Graduate Advising

First-year graduate students will not typically choose their research advisor until the end of the first semester. A Graduate Advising Sub-Committee therefore meets with them individually during the orientation period to recommend and decide on the courses that should be taken during the first semester. Once the student has joined a research group, this role will then be taken over by his or her research advisor.


All first-year graduate students will conduct three 4-week rotations in different research groups before selecting their research advisor at the end of the first semester or, in some cases, beginning of their second semester. The goal of these rotations is to facilitate the student’s research advisor selection by familiarizing him or her with the scientific culture and research environment of different laboratories.


It is expected that all graduate students participate in teaching discussion sections and/or laboratory section during their first two semesters. In order to become acquainted with the tasks and responsibilities of a Teaching Assistant, all new students will attend a training session during a two-week orientation program that is held before the start of the first semester. In addition, our department has established a Teaching Assistant mentoring program, which provides guidance and assistance to new graduate students by pairing them up with our most accomplished and experienced graduate student Teaching Assistants.