When admitted to the program, students are automatically assigned a faculty advisor. You should make an appointment to see or talk with your advisor prior to registration. All faculty use email correspondence regularly, too. The assigned advisors help students get their studies underway. Students are thereafter free to seek advice from the assigned advisor or from other faculty members as they see fit. Students may ask a faculty member in their area of interest or with whom they have established a good working relationship to serve as their faculty advisor. One of the few official duties of the faculty advisor is to sign off on your “blue” advising form that lists your planned program of study for the master’s degree. A copy of the blue form is included in the Handbook or you can download the advising form.

The MPA program director is an advisor for all students. An appointment should also be scheduled with the program director in the first term of study. The director makes decisions regarding such things as whether an internship will be required and offers advice regarding such things as the selection of electives and career placement opportunities. The program director serves as the major professor for MPA students.

The faculty of the Askew School are experienced in both the practice and teaching of public administration. We are also experienced in several different areas of public policy and administration. You should "get your money's worth" and seek advice from several of us while you are enrolled in the program. Students who seek to complete one of the MPA program's formal specializations must seek advice from the faculty who are designated advisors for that field.

If a student wishes to depart from one of the formal specializations in selecting electives, he or she should consult with the MPA director for advice and help in determining the most appropriate faculty member(s) to guide their course selections. Any member of the faculty may serve as an advisor and students do not have to request a change in advisors to be formally advised by other faculty members.

The Advising Form

Each time you meet with a faculty member for advice about your selection of courses you should bring a completed MPA Student Advising Form. It shows your program of study -- what you have taken and what you plan to take as well as other information of importance. If you have not yet completed the form, then do so prior to your next meeting with an advisor. For subsequent advising sessions, obtain the form from your file in the program office and update it. Then give it to the Academic Program Specialist (room 624 BEL) to be returned to your MPA file. It is essential that we have a current program of study, and this is used for the graduation check to ensure that requirements are met. The student should also retain a copy.