General Orientation:

Fisk University provides an orientation for all incoming graduate trainees to Graduate Studies at Fisk University and to their program, providing a perspective on the difference in academic maturity expected of graduate trainees when compared to the academic habits of undergraduate students. This general orientation is followed by individual program-specific meetings for each area, including a separate continuing orientation for the participants in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program.

Overall components of the Orientation:

  • Meeting one another and learning each of our career aspirations.
  • Welcome from the Dean and Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies
  • And the overall Roles and Responsibilities of Students, faculty advisors and graduate student mentors at Fisk University for the graduate experience as well as a philosophical transition from undergraduate to graduate student academic and professional expectations.
  • Review of the Graduate Student Handbook, and its significance.
  • Overview of the TIMELINE for completing each aspect of the Graduate Program.
  • Introduction of the Various Graduate Programs and their Directors for Graduate Studies.
  • Introduction of Resources for the Students: Writing Center; Counseling Center, Library Resources.

Personal Counseling.

The expectations for independent learning and resourcefulness that underlie graduate training, in concert with the high academic demands, can bring multiple sources of stress to the surface. We advise reaching out for confidential conversations with counselors at your earliest moment of need. Students can schedule a consultation via 615-329-8861, at the Fisk counseling Center, located on the 4th Floor/B wing of Shane Hall ( A Student Counseling Handbook is available at the same link. The EMERGENCY contact is Dr. Sheila Peters, 615-497-2963, a licensed clinical psychologist who in emergency situations can identify the most appropriate clinical professional to meet a particular student’s needs.

Occasionally, a student may be encouraged or even required to attend counseling sessions, advice intended with the student’s best interests in mind. Like for Fisk undergraduates, when a graduate student is required to attend counseling sessions with a University counselor or one outside Fisk, proof of completion of this counseling will be required to be provided to the Dean of Graduate Studies, particularly if this counseling has corresponded to a leave of absence by a student.

The Fisk University Writing Center

The Fisk University Writing Center is a resource for all Fisk students, undergraduate and graduate students alike. Students are encouraged to visit and meet with a tutor at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming a topic to making final revisions. Tutoring to improve writing skills is also available. For graduate students, this guidance is provided by Dr Holly Hamby, Writing Center Director. To set up appointments with Dr Hamby, contact her at