Upon entering the PhD program, each student is assigned a doctoral advisor. At the end of the first year of study, students are encouraged to review the existing arrangement and decide whether to continue with that faculty member or to choose another advisor from among the Graduate Group faculty. The advisor helps the student prepare an individual educational plan, choose courses, become familiar with the wide array of educational resources at the School and the University, and form a dissertation committee. Students are responsible for initiating meetings with their advisors at regular intervals.
For best practices regarding academic advising, please see University guidelines that promote good mentoring relationship, as well as the Advisee and Advisor Guide for SP2 PhD Students.
With the assistance of their faculty advisor, students select a Dissertation Chair who advises them on the selection of a Dissertation Committee. The Committee consists of a minimum of three persons: two members of the Graduate Group in Social Welfare and one member of the standing faculty from another department/school of the University of Pennsylvania. The Chair of the Dissertation Committee must be a member of the Graduate Group. For a list of current members, click on the Graduate Group link on the left side of the screen.
The Dissertation Committee is responsible for approving the candidate’s plan of dissertation research and the format of the dissertation and for determining the acceptability of the completed dissertation.
Students are responsible for initiating meetings with their dissertation chair and committee members at regular intervals.