When you arrive on campus for your first term at Yale, many people will be ready and willing to offer advice about campus life and your academic choices. It is our hope and expectation that you will make use of Yale's many advising resources. Remember that it is in the nature of a liberal education to ask questions and that you have an important role to play in seeking advice.
Residential College Dean
Your primary academic adviser is your residential college dean, to whom you may always turn for academic and personal advice. The dean lives and has an office in your residential college. He or she can answer questions about academic requirements and connect you to other advising resources on campus. In addition, your residential college dean oversees your college's own advising networks.
On the first evening of Freshman Orientation your dean will welcome you at a meeting of all the freshmen in your residential college. He or she will give you some recommendations about how best to take advantage of the opening days and course selection period. You will also have many occasions to meet with your dean throughout freshman year. If you have a question to which you cannot find an answer, or if you need advice you cannot find elsewhere, consult your dean.
Freshman counselors are seniors who live near you to be sources of information and assistance throughout the year. Your counselors can offer suggestions about curricular and extracurricular choices, take an interest in your concerns, and give firsthand advice on how best to use the academic and other resources of your residential college and of Yale College.
Freshman Faculty Adviser
Your freshman adviser is a Yale faculty member or administrator affiliated with your residential college who has volunteered to talk with you about your academic interests and aspirations. He or she can offer general guidance about constructing a sensible overall schedule for your first year, help you think through larger questions and plans, and direct you to relevant resources. Please note that the primary purposes of these conversations are to provide general advice about acclimating to Yale's academic culture and to give you an opportunity to become acquainted with a member of the faculty or administration affiliated with your residential college.
You will meet your freshman adviser at the advising meeting in your residential college dining hall during Freshman Orientation. Be aware that advisers typically serve four or five students from the same college, and this first meeting usually takes place in a small group. The principal purpose of this meeting is to discuss general questions and to arrange a follow-up meeting when you can talk one on one.
You and your adviser must meet at least one or two more times before course schedules are due, either in your adviser's office or in your residential college, perhaps over a meal in the dining hall. Among the purposes of the follow-up meeting(s) are reviewing the courses you chose during course selection period and securing your adviser's signature endorsing your fall-term program of study. Please be aware that you will likely need to address specific questions about courses and requirements to faculty affiliated with the relevant academic department or to your college dean. If you have any difficulty finding answers to a particular question, your college dean can guide you to the right source of information.
Finally, keep in mind that advisers are also available to meet throughout the term about any matter you wish to discuss, and the amount of contact you have with your adviser depends largely upon your interest and initiative. We particularly encourage you to arrange a meeting with your adviser around midterm to discuss how your courses are going, and again toward the end of the term as you begin to think about the spring term.
Resident Fellows and Old Campus Fellows
Resident fellows are Yale faculty or staff members who live in apartments in the residential colleges or on the Old Campus. They work with the college masters and deans to provide supplemental oversight and support for students.
Resident fellows on the Old Campus, called Old Campus fellows, promote the safety and welfare of Yale's freshmen. They help to enforce the Undergraduate Regulations and are available to respond in case of emergency. The Old Campus fellows also organize events to introduce freshmen to various resources on campus. Like other resident fellows, each Old Campus fellow is affiliated with a particular residential college
Peer liaisons are upperclassmen who help connect freshmen to the programs and services of Yale's cultural and community resource centers, including the Afro-American Cultural Center, Asian American Cultural Center, Chaplain's Office, Office of International Students and Scholars, Latino Cultural Center, LGBTQ Resource Center, and Native American Cultural Center.
Communication and Consent Educators
Communication and Consent Educators (CCEs) are undergraduates who work to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct, primarily by fostering a campus climate of respect. Based in the residential colleges, the CCEs collaborate with a wide range of student groups and communities, offering workshops, informal conversations, and strategic interventions. The CCEs are not counselors, but they can help connect students in need with the appropriate resources. They are supervised in part by Student Affairs Fellows in the Yale College Dean's Office.
Departmental Advising and the Academic Fair
During your first few days on campus, a number of activities will help you get the academic year started. For example, you will have the opportunity to hear faculty presentations at departmental meetings, to sign up for sections of courses, to take placement tests, to consult directors of undergraduate studies, and to attend orientation sessions led by the Health Professions Advisory Program or the Center for International and Professional Experience.
Each academic department has a director of undergraduate studies (DUS), with whom you can discuss the department's course offerings and major requirements. Contact information for each DUS is listed by department in Yale College Programs of Study (the YCPS, or "Blue Book," which will be available on line by July 31), and a separate list of DUSes is posted on the Yale College Web site. Large departments may also have departmental representatives in the residential colleges; the YCPS lists the names of these representatives.
A particularly important opportunity to gather information about academic programs is the annual Academic Fair, held during Freshman Orientation. At this event, directors of undergraduate studies and faculty members from most academic programs and departments will be available to offer you guidance about courses, placement, and prerequisites for majors. The fair provides excellent opportunities to gather information and advice from a broad range of sources, and you are strongly urged to attend.
Your freshman counselor, faculty adviser, and college dean are your first points of contact with the advising network. However, many members of the faculty are also available to talk to you, and you will meet them in the natural course of your studies. Often the best advising relationships arise from shared interests and experiences that begin in the classroom. Starting in your freshman year, you should seek out faculty members who might be good counselors and guides.
At the end of freshman year you will choose your sophomore adviser, a faculty member who will help you select courses and shape a program of study for your second year. In your junior and senior years your adviser will be a faculty member in your major, often the DUS. Remember that these advising resources are of little use if you do not actively take advantage of them. During each of your four years, if you look for faculty members whom you would like to get to know, you will often find generous support. Finally, keep in mind that you may always consult your residential college dean if you are unsure of where to go for help.