Doctoral students work with faculty advisors
consistent with their academic interests and mentorship needs. The
faculty advisor is a student’s principal mentor until the completion of
the doctorate, and coordinates a student’s plans and progress with the
Director of the Doctoral Program. S/he advises the student on how to
choose a dissertation topic, selection of appropriate courses, who might
compose the student’s dissertation committee, and other professors from
whom to solicit advice. Before applying to the PhD program, prospective
students should identify faculty members who might serve as their
advisors if admitted to the program and include this in their statement
At the end of each academic year, PhD students must complete an online survey about their progress toward completing the degree as well as review their progress with their faculty advisor. During the progress review with the faculty advisor, students should bring a copy of their survey responses as well as discuss more generally how well they are performing relative to their career goals and what additional steps they should take to enhance their development in the program.
Please see the SPA faculty webpage
for a list of all SPA faculty. All tenure-track and tenured faculty
are eligible to chair dissertation committees or serve as primary
advisors to PhD students. All faculty are eligible to serve on
dissertation committees and provide supplemental advising. The PhD core courses are instructed by Drs. Mary Guy, Tanya Heikkila, John Ronquillo, Chris Weible, Todd Ely, Lucy Dwight, and Paul Teske.