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A doctoral advisor (or dissertation director or dissertation advisor) is a university faculty member whose helps guide graduate students who are candidates for a doctorate degree. This includes helping them select coursework, as well as shaping, refining and directing the students' choice of sub-discipline in which they will be examined or on which they will write a dissertation. Students in general choose advisors based on their areas of interest within their discipline, their desire to work closely with particular graduate faculty, and the willingness and availability of those faculty to work with them.
- Miles Taft Bryant (2004), The portable dissertation advisor, Corwin Press, pp. 9–11, .