Student-advisor relationships are established in one of two ways. Either students become interested in a topic then selects director on the basis of interest and competency in the area, or students first become interested in the work of a particular faculty member, and then decide to write their dissertation in that area. This may also change due to faculty availability. Either approach is acceptable. The important thing is that the students feel free to approach any member of the graduate faculty concerning the question of thesis advising. Program advisors are generally the chair of the thesis committee. However, students should also feel free to change advisors, although if this is done after the research is underway, it is likely to result in some delay in the completion of the thesis.
Within the first year of their graduate MA program, students should confer with their academic advisor or the COMS Director of Graduate Study about thesis options.
The two other members of the thesis advisory committee are appointed by the faculty advisor, in consultation with the student and the Director of Graduate Study. The student will ask these members to serve on the committee. These members should be appointed early in the development of the thesis to assist in its preparation. However, the thesis advisor is chiefly responsible for supervising the preparation of the thesis, and will normally chair the student's oral examination.