1 Advising

Your advisor is a Linguistics faculty member who serves as your first point of contact in the department and your mentor throughout the degree process. Your advisor must approve all coursework and will supervise your thesis or dissertation.1

1.1 Interim Advisor

Each student is assigned an interim advisor upon entry to the program. The main role of the interim advisor is to discuss your goals and guide you into the program by recommending courses relevant to your area(s) of interest so that you earn your degree in a timely manner. If you have a question about the program or a problem, you should seek the advice of your advisor.

1.2 How to Change Advisor

It is often the case that the interim advisor is not the most appropriate person to supervise the student’s dissertation. This may happen because the student’s area of interest was undecided at the time they entered the program, or because the student’s research focus changed during their studies. Or a student may have formed a productive working relationship with another faculty member. Whatever the reason, it is important that your advisor be someone with whom you can work effectively during what will be the most intensive research effort of your career so far. So don’t hesitate to make a change if warranted; your current advisor will not take offence; the faculty want you to have the most appropriate advisor.

To change advisor, you first consult with your prospective new advisor. If he/she agrees, you then obtain the approval of the graduate chair and notify the department administrator of the change. You should notify your current advisor as well; and you may want to retain them as a committee member, if they agree. A memo will be given to you, to your previous advisor and to your new advisor to indicate that the change was approved. From that point on, you meet with your new advisor.

1.3 Registration Approval Form

You must meet with your advisor before registering for each semester’s classes. This enables your advisor to monitor your progress and to make sure you are staying on track. The department places an academic hold on your student account prior to registration to ensure that you will meet with your advisor. You will be given a registration approval form (also called a hold form) to be completed at your advising meeting and returned to the department office. Upon receipt of this form, the department secretary will release the academic hold on your account.

All holds must be cleared before you can register for classes. To check if you have any holds on your account:

  • Go to MyUH home page.
  • Select View Holds on My Record.
  • The phone number of the office that placed the hold should be listed under the Originator box.
  • Contact the office indicated for information about how to clear and remove the hold.

1.4 Faculty Availability

The faculty availability period runs from approximately one week prior to the beginning of classes each term through commencement. Outside these periods faculty have research and other commitments and may not be available for consultation. You should communicate clearly with your advisor to make sure you understand the expectations regarding advising during the off-duty period.

Exams, Qualifying Paper consultations, proposal and prospectus defenses, and dissertation defenses cannot be scheduled during the off-duty period without written consent from the Graduate Chair.

The off-duty periods do not count toward the minimum review times stated for Qualifying Papers, Propsoal Prospectus and Dissertation. For example, your dissertation must be submitted to the committee four weeks prior to your defense date. If you submit prior the beginning of the duty period, then that four week review period does not start until the beginning of the review period.

1.5 Submissions of conference abstracts and manuscripts

Students are strongly encouraged to present at professional conference and submit manuscripts for publication. In order to ensure the highest quality of scholarships, students are expected and encouraged to consult with their advisors prior to submitting an abstract for a conference or submitting a manuscript for publication. Your advisor may recommend additional appropriate faculty members to consult, such as the PI for a grant-funded project, other experts in the subject matter, and faculty who regularly attend the conference or publish in the journal in question.

It is a natural expectation that faculty members will engage in such activities with students, and students should not feel as if they are imposing on the faculty or that they are somehow less impressive because they receive help from a faculty member. It should be noted that even the most experienced faculty members seek advice and counsel on such matters, and so students are expected to do so as well. Moreover, it is in the interest of everyone in the department that presentations and articles that are associated with the Department of Linguistics at UHM are of the highest caliber; our reputation depends on it.

It is recommended that students discuss the abstract/manuscript with the relevant faculty member(s) early on in the process and work out a reasonable timetable to receive feedback. Many faculty members already have an established policy on what abstracts, manuscripts or slides must be submitted in order to receive feedback. This will require coordination with other authors since all authors must approve of an abstract or manuscript before it is submitted to any venue.

  1. Masters plan B (non-thesis) projects are sometimes supervised by a faculty other than the student’s advisor. ↩︎