Working with Your Research Advisor

Your Research Advisor will guide you in all aspects of development of your thesis topic - as well as with the preparation and presentation of your thesis proposal, a prerequisite to beginning your thesis work.

  • Your Research Advisor will also be instrumental in helping you to identify your Thesis Director, whose research and teaching interests match specific proposal topics

For a quick look at fields of study covered by current Research Advisors, please visit this page: Advising.

At the beginning of fall and spring terms, some Research Advisors hold orientation meetings to outline administrative details and strategies appropriate to the ALM thesis.

  • If you expect to undertake the thesis during the subsequent academic year you are urged to attend an orientation meeting if one is offered, or if such a meeting is not offered, to contact your Research Advisor to learn more about the process

A number of Research Advisors also hold monthly proposal-and-thesis-writers discussion groups, open to all candidates who have completed six courses.  General questions about the proposal and thesis writing processes - and specialized ones concerning individual projects - are addressed.

As noted above, your Research Advisor will arrange for consultation with a Harvard faculty member, or a professional in your discipline, to serve as your Thesis Director.  

  • As soon as this person accepts this role, s/he then becomes responsible for guiding the thesis

In extremely rare instances, your Research Advisor may not be able to find an eligible, available Thesis Director - despite the acceptability of the project.

  • In such cases, you may need to wait until a Thesis Director becomes available - or develop another research proposal on a different topic