A Handbook for Directors of Undergraduate Studies in Yale College

The director of undergraduate studies (DUS) is appointed by the dean of Yale College after consultation with the chair of a department or program. The appointment is renewed annually. According to the nature and scope of the responsibilities of the office, which vary greatly from department to department,* the DUS may, in some cases, be relieved of a portion of his or her teaching obligations by the Provost’s Office. The DUS may also be provided by the department with appropriate secretarial and bursary student assistance.

As DUS, you are the chief tie between the department and its undergraduate students, and an essential link between Yale College and the members of the department. Accordingly, you should regularly attend the meetings of the Yale College Faculty on the first Thursday of each month during term-time, and keep informed of developments in Yale College, in your department, and in related departments. You should be thoroughly familiar with the principles and regulations governing education in Yale College as they are set forth in Yale College Programs of Study (YCPS). And you need to keep regular and well-advertised office hours.

As DUS, you have responsibility for the quality and range of undergraduate instruction in your department and the contents and structure of the undergraduate major. You do this within guidelines laid down by the chair and other faculty of your department and by the Yale College Faculty, and in accordance with the regulations and usages of Yale College. This general charge may give rise to obligations that cannot easily be defined in a manual of this sort, and in any event the duties of a DUS differ from department to department, depending on the size of the department and on its own administrative traditions. Yet there are some obligations that most directors of undergraduate studies must fulfill, and these are described in this handbook.

Appropriate people to get in touch with about the various duties described here have been indicated throughout the text. General questions may be directed to Dean Joseph W. Gordon, 104 SSS, 432-2902. Directors of undergraduate studies and others are urged to send information about omissions or mistakes in this handbook, as well as suggestions for improving it, to him.

*Throughout this handbook, “department” almost always refers to both departments and programs.