Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice

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Advising

All members of the Criminology & Criminal Justice graduate faculty are assigned as advisors for graduate students.

If you are a new student, contact your advisor as early in your first semester as possible.

If you are a returning student, contact your advisor during the current semester to make sure that you are on track with your degree requirements.

Your advisor’s name should also appear on your DARS report (see below for more information about DARS). If, however, your DARS report or letter of acceptance shows that Dr. Schrink or Dr. Skelton is your advisor, this is an error, and it means that your advisor information has not been updated to reflect the new system. In this case, you should contact the department to find out the name of your advisor.

The relationship with your graduate advisor is more formal than with your undergraduate advisor. Your graduate advisor is responsible for knowing about the courses you plan to take and approving any alterations in your plans. You should, therefore, work with your assigned advisor only. If you wish, you may change your advisor at any time by completing an Application for Change in Program/Specialization and/or Advisor form available from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SOGPS) website.  Please be aware that if your assigned advisor is not available over the summer, you may work with any other faculty member. In such cases, you do not need to change your advisor for summer only.

The distance education graduate program has a Scheduling Coordinator. Although you work with this person to register for courses, he/she is not your official advisor.

What Your Advisor Does

Advisors are available to help you not only with course selection, but also with career choices, committee formation, and other matters of academic and professional interest. They are available in person, by phone, and via email. Phone numbers and email addresses are listed on the department website.

What Your Advisor Does Not Do

Advisors do not handle academic matters pertaining to a specific course (workload, grade disputes, nature of assignments, etc.). You need to work out these issues with the professor teaching the course. If you cannot reach a suitable resolution with the professor, contact the department chairperson.

Advisors do not provide information on financial aid; contact the Financial Aid Office.

Communicating with Your Advisor and Other Professors

Full-time faculty members perform many duties in addition to teaching courses and advising students. At times they will be unavailable because of other professional commitments, such as research, committee work at the university, or work-related travel.

Professors are required to hold 8-10 office hours per week; office hours are posted on their office doors. The office staff also has information on faculty members’ office hours. Office hours should also be listed on the syllabus for your course(s). During these times, working with students is a faculty member’s top priority. If you are a distance education student, this would be the best time to reach your professor by phone. All professors also make appointments with individual students who, for whatever reason, cannot be available during the posted office hours.

If a professor routinely does not make him/herself available during posted office hours or does not respond to e-mail or telephonic communication in a timely manner, then contact the department office. The office staff will help you get in contact with the professor.  Do not let matters wait until personal contact can be established, especially if waiting will cause an important deadline to pass.

Most part-time or temporary instructors do not have posted office hours. If you are having trouble reaching a part-time faculty member, do not hesitate to contact the department office for assistance. Who are the part-time graduate faculty members? Everyone whose title is Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor are regular, full-time faculty members; all others are not.