The Department has an open-door policy meaning that all graduate students in the Department should feel free to talk to any professor about their research and academic concerns, not only only those who are directly involved in supervising their research. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this policy and to confer with a broad range of faculty members throughout their time in the program.
Before a dissertation proposal chair is chosen (see the section on the dissertation proposal and dissertation), the default advisor for every student is the DGS. The DGS should be consulted on any decisions having to do with curricular requirements. Any faculty member can be consulted by any student on what their best course of study is, including how to complete the course requirements, advice on qualifying paper topics, or anything else relating to the curriculum. However, in designing a specific course of study, students will also need more specialized advice, depending on the specific area of linguistics or the specific methodologies the student plans to use in their research. To this effect, students should seek the advice of faculty specializing in their areas of interest.
By the end of the first and second years of study, students choose an academic adviser for the upcoming year. The role of this adviser is to consult with the student about the upcoming QP, with the intent of helping to prepare the student to engage in the research in advance of the autumn quarter and beyond. This adviser may or may not be one of the QP readers.