5. ADVISING OVERVIEW

The Chair of the Group, on behalf of the Executive Committee, nominates the Graduate Advisers. The Graduate Division Deans at both UCSF and Berkeley receive these nominations and make the formal appointments that legitimize the Graduate Advisers’ signatures on either campus. The Head Graduate Advisers at UCSF and Berkeley oversee all advising activities.

Graduate Adviser

Graduate Advisers are matched to incoming students prior to registration, based on the students’ stated areas of interest. Students may later request a different, potentially better-matched adviser by contacting a Head Graduate Adviser (see below).

The Graduate Adviser is the official deputy of the Dean of the Graduate Division in matters affecting graduate students in the Group. Thus, the relationship between the Graduate Division and the Graduate Adviser is a very close one, involving a high degree of cooperation. The objects of both are the same: to guide students in an orderly fashion through the various steps necessary for the attainment of their higher degrees.

The Graduate Adviser formally approves students’ Programs of Study, recommends their advancement to candidacy, considers their petitions to add or change majors, to add or drop course, or to apply for withdrawal or readmission, and speaks for the Group on matters concerning the progress and standing of individual graduate students. In all these matters, the Graduate Adviser must judge whether or not a student’s request or proposed action is in order, is in the best interests of the student and the program, and is feasible under existing regulations.

Head Graduate Adviser

The two Head Graduate Advisers (UCSF and Berkeley) are appointed based on their considerable experience as Graduate Advisers. They are responsible for overseeing and signing documents pertaining to graduate enrollment, degrees, financial aid, student progress and student standing. They are also available to all students for consultation on any matters relating to the program, and serve as ‘back-up’ when the student’s assigned Graduate Adviser is not available.

Area Adviser

The Area Advisers are JGGB faculty on each campus with expertise in a particular research area. Area Advisers provide any JGGB student with focused, in-depth, area specific, advising including selection of curriculum, program of study, faculty mentor, qualifying exam and dissertation committee membership. The list of area advisers is available online. 

Peer Adviser

Students have an active group of Peer Advisers that provide support to their colleagues. Every entering student is assigned a Peer Adviser and is encouraged to consult them on a broad variety of matters, including choice of courses and rotations. The Peer Advisers have prepared a summary of information for new students called: “Into the Belly of the BEAST”, available on the BEAST wiki.