Loyola University Maryland

Department of Pastoral Counseling


Ph.D. Advising

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Assignment of Students to a Advisor

Each student is assigned an advisor when entering the M.S./Ph.D. or the Ph.D. The advisors will work with their students for approximately three years until a student becomes ABD (all but dissertation) and enters the dissertation process. Students are encouraged to contact his/her newly assigned advisor as early after acceptance as possible. 

Advisors’ Tasks

  • Helping student to select the basic core courses;
  • Assist student in designing the student’s advanced individualized curriculum;
  • Meeting the student’s career goals;
  • Assisting the student in possible problem situations; and 
  • Selecting a dissertation committee.

Changing Advisors

Students have the right to request an advisor change. The process to change advisors begins with the student and the advisor meeting to discuss the change and selecting another advisor. The student then contacts the new advisor to ascertain if the faculty member is willing and available to be the student’s advisor. The process continues until a new advisor is found. Faculty mentors also have the right to request that the student be reassigned if the faculty mentor believes that the match between the student and advisor is not productive. The advisor helps the student select another advisor. In the unlikely case that a student is unable to find a suitable advisor, the department’s academic committee will mediate.

Yearly PAR

Each year the faculty advisor performs a routine professional assessment review with the student, including a written evaluation of the student’s progress which will be placed in the student’s department file. The student will complete the yearly professional assessment review form and email the completed form to the advisor before the yearly PAR meeting occurs.

If there is a problem area that emerges during the year, then a more formal PAR is conducted. The formal PAR will include the advisor, the student, and two additional faculty members. Students are encouraged to read more about the PAR process in the pastoral counseling student handbook.