Earth and Environmental Sciences (ERTH)

Faculty Mentor Responsibilities

Faculty mentors are responsible for the quality of the graduate education for each of their students. The relationship begins even before a student sets foot on campus. A very important part of the graduate application process involves contacting potential faculty mentors to work with. Students are accepted into the program only if they have been accepted by a faculty mentor.

Faculty mentors work closely with their students to design original independent research projects. Faculty mentors and students usually meet periodically (every several weeks at a minimum) to discuss research progress and to work through project difficulties. The faculty mentor helps the student pick a thesis advisory committee that meets at least once per semester with the student and faculty mentor to discuss the research project and student progress.

Written thesis

The capstone (and majority of the work) of the MS degree is a written thesis. The thesis is a professional documentation of the student's research project written in scientific format. There is no set length for a thesis, although most range from 50 to 200 pages in length. Students often write parts of their thesis for publication in refereed scientific journals.

Thesis/Project Presentation

The faculty mentor and graduate student are responsible for scheduling a room and time for a public presentation of the student's thesis research, and for preparing a flyer advertising this presentation to the department. The graduate coordinator also invites all graduate students to the presentation. 

The faculty mentor should bring the following forms to the thesis defense:

The committee is responsible for completing the above forms and the students is responsible for turning them in to the Graduate Coordinator at the completion of the defense.