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. See Freshman Counselors for more information.
Your freshman faculty 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. You will meet him or her in your residential college on the Tuesday before classes begin.
Initial meetings with your freshman faculty adviser should focus on general conversation about course selection in freshman year. More specific information about course levels and content, or details about academic requirements, is available through departmental advisers and publications or your college dean. However, your freshman adviser can offer 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. Your assigned adviser may or may not share your academic interests, but his or her areas of expertise need not limit the value of your conversations. The point of the dialogue is for you to get general advice and become acquainted with members of the faculty affiliated with your residential college. As you develop your program of study during freshman year, your faculty adviser can continue to serve as a conversation partner.
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 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 printed by department in Yale College Programs of Study (the YCPS, or "Blue Book," which will be mailed to you in August), and a separate list of DUSes is available 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 on the Tuesday afternoon before classes begin. 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.