Fostering a Positive Academic Experience

Institutional, Faculty, & Student Roles and Responsibilities in Fostering a Positive Academic Experience

Both students and faculty benefit from academic environments that promote the dissemination of clear and accurate information about degree programs, as well as a culture that encourages timely academic achievement. Advising agreements should be clearly delineated at the start of a student’s graduate career, outlining the roles, responsibilities and expectations of both the student and the faculty advisor.

Students and faculty also benefit from knowledgeable and responsible advising, reasonable procedures for changing advisors, and a culture that supports the pursuit of any related career. A positive academic experience also entails an environment that fosters academic freedom, the encouragement to pursue safe and ethical scholarly research, and is free of harassment and discrimination.

Northrop Auditorium

Institutional Responsibilities

Provide clear, timely, information about graduate program, including:

Degree requirements

Degree-progress expectations

Estimated costs for completing the degree

Funding opportunities

Average time-to-degree


  • Graduate program office
A faculty member teaches a class of students

Faculty Responsibilities

Provide clear, timely, information to students about the following:

Availability of advisor/committee members

Timely feedback on projects/theses


  • Timely communication related to degree-progress expectations, and if necessary, areas of concern, how to address, consequences
  • Annual reviews

Graduate program-specific handbooks

Students meet for a small group discussion

Student Responsibilities

Be proactive during your graduate experience:


  • Communicate with appropriate individual(s)/unit(s) regarding circumstances that affect degree progress


  • Conduct research in a responsible, respectful, and fair manner