Graduate Advising

Graduate Advising Expectations

The Department of Music is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. When most effective, this advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the advisor and the advisee. As a best practice, advising expectations should be periodically discussed and reviewed to ensure mutual understanding. Both the advisor and the advisee are expected to maintain professionalism and integrity.

Faculty advisors guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.

The faculty program advisor is the primary source of information for the duration of a student's graduate career. Program advisor assignments are made based on perceived best fit at the time of acceptance to a degree program. Only Academic Council Teaching Faculty (“ACTFac” –any tenure-track faculty, i.e., Assistant, Associate, and full Professors), are eligible to serve as graduate program advisors; however, non-ACTFac instructors may serve as co-advisors in conjunction with an ACTFac instructor. See the Graduate Policies and Procedures (GAP) for details about advising expectations.

Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program. Graduate students are encouraged to meet with their program advisor at least once each quarter, and are actively encouraged to communicate frequently with their advisors. It is valuable to set clear mutual expectations for the advising process, and to revisit those expectations periodically. While developing a proposal for the Ph.D. dissertation or DMA final project, the student should invite a reading committee in consultation with the program advisor and other relevant faculty.

At the start of graduate study, each student is assigned a program advisor. Should you feel it necessary to change advisors, the following procedure should be followed:

  1. Discuss this with your current advisor. With their permission,
  2. Solicit agreement from your proposed new advisor.
  3. Email the Graduate Student Services Officer with a notification of this change; cc both your old and new advisors.

If there are problems with the advising relationship, please contact the Department Chair and/or the Graduate Student Services Officer.

Advising Expectations for Ph.D. Students

A student should be an active advisee and should not wait for an advisor to email. Students should arrange for meetings to discuss coursework, summer plans, quals preparation, language study, and, later, the dissertation topic, fellowship applications, and other aspects of professional development. Students should prepare for these meetings carefully, recognizing that the advisor’s time is limited.

Advising Expectations for Master of Art in Music (Music, Science, and Technology Students)

The same expectations guiding the doctoral advisees guide advising relationships for Master's students as well.

Stanford Advising Documents and Resources

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) works collaboratively with Stanford’s schools and departments to enhance the quality of graduate education at Stanford University. Among the many resources at their site is a set of graduate advising resources.

The Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures (GAP) includes a section on advising.

For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the "Advising and Credentials" section of the Stanford Bulletin