What are my responsibilities?

Succeeding in graduate school requires motivation, professional ambition, and the ability to maintain a high level of integrity. Unlike undergraduate education, graduate students assume a greater responsibility for their graduate programs such as choosing a major adviser, appointing a supervisory committee, and selecting courses that best fit your career goals. The following section describes your responsibilities as a graduate student as well as the responsibilities of faculty advisers. We hope this information will help you better understand departmental expectations as you work towards your career goals.

Students have the responsibility to:
  • Select a supervisory committee with the advice of his/her major adviser. Students will organize meetings of his/her supervisory committee for planning and executing his/her graduate program. Students will inform his/her supervisory committee of the status of his/her program and research at regular intervals and as necessary to maintain progress.
  • Engage in research and other project-related work as defined by the degree option and the student's major adviser, regardless of the student's funding status.
  • Ensure security and conservation of the project facilities, equipment, and materials.
  • Establish an appropriate schedule to maintain his/her progress. Students must balance coursework, research, and other academic activities to successfully complete their degree program.
  • Perform independent, original research (when required by the degree option).
  • Properly interpret his/her research results and to write an acceptable thesis or dissertation that accurately reflects the research.
  • Accept full financial responsibility for the preparation of his/her thesis or dissertation, including the purchase of all materials, typing, artwork, reproduction, and binding.
  • Pursue employment after graduation.
  • Make the commitment to his/her graduate program which is required for the successful completion of your degree. This often requires more time than generally expected when initiating a graduate program.
  • Satisfy the requirements of the Graduate Studies Bulletin in force at the time the student is admitted to a degree program. Alternatively, the student may, with the consent of his/her major adviser, graduate under a subsequent bulletin provided the student complies with all requirements of the later bulletins.
  • Follow all policies and meet all requirements and deadlines. A student planning to graduate should be familiar with the dates relating to application for graduation and other pertinent deadlines.
  • Be familiar with the information presented in this handbook and the Graduate Catalog: https://catalog.unl.edu/graduate-professional/graduate/, and to know and observe all regulations and procedures relating to the program he/she is pursuing. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception granted because a student pleads ignorance of, or contends that he/she was not informed of, the regulations or procedures.
Advisers have the responsibility to:
  • Describe their expectations regarding student's activities, time commitment, and performance.
  • Provide competent advice on course work, research, and employment opportunities when requested.
  • Provide, or arrange for, the necessary facilities, supplies, equipment, and labor to conduct research.
  • Provide opportunities for students to be imaginative and innovative in pursuit of their graduate degrees.
  • Create an atmosphere of encouragement and support that leads to the successful completion of the graduate program.
  • Stay abreast of the graduate student's research and its progress.
  • Provide assistance in the form of critical review of the initial project proposal, seminars, manuscripts, presentations, theses and dissertations.
  • Accept final responsibility for research conducted under his/her project.
The student's Supervisory Committee has the responsibility to:
  • Guide the student in the development of a program of study.
  • Provide input for and review of the student's research proposal and thesis or dissertation.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of a graduate research project.
  • Meet with the student to resolve matters concerning his/her graduate program or research project whenever necessary.