Finding an Advisor
If you know whom you'd like to ask to serve as your advisor, you're welcome to talk with that person directly. Otherwise, the MALS director will help you to identify appropriate faculty.
Thesis advisors must be full-time UD faculty; UD regulations do not permit adjunct or retired faculty to serve as thesis advisors. If you would like to work with an adjunct or retired faculty member, please ask the MALS director about the possibility of appointing co-advisors, one of whom must be a full-time UD faculty member. The restriction on adjunct and retired faculty does not apply to projects.
When you know who your advisor will be, please let the MALS office know so that the appropriate designations can be made in UDSIS. This is important so that you can be graded properly for your thesis/project work.
Finding a Second Reader
Once you know who your advisor will be, work with that person to identify a second reader. Ideally, the second reader should be able to fill in areas of expertise that differ from those of the advisor. As an example, a student who is writing about the effect of Saturday morning cartoons on the behavior of children might want to work with someone who specializes in mass communication and someone else who knows about child psychology.
If you need suggestions for a person to serve as second reader, please contact the director, who will help you identify an appropriate person.
The Role of Your Advisor and Second Reader
Your advisor helps you to define your topic and to refine your proposal. He or she also provides suggestions, guidance, and feedback as needed. Although there is no single model for student-advisor interaction, it is a good idea to touch base with the advisor periodically rather than doing a whole semester's work before discussing it with the advisor.
In your last semester, you should submit your finished work to the advisor at least a month, and preferably six weeks, before the due date. The advisor may require revisions before approving the work. There is no hard-and-fast rule about whether the work goes first to the advisor and then to the second reader, or to both at the same time. The advisor is solely responsible for assigning a grade to the work.
The second reader should offer advice, suggest sources, and provide other help in the areas of the work that fall within his or her expertise. Like the advisor, the second reader must approve both the proposal and the finished work. There is no hard-and-fast rule about whether the work goes first to the advisor and then to the second reader, or to both at the same time. The second reader may and should require any revisions he/she deems necessary. If differences of opinion arise between the advisor and second reader, those should be resolved by the two faculty members, not by the student.