The Ph.D. chair in consultation with incoming students and individual faculty members assigns a faculty preliminary adviser to each student prior to the first quarter. The preliminary adviser helps and guides the student with academic and practical matters regarding life and work as a doctoral student, and in understanding the structure of the Ph.D. program and relevant policies.
The preliminary adviser must be an internal faculty member* and be a member of the UW graduate faculty with an endorsement to chair doctoral committees. A change of preliminary adviser can be requested by the student or the preliminary adviser. While it is assumed that the preliminary adviser will be the permanent adviser, the student may select another adviser at any time before the preliminary review.
The student, in consultation with the preliminary adviser, constitutes an advisory committee in the winter quarter of their first year. At this time the preliminary adviser becomes the adviser, or a new adviser is selected. The advisory committee consists of the adviser and at least two additional members. One of the additional members must be an internal faculty member.* One of the additional members must be a member of the UW graduate faculty with an endorsement to chair doctoral committees. The student initiates the paperwork necessary to constitute the advisory committee by obtaining the appropriate form from Student Services and securing the necessary signatures.
The advisory committee makes the final review recommendations for the preliminary, 2nd, and 3rd year reviews, as applicable. After the preliminary review, but no later than the end of the autumn quarter of the following academic year, the student selects a permanent adviser. The permanent adviser may or may not be the same person as the preliminary adviser.
Changes to the Membership
Changes to the membership of the advisory committee or change of adviser can be requested by the student or faculty. The student informs the Ph.D. program chair of any changes in the membership of the advisory committee.
At least four months prior to the student’s general examination the advisory committee is disbanded and a supervisory committee is convened according to the guidelines of the Graduate School and the Information School’s policy on the Ph.D. supervisory committee.
*An internal faculty member must be a faculty member holding a tenure-track faculty appointment, a joint faculty appointment, or a research faculty appointment in the School