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Change of Advisor

The relationship between a Ph.D. student and his/her advisor(s) is one in which, in most cases, both the student and advisor benefit from their collaboration and work together to produce novel research results and, for the student, the final dissertation. Occasionally, however, problems arise in which the student, the advisor, or both parties feel that they can no longer continue in the current relationship.

When either the student or the advisor decides that the student‐advisor relationship is not working out and wishes to end this relationship the student and/or advisor should promptly email the Graduate Advisor and Graduate Program Coordinator to notify the department about this decision. The Graduate Program Coordinator will confirm receipt of this email, and will also communicate with the other party (advisor or student) to ensure that both parties are aware of this action and confirm the termination of advisor‐advisee relationship. In the event the Advisor has been terminated from Drexel or has passed away, the Graduate Program Coordinator will contact the Ph.D. student.

If the student already knows who will be his/her new advisor, and this new advisor has agreed to advise the student, then the student and new advisor should immediately submit a signed D‐1 Appointment of Supervisor Form to the Graduate Program Coordinator. The coordinator will get approval from the Graduate Advisor and then forward the form to the Graduate Studies office.

If the student does not already have a new advisor, until the student finds a new advisor and submits the signed form, the student will be considered on probation by the department, and the Graduate Advisor will become the student’s temporary advisor. The Graduate Advisor’s role is solely to help the student find a new advisor (not to advise in any research capacity).

The student and Graduate Advisor must get together and formulate a plan for finding a new advisor as quickly as possible. This process may include, for example, a trial period in the laboratory of a potential advisor, an independent study with a potential advisor, and so on. The student should keep the Graduate Advisor apprised of his/her efforts toward this goal on at least a weekly basis. As soon as a new advisor is identified and agrees to take the student on as an advisee, the student and advisor should submit the signed D‐1 Appointment of Supervisor Form as described above.

Because of the student’s probationary status, the student will be reviewed at the subsequent Annual Review (spring) or Semi‐Annual Review (fall), whichever comes first. If the student has not yet found an advisor by this review, the student will be placed on probation a second time and will be reviewed again at the following Annual or Semi‐Annual review. Failure by this time to find an advisor and submit the required form will result in dismissal from the Ph.D. program. Probation for the student will be lifted only when D‐1 Appointment of Supervisor Form, signed by both student and advisor, is submitted to and approved by the Graduate Advisor.