Graduate advisors play a key role in the academic life of students. The graduate advisors are appointed by the department chair or interdepartmental degree program committee. The chair's signature is required on some forms, whereas in other cases the graduate advisor’s signature is also accepted as a departmental signature on various Graduate Division forms and on petitions presented by graduate students. Depending on the situation, consultation with the respective school's Associate Dean may also be necessary and/or prudent. However, it is the graduate advisor who formally approves students' programs of study, advises them on advancement to candidacy for higher degrees, considers their petitions to change majors, to add or drop courses, to apply for readmission, etc. In all of these matters, the advisor or the advisement team must judge whether the student's request is in order, is in the student's best interest, and is feasible under existing regulations.
UCI’s Graduate Division recognizes that departmental and school staff also play pivotal roles in providing information and advice on policy and procedures to students. In some instances, staff are even recommended by the chair for signature authority for certain petitions and forms (e.g. current drop/add petitions). Therefore, it is essential that staff who have administrative responsibility for serving graduate students become thoroughly familiar with the policies and procedures outlined in all Graduate Division publications available on this website. The information provided here is designed to enhance the understanding of the many policies, procedures and other matters that are encountered in the counseling of graduate students.