Skip to main content

MFA Gallery Exhibition

Graduate Student Advising

The Department of Visual Arts has three roles designated to support graduate students towards the realization of their academic goals. These roles are:

Graduate Program Coordinator

The Graduate Coordinator is a staff member and your first point of contact regarding all practical student matters. Here to support students in the clarification of goals, the development of plans and the realization of these goals. This is a process that helps students make decisions that are the best fit for them individually and is the responsibility of both student and advisor. To be successful, students need to be active in all aspects of their education, including knowledge of their curricular requirements and working in partnership with support resources on campus. Some of the things that the Graduate Program Coordinator will assist you with are:

  • program requirements
  • academic planning
  • enrollment
  • forms and system processing
  • committees


Connect with the Graduate Coordinator

Academic Meetings: Staff can schedule virtual meetings with students utilizing Zoom. To request a Zoom meeting, go to the 'book appointment' tab on the right and select an available slot. A meeting time will be arranged and you will be sent instructions for accessing the meeting space in Zoom. Some reasons to arrange a meeting:
-Academic Planning
-Long and Short Term Academic Goals
-Forms/Systems Processing
-Academic Milestones (Committees, Reviews, QE, etc)
-Degree Audit Review
-Concerns of Any Kind


Virtual Advising Center: Advisors are available via the Virtual Advising Center 'Ask a Question' tab at to assist current students with brief and basic academic advising questions. Questions are addressed Monday-Thursday during business hours and are typically addressed between 1-2 days. Some reasons to write into the VAC:

-Course and Schedule Questions
-Departmental Policy
-Provide an Update to Coordinator (date of show/Defense, etc)


Forms/Petitions: There are a variety of academic and enrollment related forms that you will need to complete during your time here. Forms and instructions can be found here. Please keep in mind that many of these forms require that your request is reviewed by: the Graduate Coordinator, your Faculty Advisor, the appropriate MFA or PhD Director, Department Chair and the Graduate Division. Due to the many processing steps, you should give 1-2 weeks of additional processing time prior to campus/department deadlines to ensure your times can be addressed.


Course Authorizations: To request access to a course, utilize the campus Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) that is available via Tritonlink. Please follow any instructions provided here for the specific course you are interested in enrolling.


Financial/Employment: To discuss any questions you have regarding your employment or financials, please email

Faculty Directors

Faculty Directors have been designated as a primary student resource working in 2-3 year rotations. Faculty Directors work closely with the Graduate Coordinator and Faculty Advisors and are a key part of the student advising process. Faculty Directors assist with:

  • processing forms and system approvals
  • providing guidance regarding program requirements
  • connecting students to resources
  • supporting students in realizing their professional goals
  • consulting with students on major steps and decisions


2021-22 Faculty Directors 

MFA- Prof. Anya Gallaccio

PhD Art History- Prof. John Welchman

PhD Art Practice- Prof. Lisa Cartwright

Faculty Advisor

The Faculty Advisor works closely with the student, in partnership with the Graduate Coordinator and Faculty Director, to coordinate research training and progression to degree. Students should make a point of meeting with their Faculty Advisor at least once a quarter. These meetings should be initiated by student request. 

Provisional Advisor Upon entry to the program, students are paired with a provisional Faculty Advisor for one year. Provisional Advisor responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Having an Independent Study (VIS 299) with their advisee in their first year
  • Writing the advisee’s Spring Evaluation 
  • Advocating on the advisee’s behalf for petitions, as needed 
  • Writing letters of support for grants, fellowships, subventions, residencies, etc. 
  • Helping students to identify a primary Advisor for years two and later.

Faculty Advisor The main role of the Advisor is to help students plan their academic program in a way that is consistent with their research and career objectives and is aware of all factors affecting the student’s academic performance. Responsibilities of the Faculty Advisor include, but are not limited to: 

  • Chairing the student’s Committee, assisting the student in identifying appropriate committee members in keeping with the program guidelines. 
  • Instructing VIS 295/299's as appropriate 
  • Being a resource regarding academic/research opportunities, grant funding, relevant conferences and exhibition/publishing opportunities 
  • Writing the Spring Evaluation after the first year
  • Advocating on the advisee’s behalf for petitions, as needed 
  • Writing letters of support for grants, fellowships, subventions, residencies, jobs, etc. 
  • Recommending other faculty/courses to provide useful expertise  


An Advisor planning a leave of absence should notify the student as to whether they can continue their advising duties while on leave. If the Advisor is not able to do so, then the Advisor (or, in their absence, a Faculty Director) must work with the student to identify an appropriate and willing department faculty member, preferably someone from the student’s committee, to stand in as point person for the duration of the Advisor’s leave of absence.