How are students assigned to research advisors?

During the fall semester, first-year graduate students hear presentations by all of the research faculty. Once this series of talks is complete, students may petition to join faculty research groups. Typically, a student talks to several faculty in his or her major area.  The student will then provide a list of faculty with whom they would like to work in ranked order. Final approval of the choice is made by the director of graduate studies. We generally strive to accommodate students’ first choices in research advisor, but occasionally limited space or funding may mean that students do not get their first choice. We hope that students joining our program will have several faculty with whom they’d be interested in working.