do the following:

  • interact in a professional and civil manner consistent with university policies governing nondiscrimination and sexual harassment;
  • create an ethos of collegiality in classroom, laboratory, or studio supervisory relations that stimulates and encourages students to learn creatively and independently;
  • develop clear understandings about specific research expectations and responsibilities, including timelines for completion of theses or dissertations;
  • provide verbal or written comments and evaluation of students' work and progress toward degree in a timely manner;
  • discuss laboratory, studio, or departmental authorship policy with graduate students in advance of entering into collaborative projects; and
  • acknowledge student contributions to research presented at conferences, in professional publications, or in applications for copyrights and patents.