During the fall semester of their first year, incoming graduate students are offered presentations by each member of the research faculty. Once this series of talks is complete (typically by late October), students are asked to meet with at least four faculty members of their choosing in one-on-one meetings to discuss possible research plans.
Students may then petition to join faculty research groups by providing the Director of Graduate Studies a list of faculty names with whom they would like to work, in ranked order of preference. Final approval of the choice is made by the Graduate Committee together with the Director of Graduate Studies. We strive to accommodate students’ first choices in research advisor, and indeed we do most of the time, but occasionally limited space or funding in a research group may mean that students cannot be assigned their first choice of a research advisor. The assignments are typically completed by late December of the first year. We hope that students joining our program will have several faculty with whom they would be interested in working.
During this process, students are temporarily assigned space in research groups that they mentioned in their statement of purpose and that seem to align with their research interests. Students are welcome to start research work in a group before an official assignment as well.