Faculty advisors, particularly for doctoral students, play an important role in students' intellectual development.
Every Stanford graduate student is expected to work closely with a faculty advisor. Advisors assist students in planning a program of study to meet degree requirements. Students are also encouraged to seek out mentors in addition to their formal faculty advisor.
Successful advising and mentoring relationships are characterized by clear expectations, open communication, and a willingness to resolve problems. The resources below can facilitate productive relationships between graduate students and their advisors and mentors.
Learn about mentoring resources
Workshops and Events
Setting Expectations and Resolving Conflicts with Your Advisor Workshop
Sitting down together to discuss and set expectations is an excellent way to create a solid foundation for both students and advisors. How to broach such a conversation, however, can be tricky. In this quarterly workshop, students will learn an interest-based approach to setting expectations and preparing for difficult conversations.
A three-session workshop focuses on simple principles and guidelines that, once learned, can make the process of managing others enjoyable and effective, and help you succeed in whatever career path you choose.
Planning and Discussion Tools
Guidelines for Good Practices in the Graduate Student—Faculty Advisor Relationship
Review and implement behaviors and practices that help students and faculty establish successful advising relationships.
Annual Doctoral Student Degree and Career Progress Meeting Worksheet
Advisors and students are encouraged to meet annually to take stock, discuss short- and long-term goals, and develop specific plans. This customizable worksheet, endorsed by the Committee on Graduate Studies, can help facilitate such conversations.
Student-Advisor Expectation Scales
Use this tool to discuss, define, and align expectations in the student—faculty advising relationship. This resource is not prescriptive; rather, it is meant to assist students and faculty in establishing clear and realistic expectations in the advising relationship.
There are many articles and tools out there to help guide students and faculty advising relationships; below are just a few examples.
Challenges and Conflicts
Even in the best advising and mentoring relationships, conflicts may arise.