Upon admission to the program, each student is assigned an initial advisor; this reflects our commitment to providing the support necessary for our students to succeed.
Master's students work with an initial advisor throughout their studies; PhD students work with an initial advisor until they select a dissertation advisor. As much as possible, the assignment of students to initial advisors is based on common mathematical interests. As changes in interests or other circumstances warrant, students may, with the consent of the new advisor, change initial advisors.
With your initial advisor, you should formulate a long-term plan to satisfy your course and exam requirements. You should consult your advisor each semester to select courses for the following semester.
Your advisor can help you adapt to, and function successfully in, the graduate program. For PhD students, it is especially important to keep your eyes open from the beginning of your graduate career for possible areas in which to write your dissertation. Discuss your interests and ideas with your advisor; if feasible, pursue some initial research projects.
Before classes start, each new student is also paired with an advanced student who serves as a peer advisor. Your peer advisor can help answer your questions about the program. He or she can help make you more aware of many aspects of the department (e.g., that participating in seminars and colloquia is valuable, that faculty welcome interaction with graduate students, and that students are encouraged to discuss any matters of concern with the graduate committee chair) as well as the resources available (e.g., library and computer resources, and the department's collection of past qualifying exams). Your peer advisor can also offer advice to help as you adjust to the pace and demands of graduate work, and (if applicable) your duties as a TA.