In programs where a dissertation/thesis/research project is required, each student is advised by a specific member of the faculty. However, unforeseen circumstances may require a change in advisor prior to the completion of the student's program requirements. If this occurs, the graduate officer, program director or program co-ordinator will assist the student in obtaining a new advisor.
In order to ensure that graduate students receive continuous supervision while planning, writing or defending a dissertation/thesis/ research project, faculty who will be absent from campus (e.g., sabbatical, illness, political leave, research) for an extended period of time (i.e., more than two continuous months) should not agree to act as a dissertation/thesis advisor or to serve on dissertation/thesis committees. If a faculty member who is serving as a dissertation/thesis advisor or as a member of a dissertation/thesis committee finds that he/she will be on leave for more than two continuous months, the student and the faculty member should meet with the graduate officer/program director/program co-ordinator to decide who will be responsible for the student during the period of absence. Normally, the faculty member will be replaced. However, there may be circumstances (e.g., the faculty member will be residing in Kitchener-Waterloo while on leave, or the dissertation/thesis is nearly completed) where the faculty member and the student agree to have the faculty member remain as an advisor or committee member.