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Support Networks

GradMAP Support Networks

While you are enrolled in the Graduate College, you have a support system that includes the Graduate College, your department, and other units at the university.

Your Program or Department

Your program or department is a primary support network for you and there are some key people to get to know.

  • The Graduate Program Contact is often the first person a student contacts with a question. This person works closely with the program director, faculty, and Graduate College and has an in-depth understanding of the department and policies.
  • The Director of Graduate Study (sometimes called the DGS) oversees the graduate program and is usually a faculty member. This person can help advise you on navigating the program and academic field.
  • Your Adviser is the person you will work most closely with. Your adviser will help you understand your academic requirements and help you create a plan for achieving degree milestones. If you are in a research program, this faculty member will help advise your research progress.
  • Other Graduate Students are a great resource to better get to know your program and some of the expectations you should be aware of. Reach out to your Graduate Program Contact, Director of Graduate Study, or your Adviser for names of students you might speak with. You can also meet other students by joining Registered Student Organizations or connecting with Cultural and Resource Centers.


Mentoring is an important aspect of graduate education and serves a less formal, but integral role. Mentors can be your adviser, other faculty, or professionals with interests that relate to your own. Having multiple mentors can help you gain from a variety of perspectives, and we encourage you to seek out mentors early to help you grow academically and professionally.

The Graduate College and Other Campus Units

The Graduate College is here to help you too! Our staff can explain academic policies and procedures, help you develop professional skills, advise on fellowship writing, and support you in your job search. We are here when students need help.

Here are some additional campus units that may be part of your support system.