Advising is a crucial component of graduate education. Students should meet with the program director several times per semester to go over their progress. These conversations should focus on the ways their course selection and research projects fit into their longer-term goals. They should communicate to the director the changing shape of their ambitions, whether it be to pursue a Ph.D. or to use the degree in another professional context.

Students should also seek out the advice of their professors, both in terms of the subject matter of the courses they are taking and in terms of the way their work might fit into longer-term plans. They should especially pay attention to cultivating their professors as advisors for their theses, and as potential recommenders for applications to further graduate school, fellowships, and jobs.

Please check out the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences generic list of “Effective Practices for MA Advisees” for some good ideas about what to expect and how to navigate these dynamics.

Maintaining a regular dialogue with both the program director and the faculty is especially important in an interdisciplinary program like this one, where each student has the freedom to design their own curriculum. The freedom to elaborate on one’s own course of study can become a significant responsibility, and students should rely on the regular consultation of their mentors to ensure the coherence, legibility, and promise of their plans.

Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
 420 Hamilton Hall, MC 2880
1130 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities.
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