Frequently Asked Questions

How do I receive information from the department?

Important announcements are posted on the Grad Blog. Check the Grad Blog frequently! If you still have questions, ask Joan Christian in 1108 Newmark Lab (NCEL).

Who is my advisor?

If you haven’t made some prior arrangement with a professor, the faculty member in your area who is currently handling graduate admissions will assign you an advisor. If you can’t determine who that is, check with Joan Christian in 1108 NCEL.

Why do I need to see an advisor?

All students, but particularly new students, should select courses in consultation with their advisor in order to avoid inappropriate selections or selections which would lead to delays in the student’s academic progress.

When is NCEL open?


The building is open 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Key card access is required after 5pm.

Can I get a key to the building?


Keys are only given to employees (RA’s, TA’s, etc.) but all CEE students will have key card access after 5pm.

Can I get a desk in NCEL?

Mailboxes and desks are provided for all that have fellowships and research assistantships. Generally, the department cannot provide desks or mailboxes to graduate students who do not have such appointments. Check with your advisor.

Is there a student lounge?


Student lounge areas are located on each floor of the Yeh Center and in the basement of NCEL.

When can I meet with Joan Christian to discuss questions I have about my graduate program?

Joan’s ‘walk-in’ office hours are: Monday-Friday

10 a.m.-12 p.m.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

If I am a coursework only M.S. student, can I apply to the Ph.D. program?

Yes. Existing M.S. students who would like to be considered for the Ph.D. program should submit a new graduate student application by the regular deadlines for applicants wanting to be considered for financial aid (e.g. by January 1st for fall applicants).