Advising Basics


Advisor Responsibilities

Each graduate program has a Graduate Advisor. The Graduate Advisor represents the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Committee on Graduate Studies in matters pertaining to advising graduate students in their academic areas.

As an advisor, you may be expected to:

  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculum, graduation requirements, and university and college policies and procedures
  • Encourage and guide students as they define and develop realistic goals
  • Encourage and support students as they gain the skills to develop clear and attainable educational plans
  • Provide students with information about and strategies for utilizing the available resources and services on campus
  • Assist students in understanding the purposes and goals of higher education and its effects on their lives and personal goals
  • Monitor and accurately document students’ progress toward meeting their goals
  • Be accessible for meeting with advisees via office hours for advising, telephone, e-mail, or web access
  • Assist students in gaining decision making skills and skills in assuming responsibility for their educational plans and achievements
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Assist students in working closely with their professors

Adapted from Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Office.

Specific tasks assigned to the graduate advisor include (but are not limited to:)

  • Reviewing and signing admission worksheets
  • Clearing students for registration
  • Acting upon requests for drops, adds, section changes and special examinations
  • Keeping graduate student records
  • Advising graduate students about their degree plans and graduation requirements


As an advisor, you will most likely need to use MyMav, the University’s student information system. All the pertinent information about a student, including demographic data, registration, grades, financial aid, tuition and fees and degree plan requirements is housed in MyMav.

MyMav Access

As a graduate advisor, you will need to get access to areas not necessarily needed by other faculty members. To get access to the areas of MyMav necessary for advisors, your Department Chair should contact the OIT Help Desk on your behalf to request access to the screens necessary for advising. Also, once you have attended GMAP training, you will need to contact us at to request access to perform substitutions and waivers on student GMAPs.

Additional Resources for Advisors