Advisory System

The Graduate Director assigns a provisional advisory committee to each new student.  This assignment will be made before classes begin in August.  The initial advising assignments are considered temporary, and may be changed at the request of the student any time before the second week of the second semester in residence.  Students must have an advisory committee, and by the beginning of their 2nd year have a principal advisor. If no faculty member is willing to serve as a principal advisor, then the student must take a leave of absence until such time as there is agreement to advise. If a principal advisor is not secured within 2 years of the beginning of the leave of absence, then the student is required to withdraw from the program.

Returning students must meet with their advisors within the first two weeks of each semester in order to review previous course work and research, and to discuss future plans.  A student might wish to change advisors at a later stage in her/his program because of such factors as new or modified academic interests, personality conflicts, extended absence of the advisor from the campus, or the advisor’s excessive work load.  Any student contemplating a change should consult with the Graduate Director early in the process, and the parties involved must make certain that they inform the Graduate Director immediately after the change is made.  A notice of this change will be placed in the student’s file. 

 Every student will have an Advisory Committee that minimally consists of: 
          1. For the M.A. - the advisor and one other geography faculty member. 
          2. For the Ph.D. - the advisor and two other geography faculty members.

Although, more members may be added to the Advisory Committee if desired, it is not recommended due to scheduling difficulties associated with larger committees.  The additional members may be from the Geography Faculty or from other regular faculty at SU/SUNY ESF. 

The Advisory Committee for M.A. students forms the core of the M. A. Oral Examination Committee (which requires a total of four members, including one SU non-geography faculty to act as Chair).

The Advisory Committee for Ph.D. students administers the Qualifying Examination.  It also forms the core of the Dissertation Oral Examination Committee (which requires a total of six, including one SU non-geography faculty to act as Chair).