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Support & Advising

The Astronomy Graduate Degree program is committed to sustained mentoring of students. Matriculating graduate students will be assigned an Academic Advisor in their first year, who will be responsible for guiding the student's progress on course requirements during the first two (2) years. Once the student selects a research project for their second-year qualifying exam, a Research Advisor will be responsible for guiding the student's progress toward the qualifying exam. Upon advancement to candidacy, a student's Dissertation Advisor (who may also be the Research Advisor) will be responsible for guiding the student's research progress toward their dissertation. Each of these advisors will be responsible for submitting an annual progress report to the Astronomy Graduate Program Committee, and interim reports as requested by the Committee. 

To ensure students are promptly matched to Research Advisors for their second-year Qualifying exam and/or PhD dissertation, there are multiple opportunities for first-year students to learn about the research activities and availabilities among participating faculty and other program affiliates.  These include the two seminar series, PHYA/PHYS 253 Astrophysics and Space Physics Seminar and PHYA/PHYS 258 Astrophysics and Space Physics Special Topics Seminar. PHYA/PHYS 253 will feature research talks by internal and external scientists, as well as occasional professional development talks on topics such as sexual harassment, mental health, scientific communication, research skills, and others. The Astronomy Graduate Degree Committee will conduct an annual poll of graduate students to solicit topics for the professional development talks. PHYA/PHYS 258 is primarily designed for graduate students to obtain experience in scientific literacy and communication. All graduate students will be required to present at least one (1) PHYS 258 seminar per year, with formal peer and faculty feedback provided.