Mentors and Academia

I have been approved by the head of my Master’s program for Advancement to Candidacy. It still needs sign off from two of the deans but that should be a formality at this point. This is the next to the last step for beginning my thesis work.

The other step is having my thesis topic approved. Other than deadline issues, this has hit one snag: my mentor cannot be my mentor… I had a professor who I took a class from last fall also be my professor for my independent study in Western Esotericism. I did this because we got along well, he had some understanding of some of the issues in the area, and he seemed to be inclined to my topic matter in a friendly manner.

Well, it turns out that the program considers him to be in the History category for their internal organization. Since the program has concentrations in History, Philosophy, Literature, and Art, all professors are assigned to these categories, usually based on their PhD degree. Since my own program focus is in Philosophy, which is what my thesis will be within, he cannot mentor my thesis. He cannot be one of my committee members either. This is unfortunate but also adds to the delay in getting my proposal approved as I have to have an officially assigned mentor before I can go further.