Advisor/Student Agreements

In the collaboration between graduate students and their advisors, much is sometimes left unsaid.  Student and advisor sometimes enter into a working relationship without having a conversation about expectations, obligations, and the practical aspects of working together. How often do we meet? How do we spend our time in meetings and research most effectively? What are the responsibilities of student and advisor for creating the right work environment? How do we set and track goals for research? How do we plan and communicate about schedules, time off, etc.? How do we clarify both parties’ expectations for success?

Below, you will find templates in use at Mines, which can be used as tools and guides for a conversation between graduate student and advisor. Signing such an agreement may help to increase mutual commitment to shared goals.

Please send any feedback or questions about these templates to Roel Snieder, Center for Professional Development Education ( or Jenny Briggs, Office of Graduate Studies (

Agreement adapted for Colorado School of Mines (pdf)   (MS Word version)

Agreement developed by the Graduate Council at Mines 2022 (pdf)   (MS Word version)

Departmental Agreements for the Colorado School of Mines:
Mechanical Engineering (pdf)

Additional examples:
Agreement used by Kamini Singha at Mines  (pdf)    (MS Word version)
The Association of American Medical Colleges (pdf)
Brown University (pdf)    (MS Word version)
University of Western Ontario (pdf)
Rackam Graduate School of the University of Michigan (pdf)