Dear Class of 2026,
This week’s message contains an introduction to advising resources on campus from the Undergraduate Education Office. At Yale, you will often hear that you have access to a constellation of advisors. You will have many people looking out for you and offering guidance during your time here. When you arrive on campus, reach out to your advisors, get to know them, and always feel free to ask questions.
Dean Peck and Dean Hawthorne
Hannah Rose Peck
Dean of First-Year Affairs
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Yale College Dean's Office
Tasha M. Hawthorne, PhD
Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Yale College Dean's Office
Dear Yale College Class of 2026,
In our first message on June 3, we asked you to focus on Yale’s approach to undergraduate education and explained the thinking that underlies our academic requirements. In this week’s message, we describe Yale’s advising resources and placement procedures designed to support your academic exploration and course selection.
Now that you know your residential college, you also know the name of one of your principal academic advisers, your residential college dean, who will be in regular touch with you throughout your time at Yale. Your dean also oversees the network of advisers in your college, including first-year counselors (“FroCos”) and college advisers. FroCos are seniors who live among first-year students to provide peer advice. College advisers are Yale faculty or staff members who volunteer to advise first-years and sophomores about their academic and extracurricular interests and aspirations.
In addition to your college’s advising network, you are also encouraged to seek academic advice from departmental advisers, especially regarding questions related to specific courses and prerequisites for majors. Each department has a director of undergraduate studies (DUS) who oversees that department’s undergraduate curriculum and advising, and you will have an opportunity to meet the DUSs at an Academic Fair on August 29.
An important component of academic advising, especially in your first year, is obtaining placement advice in subjects that have multiple entry points, depending on a student’s previous experience. Mathematics, the natural sciences, and languages are notable examples. Be aware that, even if you do not intend to major in these subjects, courses from those fields are prerequisites for a wide range of majors.
Two primary tools provide placement advice:
- High School Math and Science Survey. This survey asks you to self-report your course history in four subjects: chemistry, economics, math, and physics. Relevant departments then use your responses to place you into specific course levels. (These placements are provisional, and you may adjust your level, if needed, after you arrive on campus). Even if you are not planning to take courses in these subjects, all first-year students must complete the High School Math and Science Survey by 11:59 p.m. on July 29.
- Online Placement Exams. Yale offers two dozen optional placement exams, in biology, chemistry, math, and many non-English languages, between July 1-29. You are strongly advised to take a placement exam if you have prior study of a field and plan to enroll in it during your first year at Yale. Additional placement exam information may be found on the Advising website.
Another goal to consider in your first year, and throughout your Yale education, is strengthening core skills that you will use at Yale and beyond. Chief among them is the ability to write clearly and effectively. To help you consider how best to strengthen your writing skills while at Yale, we ask you to complete a ten-minute writing survey about your habits and experience as a writer, the results of which will remain anonymous and will be used only to help improve our writing courses and support systems at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. The writing survey will remain open until August 15.
Lastly, we remind you that summer peer advising remains available seven days a week through August 19. If you have questions and cannot find answers on the Yale College website, the First-Year and New Student Resources website, or the online Yale College Programs of Study, we encourage you to sign up for a videoconference by going to the Undergraduate Advising website. Members of the Yale College Dean’s Office are available for referrals as well.
In subsequent messages, we will explain the timeline and process for registering for courses for the fall term. In the meantime, we hope you are having an enjoyable and productive summer.
The Office of Undergraduate Education
This week’s important dates and reminders include:
- Move-in for first year students is Sunday, August 21st. Please register for a move-in appointment using the housing portal. If you need to make changes to your appointment time, you can do that through the portal.
- Transfer students: make your move-in appointment only after receiving your housing assignment in July
- Camp Yale Program placements will be available this week! Please expect to receive an email from your new Camp Yale Program Director introducing themselves and welcoming you to their program. If you have not received an email by Friday, July 8th, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- July 1st - Summer online placement exams begin
- July 1st - Fall-term fees available for payment
- July 15th - Yale Health Care form due
- July 15th - Foot and/or Harvest health forms due
-FOOT health form
-Harvest health form
Please go to New Student Dates and Deadlines for a full list of deadlines.
Please go to New Student Forms & Tasks for first steps and important resources.
For answers to commonly asked questions, please go to First-Year Affairs FAQ (frequently asked questions).