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Department Procedure for Changing Advisors

Departmental Policy/Procedure on Change of Advisors

Rationale: A graduate student may change his/her thesis advisor due to various circumstances, including but not limited to: the advisor leaving KU or retiring; the student’s research diverging from the area of expertise of the advisor; or differences between the student and the advisor.  Change of advisor is allowed even at a late stage of a student’s graduate career.

Policy/Procedure on Change of Advisors: Once a student decides to change advisors, he/she may initiate the following process. The student must inform his/her current advisor and should inform the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) of his/her intention to change advisors. In the event of disagreement on the part of the current advisor, the issue should be brought to the Chair.  A change of advisors must not have any effect on the student's eligibility for GTA or departmental summer support. The Chair/DGS should make every reasonable effort to facilitate the change.  The student is encouraged to seek advice from faculty members, peers, et al. 

A student may approach and ask a faculty member to serve as his/her new advisor.  Prior to making a decision and answering the student, the faculty member may consult the DGS and current advisor of the student for more information if necessary.  

Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate for the current advisor and a graduate faculty member of the Mathematics Department to serve as co-advisors.  In this case, the Mathematics Department should encourage this arrangement and the relevant parties should work out the details. 

The student must inform the DGS when a decision on change of advisors has been made.  The student must still meet all relevant degree requirements of the University, the College and the Department.  In the event that the change of advisor occurs late in the student’s graduate career, the student and the new advisor may request a modification of departmental requirements via petition to the Graduate Committee.  The Graduate Committee will make a decision with a reasonable effort to facilitate a smooth transition.

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