Graduate Student Handbook

Responsibilities of Thesis/Dissertation Advisor


  • Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, SNR Graduate Programs - Emma Hazel,, 911 South HARH EC 0989, Phone: 402-472-5355

The School of Natural Resources encourages all graduate student advisors to do the following:

  • Provide a clear map of the requirements each student must meet, including course work, languages, research tools, examinations, and thesis or dissertation, and delineating the amount of time expected to complete each step.
    • Meet with masters student to complete Memorandum of Courses (MOC) after the student's first semester and prior to the student completing their 15th credit hour. Student's cannot submit their MOC and graduate in the same semester.
    • Meet with PhD student to complete Program of Studies (POS) when 45 hours need to be completed. These hours must exclude coursework on research tools, language requirements, or collateral courses. The completed POS form must be submitted in the same term (semester or summer) as approval of the Supervisory Committee.
  • Annually evaluate student progress and provide report to SNR Graduate Admissions Coordinator.
  • After a student receives their first XP for graduate research, thesis, or dissertation hours, the student's advisor must complete a "course" syllabus (see template) in which the advisor (in consultation with the student and his/her supervisory committee) lists the expectations and goals for the student for the upcoming semester (i.e., the semester following the one in which the student received the XP). The course syllabus is to be submitted to the SNR Graduate Committee by the 6th week of class. If the student earns a second XP in a row, a termination of the program or change in advisor may be requested by the SNR Graduate Chair. If necessary, the SNR Graduate Chair subsequently sends a letter to the Dean of Graduate Studies recommending termination of the student's program (note: the department can only recommend dismissal). The Dean will review the recommendation and, if approved, will dismiss the student from the program (
  • Meet with students weekly (at minimum) to:
    1. Help students develop interpretive, writing, oral, and quantitative skills, in accordance with the expectations of the discipline.
    2. Assist graduate students in the development of grant writing skills, where appropriate.
    3. Take reasonable measures to ensure that graduate students who initiate thesis or dissertation research/creative activity do so in a timely fashion, regardless of the overall demands of the laboratory/studio.
    4. When appropriate, encourage graduate students to participate in professional meetings or display their work in public forums and exhibitions.
    5. Stimulate in each graduate student an appreciation of teaching, and promote the acquisition of teaching skills where appropriate.
    6. Create an ethos of collegiality so that learning takes place within a community of scholars.
    7. Prepare students to be competitive for employment which includes portraying a realistic view of the field and the job market and making use of professional contacts for the benefit of their students, as appropriate.
    8. Create an environment of the highest ethical standards and insist that the student behave ethically in all their professional activities.

    For additional information see