You will be assigned a faculty advisor upon entering the program, based upon the area(s) of interest identified in your application packet or the type of assistantship you may have. You are free to change your advisor at any time, and simply need to notify the Director of Graduate Programs to keep your record up to date. It is common for students to change advisors as they become familiar with all faculty members and find common interests, work on different research projects, change their focus of study, or select a thesis/dissertation chair.
Faculty advisors are available to assist you with questions about academic topics such as which courses to take, how to develop a timeline for thesis completion or the major area paper, and which area of study is best suited to your goals. Faculty advisors are also available to provide career advice about the various opportunities available to you post-graduation, the skills you should focus on for a particular goal or career track, or how the job market works for academic and non-academic careers.
You should meet with your faculty advisor at least once a year to review your academic progress in the program and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.