Your Faculty Advisor

Academic advising is an interactive process whose aim is to develop a plan that helps the student move smoothly through the academic endeavor s/he has chosen.  This process works best when the advisor and the advisee partner to achieve a mutually agreed upon outcome.  Both parties have areas of accountability to assure that this process proceeds in a smooth and beneficial manner.  Below are listed some elements of the responsibility the student has in the process:

1. Contact your advisor with questions or issues.

The student should log into the Nursing Student Portal at to verify the Curriculum Plan he or she will follow for the entirety of their program.  Students may contact the advisor of record immediately after notification of the advisor’s name in order to discuss any potential changes based on coursework petitions or circumstance.  Students may contact the Program Manager prior to advisor assignments with questions.  Requests to change the Curriculum Plan may be submitted through the Nursing Student Portal.

2. Contact your advisor to discuss your progress.

Additionally, the student should contact the advisor at any time during the semester or session to discuss with him/her any proposed changes to the curriculum plan that the student wishes to make to assure that the overall plan is still sound and meets progression requirements.

3. Contact the advisor if there are academic or other life issues that interfere with successful completion of a course or courses.

Although dialogue with the course instructors is essential, it is also essential that the student’s advisor be informed of any problems.  Often, the advisor can help to plan strategies, give suggestions about appropriate petitions, and be a sounding board to recognize consequences of actions the student might think about implementing,

4. Discuss decisions to change specialty tracks, take a leave of absence, waive a course, or other decisions that affect completion of an academic program.

Advisors recognize that goals, objectives, and commitments may change.  Your advisor is the first line academic official with whom these changes should be discussed.  Procedures, consequences, and suggestions for appropriate strategies are resources that advisors may use to help.

5. Discuss decisions about thesis and comprehensive examination procedural clarification.

The advisor can often serve as the first line for recommendations for decisions about a thesis option or comprehensive exam option.  The advisor is the person who can make initial and informed suggestions about the best people to have on the student’s committee should the thesis option be selected.  In most cases, the advisor would serve as the student’s committee chair.

6. Request, as needed, the advisor to serve as a professional reference after graduation.

The advisor is a person who, in most cases, has known the student since the beginning of the student’s program.  Advisors are often the best persons to complete a professional reference when the new M.S. in Nursing student is applying for a position or entry into a subsequent advanced or degree program.

Graduate students are assigned an academic Faculty Advisor who will oversee their curriculum and approve any changes.  The Faculty Advisor is the first point of contact if a student is having difficulty in a course or wishes to make any changes to his or her plan.

Students are also assigned a Program Manager, who serves as an administrative advisor and may act as a first point of contact.  The Program Manager can fix enrollment issues, answer questions about registration issues, support resolutions with financial aid, and can support any petitions needed during the program.  If you are not sure where to begin, reach out to your Program Manager first.

Please also review Appendix F of the Graduate School Handbook:

Graduate Advising Best Practices