Based on your research area of interest and background, needs of the faculty, and source of financial support (if applicable), a major professor will be assigned by the Department Head upon admission into the graduate program. However, it is normal for an applicant to communicate with a faculty member prior to and during the application process. This communication allows the potential graduate student the opportunity to learn about the interests of the faculty, the potential for inclusion into the faculty member’s research program, and the opportunity for financial support. As a result of these interactions, a faculty member has the opportunity to ‘champion’ an applicant. A natural consequence of this is that the champion will also become the student’s major professor.