The Graduate Advisor (also known as the Head Graduate Advisor) is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Division to interpret and enforce campus and program requirements for graduate degrees. The Graduate Adviser routinely signs numerous forms and petitions that accompany student life at U.C. Berkeley. Even more important, the Graduate Adviser helps advise and monitor each student’s progress through to the qualifying exam. Students seeking advice about the program’s requirements, or exemptions from particular provisions, generally need to consult the Graduate Adviser.
A JSP faculty member who advises students on their academic plans. When students enter the program, they are assigned a first-year advisor. By the start of their second year, they are expected to find a permanent advisor to provide them with guidance until they have identified their dissertation chair and assembled their dissertation committee.
Each year, in conformity with Graduate Division rules, the faculty meets to review every student’s record and progress. In most cases, there is no formal notification to the student following this annual evaluation. However, such notification does occur in those cases where the faculty perceive deficiencies in a student’s progress and identify steps needed to correct them.
Second-Year Progress Review
Students undergo a more ambitious Progress Review during the Spring of their second-year (third-year for students concurrently enrolled in both the Ph.D. and J.D. programs) The Progress Review is conducted by two members of the JSP faculty who are appointed by the Graduate Adviser. The faculty examine copies of the student’s seminar papers, academic transcript, and a brief cover letter prepared by the student concerning his or her graduate work and future plans. A review meeting of roughly an hour in length is then held with the student.
The purpose of the review is to assess the student’s overall progress in the program, and to discuss the student’s developed plans for fields of specialization and for the dissertation. In many cases, students will have completed (or be near the completion of) one of their fields by the time of the Progress Review. But in every case, the program expects students by the time of the Progress Review to have a clear plan and rough timetable for the completion of the two fields and for scheduling of the qualifying exam.